Hakuna La Plata & Mt Elbert

July 6 2019

Sophia and I celebrated Independence Day by knocking a couple more 14ers off our list. We tackled the peaks via class two routes, back to back at 3:30 AM on July third and forth. The route we took for La Plata was the standard Northwest Ridge. When we reached the summit, we were greeted by a gaggle of girls that were outfitted in various savannah themed onesies. Their explanation? “Hakuna La Plata”.

On America Day we reached the highest point in the state of Colorado by summiting Mt Elbert. We took our first non-standard route up a 14er by ascending the Southeast Ridge. The Southeast Ridge is unique in that you gain an absurd amount of elevation in the first few miles. By mile three you’ve crested the ridge at 13,600 ft and still have 2.5 miles and nearly 1,000 vertical feet of additional trail to climb. For reference the trailhead is at just under 10,000 ft.

I’m fairly fond of this last photo. I took it right before departing from our dispersed camping location to the La Plata peak trailhead at three in the morning. It’s a great peek into how a typical 14er day begins for us. Summit packs loaded with appropriate gear, food, and water. First layer clothes laid out on the counter. Cold brew coffee and granola with powdered milk bags ready for consumption. Large jug of water to rehydrate both ourselves and the milk before departing. It’s hard to believe we’ve had the van for three years.