What a difference a day makes. After reading wreave's report I'm sure glad we did this on Saturday. We hit the trail just before 7 a.m. and with a pretty leisurely pace were at the top in 3 hours 50 minutes.
The view from the beginning of the trail is great. This picture doesn't do it justice, too washed out. Walking up this valley is reasonably easy and beautiful. You will see some boulders the size of a small cabin and can only imagine what it would have sounded like when they came crashing down from the faces they calved from.
This view is just above tree line looking back down the valley.
This is the view in the other direction, looking at Blanca and Ellingwood which are in view for much of the journey.
This is the basin you enter above tree line. Very nice.
From the saddle (about 13,100) between the Iron Nipple and Lindsey, the gully on Lindsey's north face looks somewhat daunting. My companion offered me a trick he had picked up...something to do with the way your eyes work, making slopes look steeper than they really are. Tilt your head to the side he said. Well okay, I guess it did look a little less steep but it's hard to walk that way so I straightened up and marched on. As is often the case, once you are in the gully it really isn't that bad, just very loosem crushed stone and various sizes of rock to slip and slide on. True to what other posters here have said, if you stay to either side (right seems better) of the gully you can find plenty of hand holds and steps on the hard rock to make this a little easier (and safer for those below you) to negotiate.
Here are views both up and down the gully. The good news is that on the way down, once you are out of this section the rest of the hike, aside from a short boulder field, is really pretty easy and immensely enjoyable.
A closer view of Lindsey's north face and the gully. The ridge route sounded a little beyond my comfort level and one, descending, helmeted climber that who had done it said he wouldn't try it without a helmet.
A view of the Iron Nipple. Would liked to have climbed this as well but we were short on time.
Blanca and Ellingwood from the top of Lindsey.
A view of Lindsey's riidge as we start down. As you go up you reach a false summit, then it's only a few minutes across this ridge and it's a great walk! Excellent views as you look down both sides of Lindsey's flanks.
On the way out we were treated to a small herd of big horn sheep.
You follow the Heurfano River for a good deal of this hike which is another great feature of this trip. Even if you decided not to do the steep, final 2,000 feet or so of this hike, just walking up to the basin would be a good day. Plenty to see, rugged buttresses all around and endless photo opportunities. Not to mention the fact this peak, even on a Saturday wasn't very crowded. We were 9 and 10th people to summit that day and had the peak all to ourselves. Check the trailhead reports...the last six miles of the road up there can take 30 minutes or more, depending on just how much you want to beat up your vehicle.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):