There are four of us that have spent the last month in preparation of tackling another silver giant in Colorado and there is much more to do. This mountain is know as the silver peak, La Plata.
Most of our climbs have taken place in the late winter season so a summer climb will be new for us and maybe quite refreshing to not be following a snow ridge with the question in our minds, "Am I going to fall through?"
At the end of the last winter season we notched in our belts the second and third tallest in the contiguous U.S. We would like to add number one, Mt Whitney, in 2011. 2010 takes us to the feet of a magnificent behemoth of God's creation. Her ridges are long and drop into the great expanse, but she is not too technical.
La Plata lies in my favorite valley in the world and looks down upon the Twin Lakes and Independent Pass. The only place that even comes close in my mind are the mountains surrounding Garmisch Partenkirchen on the border of Germany and Austria.
I have never been so amazed at the created as I am in this valley. The Mountains surrounding Twin Lakes have always been a challenge to me and my comrades. Elbert, Twin Peaks, and Massive. I think this has more to do with the time of year we choose to climb. It is always a special feeling to be in the San Isabel National Forest and upon a Sawatch mountain on the spine of the Continental Divide in the driving snow.
La Plata Peak
Standing at the top of a peak is such an interesting experience. The reward you seek is a safe arrival, an unexplainable view and shared experience. It only last for minutes in most cases, as there is a long descent waiting for you, but I would not trade a one of those climbs. There's always the chance of altitude sickness, a view sacked in with snow and clouds, or no weather window with which to climb through, but it is always worth the attempt.
La Plata in the Moonlight (Jack Brauer)
Climbing has been a great solidifier of friendships. It is always a team effort and the shared experience is an eternal connection.
It was so gratifying to climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park last September with my family. This was at the prodding of my daughter Sarah. After a full day hike of over 17 miles and an ascent and descent of 5,000 feet I was left speechless. Climbing the ropes on the last portion of the descent with my son was incredible, frightening and mesmerizing all at the same time.
There's a video of the Half Dome Hike on my Facebook account and herein is the climb from last year with the boys"
I attacked the Elliptical for 50 minutes again today, the North Face gear hangs ready to go and I am already dreaming of a 4 am start with Rich, Cliff and John as we attempt to again stride upon a silver giant.