Started trailhead at 3:30am
Back to car at 12:30pm
Side note: The dancing video we took on the summit, I submitted to “So You Think You Can Dance” and they aired it on 8/15 for National Dance Day! Did anyone see it??? Totally cheesy but we still had a good time. If you missed it you can rewatch episodes online.
We met up with kushrocks, marie123 and their other friend Jason at the trailhead for the first time Friday evening. Thank you kushrocks for reaching out to us to join your group! 14ers.com is such a great site.
We started hiking at 3:30am through the forest with headlamps and got off route once or twice. The trail through the forest gains elevations quickly. It was a bit steeper than I was expected, but not too bad. The sun started coming up when we were hiking through the valley before topping out on the ridge.
The valley before the ridge (photo by: kushrocks)
almost to the ridge
pointing to the crux wall (the shadowed area to the right of the summit)
We followed a faint trail below the left side of the ridge and eventually had to work our way to the top where the trail began to turn into scrambling. The next photo shows the crux wall and we stayed left of the crack as we scrambled.
You can see some of our group up ahead
Once we got on the ridge we mostly stayed on top and the scrambling was a lot of fun. The route says to drop down left off the ridge when you are about 50 feet from the crux wall. Even though we knew this, it still seemed to creep up too quickly and we found ourselves at the sharp points. We climbed over and down the sharp point which was a class 4 move. I definitely thought this was the hardest part of this entire route, even harder than the crux wall.
Ryan & Jason waiting for me to catch up. This is before we climbed over the sharp point. The crux wall is behind them.
As most trip reports state, the crux wall is intimidating from far away, but soon enough you are already half way up the wall before you even realize you were climbing it. Honestly, the wall wasn’t bad at all (if you are comfortable with Class 3). It was good scrambling on very solid rock. I was so focused on my moves that I didn’t notice the great exposure around me. I thought that Kelso ridge was more exposed. When you approach the wall, we hiked left of the large crack. If you scout out your moves, you can keep the scrambling at a descent level.
Matt giving me a boost (since my legs were cramping) (photo by: kushrocks)
Part of the crux wall
Yes, Sophie, the super dog, made it up this route. She was amazing! (photo by: kushrocks)
Soon enough we were on top of the wall and heading over to the true summit. I really enjoyed the rock scrambling on the Class 4 route and would definitely recommend it to anyone. If you need any comparison to see if you are ready for that level, my only class 3 experience before this route was Kit Carson, Longs (keyhole), and Kelso Ridge to Torreys. My only major issue on the route was cramping. Before we got to the sharp point and the crux wall, I got a charlie horse in my calf. It was the worst cramping pain I have ever experience. I had to sit for at least fifteen minutes before it subsided and even then it kept trying to tense back up. I took every move after that very slowly. My hiking group was so great. They waited for me and kept an eye out the rest of the way up.
showing the rest of the route to the true summit
I think we summited no later than 9am but I am not 100% sure. The weather was beautiful! I even got our new hiking friends to dance with us on the summit for National Dance Day!
Funny summit pic (photo by: kushrocks)
First Class 4!
Little Bear and Blanca are seen behind me. It was cool to be in their presence.
After dancing and crazy summit pictures we left for the Class 2+ descent. I did not like the gulley at all. We stepped very carefully so we would not knock any rocks down.
The crux of the gulley; we stayed as left as we could to stay on more stable rock
The rest of our group waiting for me and Matt
The gulley route was much worse and took much longer than expected. After a nasty gulley descent, we were finally back at the ridge and quickly making our way back through the forest. It was beautiful scenery! Its always a unique experience on the descent to get to see the trail that you hiked through that morning in the dark. This is one of the more scenic places I have hiked. We managed to cross the river both ways without using the watershoes that we had brought. The hiking poles definitely helped with balance. We made a quick pace back to the car and arrived around 12:30pm.
crossing the stream without the watershoes
Overall, Lindsey was tough for me mainly because of how bad my muscles were cramping that day. I had severe cramps in every muscle from my hip flexers all the way down to my toes. Literally every muscle in both legs cramped at some point in this hike. It took me at least a full week for my calf to loosen back to normal. Minus the cramping, Lindsey is an amazing hike and the Class 4 route was incredible. I would definitely hiked that route again….but not sure I would ever descend that gulley again. I didn’t really find the wall to be all that difficult. Just take each step at a time and you will soon be at the top. The exposure is airy, but exposure is relative and effects everyone differently. The exposure didn’t bother me at all on this hike. But I could see how it was really make it difficult for someone who is more afraid of heights. It was all solid stable rock and I felt very safe the entire route. This is a great intro to Class 4 as every else has suggested.
Thank you kushrocks, marie123 and Jason for letting me and Matt join your group. You guys are amazing! We look forward to more adventures with you.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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