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 Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
 Post Date:  05/11/2010
 Date Climbed:   05/08/2010
 Posted By:  globreal

 The Aloof Lindsey   

Mt. Lindsey: 14,042 Route: Standard with a diversion
(3.2 miles short of the Huerfano/Lily Lake summer TH/ Elevation: 9.950 ft.)
Crew: sgladbach, paulperea, globreal, Chipper, and Fepic1
Climb date: Saturday, May 08, 2010
Start Time: 4:22am
End Time: 6:56pm
Total Time: 14 ½ hours (total hiking/climbing/summit time)
Trip Length: 15.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,500 feet


This trip began on Friday, May 07th.. There were five of us going to do this climb together. Due to the long approach this time of year (snow covered Forest Service Road), we decided to camp out the night before. The snow stopped us 3.2 miles short of the summer (Lily Lake) TH at an elevation just below 10,000 feet.

Steve wanted to start at 3:30am. I was thinking 5:00am. So, we compromised and aimed for 4:00am….but didn't' get on the trail until 4:22am… from L to R: Britt (globreal), Steve (sgladbach), John (Fepic1), Collin (Chipper), Paul, (paulperea).
Image
Trail head


As we started off in the morning, the snow across the road and in the meadows was firm from the overnight freeze, which was great, no post holing! (At least not yet.) Me (on the right) and Collin taking a breather after about an hour's worth of hiking just as first light is happening. This is a long hike along the road on the way in.
Image
Hiking in-Collin and Britt (Photo by John Forshaug)


To the east there was some blue sky showing through however, to the west the clouds were causing some concern. That small nub just to the left of the prominent peak in the foreground is the Iron Nipple where our joining saddle is. (Lindsey is behind that foreground peak.) Our route took us just to the right of that peak in the foreground up a steep slope through the forest.
Image
Open meadow at first light (Photo by John Forshaug)


Once we crossed the snow covered Huerfano River and turned left, the route became quite steep. Paul is NOT having a concerned look on his face! In fact he WAS determined to summit this day after just recently being rejected by Little Bear.
Image
Heading up above the Huerfano River


Upon exiting the forest at treeline, the skies looked quite promising.
Image
Above treeline/below open basin


Coming into this open basin was beautiful. I think Cooper (Steve's Australian Shepherd who is really a mountain sheep in disguise), seems to like here.
Image
Enter basin (Photo by John Forshaug)


This is a look back down into this open basin. A ski down this chute would be awesome right now.
Image
Looking down lower basin (Photo by Paul Perea)


Once John caught back up with us, he gets his first view of Lindsey (right side of photo). That's the Iron Nipple in the center.
Image
John gets 1st view of Lindsey from basin


And it's from here looking south-west, that we got the most magnificent views of Blanca and Ellingwood Point.
Image
Blanca & Ellingwood (Photo by Paul Perea)


The sun is shining and the skies are looking promising. Steve seems to be enjoying the views.
Image
Steve at top of basin


As you can see, this west-facing slope is primarily a wind blown/snow free slope. So, we cached the snowshoes back down in the basin at 12,400 ft. As we are approaching the saddle that connects the Iron Nipple and Lindsey, Steve waits for me as I make some gear adjustments. (Excuse to take a break! Steve has more patience than anyone I know.)
Image
Britt & Steve below saddle (Photo by John Forshaug)


Finally reaching the 13,100 ft. saddle, John gets…
Image
John reaches the Iron Nipple-Lindsey saddle


…the view of our goal, Mt. Lindsey!

But which route? Do we take the really steep snow gully (Standard Route), or the Class 4 ridge with steep exposure? (1 dimensional photographs don't do the steepness justice! Pictures flatten out everything.) One slip in that gully could send you 70mph down into those rocks at the bottom. One slip on that vertical rock…well you get it.
Image
Mt. Lindsey from the saddle (Photo by Paul Perea)


The decision was made before I caught up to the team. Neither route. So crampons are going on and we're going around. Cooper wasn't worried (like we were) which route we took. In fact, he was napping.
Image
John & Steve put on crampons while Cooper naps


While it's going to add a couple extra miles/couple hundred extra feet of elevation gain, we head down and around to the east to be able to climb up a less steep snow gully. This route in Roach's book is Route 20.13 on page 181.
Image
Heading east around the summit cone


After reaching what we think is the skier's gully, we turn it uphill. In the bottom of this gully it's looking nice. We are getting some good kick steps in the spring snow and it's holding our feet in place well.
Image
Britt & John heading up our gully ascent


I think Steve is checking his watch and saying to himself, "crap, this is taking waaay longer than anticipated!"
Image
The gully is getting steeper...


And in fact, this gully felt just as steep as the route we avoided!
Image
and steeper!


