"Huerfanito", Mt Lindsey, Iron Nipple, "Huerfano Peak"
Trailhead: Lilly Lake
Elevation Gain: 5,435'
Partner: Solo (by accident and wrong choice of vehicle), but guest appearances by Dave, Steve and Nick
After my day on California, I relaxed at my truck, grilling dinner (outside) and watching the hikers come and go. I noticed one white SUV with CN plates that was very clean, no mud puddles hit. I wondered how that was possible. It didn't seem like a fun way to drive. I waited for my partner to show, but I wasn't sure when she'd arrive. So I left a note on my windshield, so she wouldn't have to wake me up.
Next morning, no partner. Hmmm? Waited a bit, wrote another note, did a reorder of peaks, started up trail. Greeted the sunrise on the Blanca massif again. Still frosty!
Another day, another sunrise on Blanca and Ellingwood Pt
Made quick work of the lower trail in the chill morning air, though the stream crossing was pretty insane with verglace covering the logs. Snow/ice packed trail is intermittent in the trees as you make your way up the stream valley. Once you cross the stream, the snow is non stop and deeper (ice packed by end of day). On this side of the stream I met Dave and Steve and they convinced me to hike with them for a while until we parted ways for me to hike up Huerfanito. I decided that it would be easier to follow the ridge, than to contour talus hop on icy snowy boulders. Not much elevation gain is lost, and there is a semi rocky section for some spice (minor as it was).
Taking the ridge up to Huerfanito
Blanca and Ellingwood Pt
Ridge up Huerfanito
I wasn't sure if the ridge proper went, but the scree/talus gully looked worse, so I stuck with it. It was minor scrambling class 2+ at worst. Soon I was searching the false summit bumps for the real one, marked with a cairn on top.
Upper ridge on Huerfanito
Looking down ascent ridge
Pano from Huerfanito
Looking over at Lindsey from Huerfanito
On the summit, I got cell reception, and a voice mail from my partners that they were on their way last night (no reception at the trail head). So, they were around, but where? Not knowing where they were, I quickly traversed the scree and up to the saddle with Lindsey. Waited for a short bit, but as it was 11am, I decided to go "run up" Lindsey and see if they were there. So not many photos on the way up, but plenty on the way down. I helped 2 guys who bailed on the route get down the easier way on the side. That gully is now loose and snowy, so you don't know what you are stepping on, until it lets loose on those below. First time up this route, I went up the left side. This time I went up the right. Either works. Right side is very ledgy, so there a bit more zig zagging.
My missing partner and I wanted to do the 4th class ridge route, but as I was at this point solo, and the ridge looked like it still held a bit of snow, I opted out. After the crux section in the gully and ridge, I scrambled up to the ridge, just to do something a little different. Why not?
Looking back on Huerfanito
Lindsey looking a lil frosty
Iron Nipple and Huerfano
Starting up the North Face gully
On the summit I meet up with Dave, Steve and another guy I shall call clean car guy. Did my quick summit routine of clicking buttons, and turn around to go down out of the wind and cold. Ya'll are super lucky, since if it wasn't, there may have been a very very bad spoof dance video in the works. I didn't want to freeze my tongue to my ice ax.
On the way down I helped Steve through the harder sections, as it was safer and easier to scramble at the sides of the snowy gullies, than to stay in the center of them, even on the way down.
Blanca group from Lindsey
Looking down the upper section of Lindsey's standard route
Some snow to scramble with
Steve making his way down the scramble section
Steve sticking to the rocks
Overview of the crux gully
Zoom of loose snowy gully
At the saddle, I part ways with Dave and Steve, and make my way up the Iron Nipple. Funny that the one officially named peak, is the unranked one. But with a name like that, who wouldn't want to climb it? And its fun too. A knife edge to boot, right before the rocky summit. I didn't find any iron though.
Approaching the Iron Nipple, go through obvious notch
The Iron Nipple knife edge!
Looking at Lindsey from the Iron Nipple
Huerfano from Iron Nipple
After the 5 minutes of scrambling the Iron Nipple provides, its a talus stroll over to Huerfano. Nice views from this peak as well. Scoped out some snow lines on Lindsey to ski one of these days. Noted the very dry Spanish Peaks - How'd they miss that storm?
Spanish peaks are DRY!
Looking north from Huerfano
California group from Huerfano
Scouting my ski line on Lindsey
With the day getting longer, and the sun more westerly, it was time to depart. Sad to have missed CarpeDM on the summit by a day. Not often that you meet another person on a 13er! Of course, I thought that too soon, since on the return to the Iron Nipple, I ran into Nick. At first I though it was an illusion, but it wasn't. A real person on a 13er! So after a short chat, we go our separate ways.
Back at the Lindsey saddle, I take note of the much dryer appearance of the ridge. Darn, if my partners had shown up at that moment, I could have been tempted to go climb Lindsey again!
Lindsey melted a bit over the hot day
But alas, it was time to go down to my truck and go home. Back at my truck, I found a note from Dave and Steve, but none from Ute. It was only later that I found out that she had brought the wrong vehicle and didn't feel comfortable driving the last stretch of road with it. Another time, I guess!
I had yet another awesomely fun drive out hitting the mud puddles so it splashed over my truck. Giddy as a lil girl! What a fun day! On the drive back to I-25 I was greeted with an amazing sunset. Just the cherry on top!
Sunset pano over southern Wet Mountains
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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