The La Plata Peak trail starts off near Independence Pass west of Twin Lakes and climbs one-and-a-half miles to an open, football field-sized meadow just below treeline. La Plata, the fourth-highest peak in Colorado, stands proud looking southeast of the valley. The Roving Backcountry Crew spent five days there in early September.

Day one was spent getting our basecamp established, scouting the worksite, and hauling the tools to the worksite in preparation for the week. Fall is definitely here, and I am noticing that I am wearing my jacket all day now.

Day two brought even cooler temperatures. I often felt like an insect in the cold–very slow moving. The worksite was located in the area above the steep, switchbacked avalanche gully near where Coby brought a Colorado College Adopt-a-Peak group the week prior. We noticed that his crew set 27 steps. Being a bit on the competitive side, we decided we were going to set 28 steps.

Determined, we spent three-and-a-half work days on the project and met our goal of 28 steps constructed. We also put in a bunch of retaining walls to stabilize the backslope.

Even on these short hitches, the Roving Backcountry Crew still dominates! I love the fact that we can see work that was done a week ago, strive to exceed the standards of our coworkers and leaders–and do so. That is what makes the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative so revolutionary.

As the organization grows and continues to construct sustainable trails on high-impact Fourteeners, more people will become educated about these mountains and how to protect them for our children to enjoy in the future.

Chris Houde

My name is Chris Houde and this is my 3rd season with CFI. I will be leading the Roving Backcountry Crew this season and traveling all over Colorado. So psyched!!!