Thursday, August 9, 2007

Day 10: 8/3/07: La Plata Peak: 14,336


9.5 miles

Standard Route – NW Ridge

Company: Diane Friedman

Wildlife: pika

4500 feet

Start: 7:15 am

Summit: 11:00 am

Stop: 2:00 pm


Cloudy/cool – 6:00 am

Rain – 3:00 pm

La Plata – the Silver Summit. Upon this day, Diane “Energizer Bunny” accompanied me for the follies and festivities. Knowing she would be filled with boundless energy (as witnessed on many telemark slopes last winter) I steeled myself for a fast-paced day. The mountain and trail were certainly shapely with awe-inspiring views of the Ellingwood Ridge and surrounding peaks. Within this amphitheater, several acts occurred that would help me gain the title (self-proclaimed and self-invented) of “Least Attractive Legs”. While this title comes with no monetary stipend or travel allowance (who would want to see them, really?) the legs have produced an ample amount of concerned attention. After hiking, today alone, I had offers of 4 first-aid kits (and these offers came after cleaning up with my own kit!).

Nevertheless, tripping face first due to foot entrapment down loose rock and dirt in other circumstances could certainly result in dislodged teeth, gaping skull through eyebrow gash or cracked long bones. In this case, a welt/contusion the size of a ½ liter Nalgene bottle crept from ankle to mid-shin with tiger-claw like scrapes oozing atop it like red cupcake frosting. From outer left shin to hip, a ribbon of blue and purple formed, adorned with diagonal stripes of red where skin had formerly formed an unbroken barrier. All of this on one leg – that same leg who injuries required the “Lap of Healing” at kickball nearly 2 weeks ago. Just as those second-base-slide-induced scabs became itchy and ready to be ripped off by an inopportune snag, revealing petal-pink new skin, a whole new set of La Plata wounds appear! With the sock tan, half-disintegrated pink toenail polish and the limited attention to a Lady Bic in the recent past, I may very well deserve the honor and privilege of “Least Attractive Legs”.

P.S. La Plata is a great, wonderful, amazing hike –overshadowed only by the blood. Hiking up two snowfields and boot skiing down was the highlight! We are ready for ski season!

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