| Mt Lindsey Gusts on a Beautiful Day
Mount Lindsey was somehow always overlooked on our climbing trips, even when we were close by climbing Humboldt or the Crestones. After moving away for a year and coming back for a weekend visit, it was time to remedy this problem! Participating was myself, my usual climbing buddy JFaust, and a new climbing buddy Dave.
The road/trail coming in was easily driven by a Honda CRV; a car could make it pretty easily too, as long as it goes nice and slow to avoid the few rocks strewn about. There was a pretty spectacular valley filled with fields and lined with aspens. At the start of the trail, Mt Lindsey isn't yet visible, but is around the valley to the left.
As the trail starts, there's a little river crossing. I was able to hop across an icy log, JFaust hopped stone to stone, but one of our three opted to travel sans shoes which is pretty common. Very cold. The expression on his face pretty well describes it. A lot of people will bring a pair of sandals for this particular stretch.
There were substantial snowdrifts on the trail running along the river, so we opted for the rockier up climb. It turns out we went too steep too quickly, so had to traverse back over to the trail where the valley funnels through. It's pretty hard to get truly lost on this hill though. If you find yourself in a similar position, just keep heading toward the valley, as the trail essentially follows the river in the bottom of the gully through this stretch. From those first rocks though were awesome views of Blanca and Ellingwood (?) that otherwise wouldn't have been visible.
When the gully/river finally level off, things open up, but you can see the tip of Lindsey in the distance. The trail is pretty obvious through this stretch.
The weather forecast was for good skies, but 15+ mph winds with gusts in the 40s-50s. At this point on the trail and leading up to the ridge line on Lindsey, it felt even stronger.
Once we crossed over the ridge and followed along, even leading into the main snow gulley, we were protected from the wind, but leading up to that ridge, it was Blowin.
Following along next to the snow made a pretty easy up-climb through this gulley. Crampons would have made it a lot more fun, but alas, I didn't pack them for this trip
At the top of the gulley, things got interesting. The climb itself wasn't horribly difficult, but the trail seemed to have vanished and there were very few cairns to follow. We ended up doing our own route finding, but it's not a great place to be a trailblazer because it's steep and there are places to either get stuck with a dead end or where there were substantial drop-offs. Had there been less wind, we probably would have tried the class 4 ridge up that was more obvious, but with the wind this would have probably been bad news. There were a few remnants of a trail here and there though on our class 3 adventure.
At about this point, JFaust all but sprinted to the top.
And a pano from the summit:
We did find that in coming back down, we crossed a stretch that we bypassed on the way up because we couldn't see the trail.
The bottom line is that safety is key toward the top here, where there is mixed snow/ice with loose rocks, and occasionally no discernible trail. Bring an axe!
Congrats to JFaust for finishing his 44th 14er, even with his gangsta 4 4 sign showing!
Overall, it was a good trip. Finished the day out with a meatball/pepperoni/pepperjack baked sub on wheat with spinach tomatoes black olives, vinegar oil, salt and pepper and a dash of oregano. Mmmmm.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):