And it's NOT the nice, wide, rock free slope we were expecting. We run out of snow and have to take off our crampons. Darn it. Then we had to put the crampons back on….and then take them off again for more rock. In fact, we actually ended up climbing Class 4, pretty steep rock on this route. Steve actually pulled out his rope to assist John as I think this was his first time on anything like this.

As it turned out, we turn up-mountain 2 gullies too soon. And during the Class 4 rock climbing we had to do, none of us thought to take our hands off of the rock to take any pictures. Sorry.

It's funny, now that I've done some roped-up, Class 5 rock climbing back in Colorado Springs, knowing that I'm roped in, it doesn't feel nearly as scary, as doing Class 4 rock climbing with no rope! Kinda like comparing the safety of a roller coaster to free wheelin' & flying on a mountain bike, where one slip and your hurtin'-4-certain!
Image
The snow runs out and rock scrambling begins



Once on the ridge-line, it was quit nice. Of course you had to watch your step, but the adrenaline wasn't flowing the same way here on the ridge. Steve seems to be enjoying the views while John follows.
Image
Steve & John reach the summit ridge


There she is…Mt. Lindsey. This photo is taken from what is called "Northwest Lindsey." I had to ask Bill Middlebrook where this mild summit really was. Most just call it "the false summit." The trek over to Mt. Lindsey is really fast and easy. Especially compared to all that we've been through to get this far. If you look carefully you can see Paul making a bee-line for the summit. (I think he had summit fever.)
Image
Paul leading the charge to the Lindsey summit


According to my GPS, this little jaunt was 7.46 miles one-way and it's taken us 8 ½ hours…and we were pooped. I know John is really excited to have made it, but he doesn't seem to have the energy to show it. Who knows why Steve is heading off to the San Luis valley. Cooper says forget it…not going that way!
Image
John, Steve, Cooper on the summit


The 4 stubborn bone-heads determined to summit…L to R, Britt, Steve (crooked bicycle helmet!), John, Peace-Paul, Cooper (saying, "Dad…let go of me!") Collin, being the humble man he is, was suffering from allergies and decided he didn't want to slow us down. So, he turned around just prior to the Iron Nipple-Lindsey saddle.
Image
Mt. Lindsey summit, 14,042 feet!


Britt (Me) holding Paul's (Gaby's actually) summit sign with the most ominous summit cloud!
Image
Britt under the ominous cloud (Photo by Paul Perea)


The Crestone's to the north. I'm sorry we didn't have more sunny-blue skies to show the splendor of this region. It really was spectacular even though these clouds makes it look kinda erie.
Image
The Crestones


We took the "correct" gully down which is the route the skiers usually take. It's in PRIME condition for a ski! It's the first gully, just to the north of the true summit, as you head back down the ridge towards Northwest Lindsey. You drop off to the east-side of the ridge. This gully, was quite steep during the top portion…so much so, none of us felt comfortable glissading up here. (In fact, the whole top portion of this mountain is very steep!) However, after 2-300 feet of elevation, the glissade became quite safe and fun. Cooper stays right behind Steve all the way down.
Image
Steve glissading with Cooper on his tail


I don't have the photo to show the bottom of this snow gulley, but it's really quite wide with a nice run-out…no rocks at the bottom to run into if you lost control of a glissade, (which I doubt would happen cuz of the declining slope angle as you get lower). It's just a matter of getting into the right gully if you are okay with taking this longer, yet safer route. It is a pain to re-climb the 150-200 feet back up to the saddle, but if safety is a priority, then it's probably greatest alternative in snow/winter conditions.

I'm sorry my camera didn't auto-focus correctly, but back in the basin on the west side of the saddle, I thought the heat-sink function of this giant rock was quite amazing.
Image
Heat effect


Back down of of the saddle and below the basin, we come back to the Huerfano River. However, this time of year, this was our route we hiked, on top of the Huerfano River!
Image
Huerfano River under a snow blanket


And back on the Lily Lake Rd. in the late evening, the post-holing became ugly. You see, the problem was, there were places where the road was melted out and then places where it was 3-4 feet deep in snow. So, it became of guessing game as to when to take off the snow shoes off and when to keep them on.

I hate the feeling, and the work that comes when the bottom just falls out of the snow. John here shows what hiking the road looked like. Argh!
Image
John on the road less traveled


A parting shot...at the end of the day. We didn't' get back to the vehicles until almost 7pm. A 14 ½ hour day of hard hiking and climbing. We were all toasted, done, out-of-gas…and very glad to be back safe and sound to the vehicles. I am grateful to God for one more successful, injury & trouble-free climb in this amazing, mountainous back-country that He has created.
Image
Good-bye back country. You've been kind to use today.


