| Summer solstice on Lindsey?
My wife and I drove up to the Heurfano/Lilly Lakes trailhead in hopes of enjoying a nice summer day on Mt. Lindsey, what we found is that spring still had a tight grasp on lady Lindsey. My plan was to hike this solo, but I ran into some 14er members, Zach (eatinhardtack) and Eric (lostsheep5) and this turned out to be an awesome hike with some good guys.
This would be the only time we would see Blanca the whole hike. (Taken the day before)
photo courtesy of Eatinhardtack
I woke up at 5am ate, stretched and met up with Eatinhardtack and Lostsheep5 and hit the trail around 6. Although it was very wet and still raining slightly I was hopeful the weather would clear up and make for a good day. Well, the rain never let up but it would still turn out to be a fun day of hiking. We really couldn't see much on the way up, but here is the famous Heurfano valley shot, minus Blanca.
Lostsheep5 and I negotiate what I believe is Heurfano creek, and yes it was bitterly cold. By the time we were on the other side my feet were numb, and especially this early in the season with the spring runoff Eric suggested bringing a towel to dry off. I agree. (The 2nd picture was taken on the way back, we were all so wet from the rain we just walked through the creek without taking anything off)
photo courtesy of Eatinhardtack
Taken at 11,500ft we decided to take a short break, the route finding up until this point was a pain in the butt which is why I don't have any pictures of it. There was a lot of snow below treeline which didn't help at all, but Eric did a very good job route finding. (I doubt CFI has ever maintained this trail)
This was taken shortly after we broke treeline.
This picture was taken near the location of the last picture showing the Blanca basin. At this point I was starting to feel better about the hike, even though the rain was still falling, I could see the trail leading up to the saddle of the Iron Nipple and Mt. Lindsey which was motivating. (Even though I never saw Lindsey through the fog)
Taken near 13,000 looking down at the basin, most of the snow leading up to this point was kind of slushy due to the rain, but it was still cold enough that you didn't posthole too deep. It also made for some fun boot skiing.
Eric enjoying the views with an almost visible Blanca behind him.
Taken from the Iron Nip and Mt. Lindsey saddle, looking down at 13,000.
Zach and Eric happy to finally be on the saddle, and it was now getting cold enough to start to snow. This would be -in my opinion- a nice break from the rain.
Once we were near the the gulley on the north face of Lindsey my excitement about the lightly falling yet somewhat wet snow had been slightly calmed. Eric who knows a hell of a lot more about avalanches than I do, told me the snow was in what he called "wet slide" conditions. I was slightly nervous but he assured me the snow would still be in decent shape for climbing. He joked about being obsessed with the conditions of the snow, but I was thankful we had a diligent and careful hiker with us.
As with all of my pictures this was taken on the way down from the north face gulley. The snow was a little thinner near the top of the gulley making the possibility of a wet slide that much less. Zach is in yellow.
I slowly make my way up the 1st gulley
photo courtsey of Eatinhardtack
This picture was taken after the gulley. Notice the path of the slide crossing our bootprints.
This is one of the last gulley crossings before you hit the summit ridge.
Zach and his dog scout getting ready to descend from the summit ridge. You can't really tell, but he is flipping off the crappy weather.
I hear ya bro.
Looking down the summit ridge from the summit (This group of descending hikers was comprised mostly of 14er.com members, who I always enjoy meeting)
After a hard fought climb we finally managed to summit Mt. Lindsey.
From left Eric(Lostsheep5),Zach(Eatinhardtack) and me.
These 2 guys were a blast to hike with and even though we were wet, tired and had had it with the weather, we all agreed it was a good climb with a well earned summit. I learned a lot from these guys and I am looking forward to another hike with them. Zach, Eric you guys rocked it out!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):