Peak(s):  La Plata Peak  -  14,344 feet
Date Posted:  07/13/2015
Modified:  07/25/2017
Date Climbed:   07/11/2015
Author:  alexhenes
 Big Day on Ellingwood Ridge   

he route description for Ellingwood Ridge reads 10 miles, 5900ft, class 3. Given complex route finding and numerous snow issues our day was 10.8 miles, 6500ft vertical and took roughly 13 hours. We travel at a moderate pace but this route was a big day and some of the snow climbs and crossings made a few sections feel sketchy. The snow was too soft to support climbing and the dirt was completely saturated making slide risk significant in a few areas. Looking for alternative routes was also time consuming. The weather was good most of the day with clouds building then dispersing with no real threat. However when we reached the summit a massive storm appeared to the west... it was evident we were going to get hammered. So we immediately started our hike down the class II northwest ridge. Mid way down the summit pitch is when the storm hit us. There was snow, rain and high winds but no thunder or lightning. We were cold and wet and had a hard time seeing with the wind whipping against us. It was uncomfortable but we were thankful to be descending the class II standard route as opposed to still being on the chanellenging maze of Ellingwood Ridge. This route was long and physical and seemed to go on forever. However we had a fantastic day and a true adventure. I won't forget it any time soon and hope to climb this route again. Pictures and commentary from our trip can be found at...

La Plata's Ellingwood Ridge

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Comments or Questions
Cool TR
07/13/2015 11:00
Was admiring that ridge from Indy Pass this weekend. Such a beast.

Nice TR
07/13/2015 20:27
That’s a hell of a route. One note – that peak you ID as a beautiful unnamed peak at 12,760’ is actually Sayres Benchmark (13,738’). It is gorgeous! (and if I’m looking at the wrong picture, sorry!)

07/13/2015 20:31
Thanks guys! I updated my description with ’Sayres Benchmark’ It was amazingly beautiful after the storm had cleared. We were in hell and then all of a sudden heaven with Sayres right there.

great climbing
07/14/2015 09:35
We hiked the same day from the standard route and battled the indecisive weather as well. Glad yall made it safely without problems on the ridge. We only stayed a few minutes on top as well and booked it down. I didn’t even get a chance to view Ellingwood Ridge because of the storm keeping us preoccupied on descending quickly. I wondered if anyone was climbing that route that day. Great job! Ya totally rocked it!

Thank you for the GPX!
07/28/2018 12:45
Thanks a bunch for the GPX and beta. Heading out today to climb ER tomorrow. Cheers!

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