A Good Hike

9:59 PM

There are 54 14'ers in Colorado.  A 14'er is a mountain peak that is 14,000 feet or higher.  Last Thursday we set out to hike LaPlata Peak.  LaPlata is the 5th highest peak and is 14,336 feet.  One of the most important rules when climbing a 14'er is to start early, summit and be off the peak by noonish.  It's a good rule of thumb.  Generally thunderstorms build over the Rockies in the early afternoon.  The last place you want to be in a thunderstorm is above treeline.  You know what they say about lightening striking the highest point...above treeline a person IS the highest point.

We did not get an early start.  We were on the trail by 8:30.  Our plan was to be there by 7:30.  We keep forgetting it is so much harder to get anywhere with a kid.  Then I misread the trailhead directions and instead of taking us to the FWD parking, I directed us to the lower parking area.  That added an extra mile in each direction.  We were finally on the trail at 9:30.  It was a beautiful hike.
This is in the valley floor about 12,000 feet, looking up at the climb we are about to do.
A close up view of what we just hiked.  This part of the hike was full of loose gravely rock and dirt.  It made for a very difficult climb to the ridge.  We made it the top of this climb and saw clouds forming to the west.  We made the difficult (and adult) decision to turn around at this point.  Bryan wanted to take his time on the descent because he was carrying the kiddo.  And if weather was coming in, we didn't want to hurry.  I was very bummed about turning around.  It wasn't the first time we've been turned around before the summit and it won't be the last either.  You can see how dark the clouds were by the time we got back to the base of the climb.
This is the view from the ridge line.  Beautiful little valley floor.
Mama carried Corrine on the flat part of the trail.  She was a trooper.  We haven't done that long of a hike (7 miles) since she was about six months old.  She wasn't walking yet, she weighed less and she slept more then.  I was a bit concerned that she would be bored and impatient in her backpack, but she only fussed a couple of times so we stopped and let her out.  We also took the dogs with us.  It may be the last long, high altitude hike for Henley (the Newf).  He was worked and he doesn't recover as fast.  He did enjoy the cooler weather.  But we can't take Buffett if we don't take Henley, so for long hikes like that the boys will stay home.  That is very disappointing.

Even though we didn't summit it was a very good day.

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  1. Just attempting a hike like that with a little one and the dogs is quite impressive! It looks like you guys had lots of fun and got to see some wonderful scenery.

  2. What a fun outing-I highly doubt I could do it but I like the thought of accomplishing something like that!!


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