| Saturday hike to Mt. Lindsey
My brother-in-law and 4 friends and I arrived at the Lily Lake Trailhead at 5:45, ready to head to Mt. Lindsey.
It was about 50 degrees, and we set off south on the trail.
Here is the view of the meadow (taken later in the day on the way back).
Columbine along the trail
You don't need get your feet wet at the normal crossing! ¾ of a mile from the trailhead, you will come to a fork in the road (mentioned in this websites' route description), where there is only a piece remaining of the wooden sign. Go left (due east) and you will find some logs across the Huerfano River which you can use to cross.
There are many trail segments along the first mile-and-a-half. Once you get above treeline it becomes much easier to find your way. After crossing the meadow, it was hard to find the correct trail, but as long as you keep following the Huerfano River (don't be confused by smaller streams that feed into the Huerfano), you will be fine.
It was great to have a compass on this trip- the best bet is just to keep heading south for the first mile rather than to trying to find the exact trail. After this, the trail follows a smaller stream that feeds into the Huerfano.
Looking back northwest. The tributary stream is visible.
Further up, the trail crosses over that stream.
At treeline, looking north
As we come up past treeline, the sunlight hits us and we see this basin, including "Huerfanito" to the south.
Heading southeast through the basin, we see "Iron Nipple" blocking the sun.
The trail turns east, and we catch our first glance of Mt. Lindsey.
At the top of the ridge, we get an awesome view of Lindsey!!
To the north, Iron Nipple can be seen.
…as well as Huerfano Peak, further to the northeast.
Continuing east, we arrive at the saddle between Iron Nipple and Lindsey.
We decide to head toward the "crux" that is the class 4 route (you can see the 2 climbers ahead of us who had just past that point). This ironically proved to be the safest route. In the couloir where you see the snow(the class 2 route), there were so many loose rocks that we would have been sending rocks down on each other the whole climb up.
Closer to the crux- it is the large flat-faced portion of the rock above my brother-in-law. There were a couple of scary moments of exposure, but for the most part this route was very doable, especially by looking ahead and carefully planning your route. We sort of took the route through the center crack and then headed left around the rest of it.
Above the crux, it was class 3 and not too bad.
This shot of the view down looks crazy- it actually didn't feel this steep while we were up there!
We climb up over the top and realize that it was a false summit (just as the route description states).
We headed over to the summit and spent about an hour there- it had taken us 4-and-a-quarter hours to summit.
We chose to head back down the standard, class 2 route down the couloir. If I had to do it over, I would choose that way again, but it was nerve-racking to tiptoe on all that loose rock and worry about sending rocks down on people below, or being hit by rocks sent from climbers above! Bringing a helmet for this route is a good idea. 3 of our guys wore them.
This shot is on the way down that couloir. There was some snow, but it should be melted soon and we really didn't use our iceaxes at all.
This is a view of Iron Nipple as we had almost gotten back down to the saddle.
By now it was about 12:15, and I decided to try to summit Iron Nipple. It took about 45 minutes to get up to the top and back to the saddle.
View of Lindsey
View of Lindsey from Iron Nipple- the true summit is the second from the right.
The view south from Iron Nipple. I believe Hamilton Peak is the one on the right.
We headed back down at 1:00. We left the saddle and headed down the basin.
Here's a shot of the Huerfano River.
We got back to the trailhead at about 3:15, so overall it took 9-and-a quarter hours, but we spent an hour on the summit of Lindsey and took a couple long breaks on the saddle. You could probably get up and back in 7 ½ to 8 hours, if you really wanted to and are in great shape!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):