| Lindsey a few thoughts
First of all thanks to Eric and David from Tulsa for teaming up w/us to navigate the maze of trails and find the correct way up the valley to the basin below the ridge to Lindsey. Also thanks to Drew from Bloomfield for showing us the way down the couloir on the descent.
My wife Bobbi and I drove into the Huerfeno trail head on Friday night and reached the end of the road at about 7:00. I was totally surprised by the fact that we were able to drive the Subaru Forester all the way to the end, a couple of yrs ago we got as far as about 200 yards or so from the trail head and had to back down, there must have been some work done on the road since then, I would say pretty much any 2 wheel drive could make it.
It was raining pretty steadily by the time we stopped and parked so we just arranged ourselves in the car to settle in for a hopefully a good nights sleep. I will not go into the details but my wife managed to get her little toe twisted and actually broke it, I was very disappointed at that point that she may not be taking the trip w/me....we had been in to Lindsey 2 x‘s before and chased off the mtn by weather.
I will not go into the greater details of the whole trip but just give some of the things that I think may be helpful to anyone making the climb. There are many very good reports out there already.
1. Start early....weather, route finding, etc., we got about a 5:30 start, it took 4 1/2 hrs to reach the summit but we were moving much slower b/c of my wife‘s toe....man is she tough.
2. Navigating the maze of trails that lead in to the valley and ultimately up into the basin can be confusing. The first sign you are on the right track is when you get to the Lily Lake cut-off a little bit more than a mile in, stay straight or left(you need to watch carefully b/c the sign is actually gone except for a small piece). After that there is some confusion that leads some people up through scree, talus and boulders and makes for a lot more work than need be. Eventually you will bump into the the rock field, make sure to skirt around it and as soon as you see it is above and to the left of you, start to head up. We crossed the Huerfeno River once but made 3-4 very small stream crossings. Once you are started up the side of the mtn its pretty easy to follow the trail. If you happen to follow along the river too far and start coming to some very small open meadows you are still okay, the trail will take you up to where you need to be. If you choose the talus slope, it will take longer. A couple of pretty fast climbers took off 40 minutes before we did and we made the basin before them(remember the broken toe).
3. Take the ridge route :-) It is fun and not nearly as exposed as many have written. I should say not the route we went anyway. If you stay right on the ridge I imagine it can be very exposed, we stayed below the crest on the left side. If you stay too high on the ridge or on the ridge proper you will eventually run into a Class 4 down climb right before the head wall crux.
4. The crux or head wall. Its a very easy Class 4. It looks far more intimidating than it really is. The pics on route description posted on this sight show the 3 alternatives to getting over it, we went straight up the middle and about 5‘ - 6‘ from the top we just went left and stepped out onto the top just left of center. The rest of the way was very easy, the false summit close ahead and then a short 5 to 10 minutes over to the real summit.
5. I would take the ridge down if I ever do Lindsey again. We went down the couloir and actually did not find it as bad as some others have thought it was. We never really went into the couloir itself really and stayed on the more solid rock to the left. I suppose if you ascend this route that is the way to go as many have written. We did not kick anything more than a couple of very small rocks down. It is shorter to go the couloir than the ridge I think, but not much.
That‘s my 2 or 3 cents :-) It was a great mtn, liked the valley, very pretty....our descent was as slow as the up for us, tougher on my wife‘s toe on the way down :-( But we got the peak done....our trips out from WI are precious to us.
Bill‘s pics of the route are excellent in the route section for the ridge so I will not post any that we took.