LAUS DEO!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
BillMiddlebrook


Looks like a fun day     2011-02-04 17:22:16
Great report! I've been considering a Lindsey ski and was wondering about the North Couloir. Was it continuous snow from the top? Thanks, Britt!


cbauer10


Long Day     2010-05-11 08:57:24
Glad you got the pictures worked out. I was looking at it before you had finished it and was hoping the pictures would come through. We met up on Horseshoe Britt. I was the one with the Husky.

Anyways, I was thinking about Friday up there. It is saying 20% chance of snow. It looks like this current storm is not going to hit Lindsey too bad, but I will keep an eye out. What would you say the temp was when you were up there? Was the post holing pretty bad on the road on the way out? I know you said you poked through, but was it constant post holing or just here and there? Did your snowshoes not help much with the post holing?

Thank you so much for the excellent TR. It is very helpful.


mountainmicah83


Sweet     2010-05-11 09:43:26
I‘m hoping to see similar conditions at EP/Blanca this coming weekend. Glad to see everyone summitted and returned safely!


devo


Nice Report     2010-05-11 10:06:59
Looks like you guys had a great albeit long day Britt. Let‘s get out soon.


Perea


Huerfano River     2014-04-18 13:27:32
Britt I was not aware we were on the Huerfano River part of the time I thought that was a road. Good thing the bottom didn‘t fall out there!


LIV


Well done, gentlemen!     2010-05-11 11:50:12
Nice work, Paul and group. Looks like some very good decisions were made by the group.


Presto


Wonderful report ...     2010-05-11 13:13:08
Always enjoy seeing Cooper on the climbs. Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


sgladbach


Thanks for the trip guys!!     2010-11-30 10:28:50
I had a great time. You are super partners!

Bill,

The summit ski descent is IN from the top. We did 850' down, but twice that is available if you are willing to climb out of the hole! Thanks to some day-tripper with chains,the road was open another 3/4 mile (1.5 off the RT)by the end of the day. I don't think your sled would be wise, it was pretty soft by the end of the day.

The ski descent is also a good ascent (even though we turned up too soon.) From the Iron Nipple saddle,drop 150-200' and keep traversing east until you reach a VERY broad couloir. I tried to mark it in the attached photo. Red route up. Blue route down (better route up anyway.)

cbauer10,

The morning approach had no postholing. The day's high was in the mid-40s. The road out was 15% postholing. Snowshoes were VERY helpful, but towards the end, there was lots of putting them on and taking them off. I think the cool temps for the weekend would be in your favor. Winds were from the SW and bad at the saddle, but the harder climing on the NE face was well protected.

NE Couloirs. Red Up/ Blue Down


Mooney Pilot


Excellent Report     2010-05-11 13:59:15
Lindsey is on my ”to do” list for this summer. (I‘m waiting until the snow melts).


slaggbottom


Great report     2010-05-11 16:27:12
Thanks for giving me another route to get excited thinking about this spring.


BostonBD


Awesome as usual!     2010-05-11 15:50:49
Great photos and trip report Britt!


benners


Good Looking Day     2010-05-11 16:20:28
and a great report. Thanks for posting!


Johnson


How many times?     2011-06-02 08:57:39
Great report. Wish I could have joined you AGAIN! How many times will I say this? One of these days we‘ll get one in together!


BillMiddlebrook


N Couloir     2010-05-11 18:39:45
Steve, thanks for the info! I didn‘t plan on the sled, but I did plan on two sets of chains. I‘ve been to the base of the N Couloir before so it will be familiar. Thanks so much!


Boggy B


Nice!     2010-05-11 19:56:55
Great photos and write-up, Britt!


Dancesatmoonrise


Hey     2010-05-11 20:11:31
Good, good, good!

: )


unclegar


Good work!     2010-05-11 21:19:34
Thanks for the beta. I am considering climbing this soon.


Yog


Great write up!     2010-05-11 23:10:31
lindsey looks fun as a snow climb! Great job and that summit photo with the ominous cloud is awesome! =)


TylerStorm


Sweet!     2010-05-12 01:14:18
I think I‘ll be checking that area out soon! Nice report! Great pictures. Take it easy!


Matt


Sorry to be aloof, myself     2011-01-18 20:38:48
This should have got my accolades before now.
Great job, Britt, Gladbach, and company! Glad you didn't fall through into the river.


Papillon


That is...     2010-05-12 20:14:23
one dark cloud, Britt. Congratulations on a successful ascent. It‘s amazing how photography ceases when one leaves his/her comfort zone. Best of luck on Snowmass, I look forward to reading about it.


vorticity


Exceptional Report     2010-05-23 18:38:28
I am going to hold off on Lindsay until the snow melts a bit more, but your report gives me several ideas of how I can make mine better in the future. Congratulations on a hard-won summit!!



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