The Front Range has experienced an unusually warm June, so I attempted to beat the heat by searching for higher ground. As a day trip, La Plata is an easy class 2 climb accessible off of Highway 82, southwest of Leadville. The mountain was originally named for the silver mines that once operated in the area. The trail begins by following La Plata Gulch with a few stream crossings, but quickly leaves tree line by a series of switchbacks. Snow on the peak could be avoided, but provided a respite from the hot weather and a little fun for self-arresting! Penny was not slowed down by her pack, or a little off trail scrambling, and thoroughly enjoyed the day.