Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Post Date:  08/07/2009
Date Climbed:   08/04/2009
Posted By:  BMB1974

 mt lindsey- marmot attack!!!  

The alarm clock went off at 3:30. I promptly hit the snooze button for another ten minutes. By 4 o'clock I had coffee in the mug and hit the road.

I figured it would take about 2 hours to get to the Huerfrano trailhead. In reality it tool closer to three hours from salida. The guidebooks say that the last 6ish miles are passable for high clearance 2 wheel drive cars. I have a Mazda hatchback and it doesn't have high clearance and I got to within about half a mile of the end of the road. In a "high clearance" 2 wd car you should be fine.

07:11- Pass the Huerfrano trailhead sign. Go downhill for a minute and go through a meadow with a nice view of Blanca.
Any choice in trails, go left at this point. Cross the stream and follow a climbers trail through the woods up and along some talus. Think of it like a 30 minute stair master workout.

About an hour later I was in the basin with incredible views of Blanca and Ellingwood.Image

I saw three routes that I want to come back for, Ormes Buttress, Gash Ridge and the North ridge of Ellingwood all look amazing and I am surprised that they don't see more traffic.
Cross the basin on an obvious trail and head up a grassy ridge towards the ridgeline.
About an hour and a half from departing the trailhead I hit the saddle and could see the north ridge of Blanca laid out before me. It didn't look too bad at all. The first part some fun class 2+ along the lower part of the ridge. After gaining 500 vertical feet or so I came to the "steep" part. A small fin presents some good class 3 scrambling if you stay on the ridge right before the "crux".
looking down from the "crux" the fin is visible in the top of the photo
After coming down the fin the ridge becomes much steeper, maybe 60-70 degrees or so. You can pretty much choose any route up that you like. I stuck with climbers right, along the ridge on a black rib and found it to be class 4-.
The exposure isn't that bad and this section might be 150-200 feet high at the most.

After the crux it is a fun ridge walk to a disappointing false summit.
However I should warn you, on the false summit be wary of aggressive marmots!
Fight the Marmots and cross the ridge to the actual summit.

I hit the summit at 09:41- 2:30 minutes from the trailhead. I was surprised to find that my cell phone worked at the top and I made a quick call and headed back down. I started down the standard route and quickly regretted it due to copious amounts of scree. I really did not care for it and I traversed back over to the ridge, ending up right below the "crux". I would recommend coming back down the ridge as opposed to the scree-fest. From there it was an easy walk back to the car.

If you are thinking about exploring the world of class 3 / 4 I would recommend this route to you. The exposure isn't bad and if you don't like what you see you can go around it and still get a summit.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Crazy Marmot
08/07/2009 20:19
Damn!!! That marmot looks like one crazy asshole biting that paper!!! Just like my cat before he mauls me off of the spiral staircase! Cool pictures.


Damn marmots !
08/07/2009 23:24
I was on Lindsey‘s summit a few weeks ago. No sooner did I set my pack down to get some food and two marmots were fighting over my pack (which was right at my feet). After having my handles chewed off my Black Diamond trekking poles a couple weeks earlier, I was about ready to punt one of those damn things off the summit and see how he likes that nasty scree in the gully.....
I also climbed the NW Ridge - definitely the way to go !


Yeah, Marmots!
08/08/2009 03:42
The little guys were out like crazy on 7/31 too.He tried to sneak a powerbar. Fortunately he got busted, I‘d hate to see one amped up a little.


Very cool....
08/14/2009 01:56
Heading to bag Mt. Lindsey next weekend. Enjoyed your report and the marmot warnings. Looks like an awesome hike.

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