La Plata Peak Trip Report
August 16, 2015
Southwest Ridge, Class 2
Roundtrip Distance: 7 Miles
Paul Tarr Memorial Hike
We lost our good friend Paul Tarr earlier this year and decided to hike a 14er to share all the great stories and memories we made with Paul over the years. Paul was full of life and he loved to hike 14ers (I believe he did about 37 total). A few years back when we were hiking Mt Democrat, we ran into Paul and his dog Speedwell on the top of the peak! Small world.
Gunner and Speedwell at the top of Mt Democrat
We drove up to near the trailhead on Saturday night after driving across Mosquito Pass from Fairplay to Leadville. We found a great camp spot for the group, cooked some dinner, and hit the sack.
The Southwest Ridge route is not often hiked and it took a bit to find the trailhead in the AM. The trail was very easy to follow until hitting the rocks up on the ridge around 13,000 ft. It was a pretty easy class 2 up the ridge and made it to the summit around 9:30 AM. On the top, at one point there were more than 20 people with at least three people making their first 14er Summit ever!
We drank Stella’s on the top and poured one out for Paul before heading back off the mountain.
On the way back down, we stopped at an old mine that can found through an entrance that looks like a cave. It can be found just off the trail. There was about 18 inches of water in the bottom so we did not go in too far.
A couple bucks, and old mining cabin, and a beaver doing his thing.