I was really looking forward to this climb! I was mostly looking forward to the challenge and fun of taking on more difficult terrain. With the last .5 mile of the route class 3 scrambling, I was excited to don the new helmut and put my nimbleness to the test.
We started the hike at 6:00am. Our group of three consisted of myself, my roommate BCNpatrick and our good friend Greg. For Patrick, it was his 35th summit, Greg's 6th and my 30th (20th of the season!)
The trail was great the whole way up, and started off rather mellow. I'm a big fan of the hikes that allow me to stretch my legs first. The Aspens were in full swing and I was reminded of how much I adore hiking this time of year. The cool air, the sweet, rich scent of pine, even the slightly offensive smell of decay that lingers, it's an olfactory smorgasbord!
Aspens glowing in the distance
As the sun rose, so did the terrain. And it kept going, up! There were some really cool purple and green colored rocks along the trail.
Huerfano Basin is beautiful. Once we reached the saddle between Lindsey and The Iron Nipple, the rest of the route becomes more visible. We reached the saddle about 9:00am.
Lindsey with a little sun glare
As we approached the northern face of Lindsey, we were able to see the gully we needed to climb and it looked daunting. From where we stood, it looked REALLY steep!
We strapped on our helmuts, gloved up and steadily and methodically had at it! We had read several trip reports that describe the gully as difficult Class 2 if you take the route up through the scree and loose rock. We decided to climb the more stable rock just to the right of the scree.
staying to the side of the screeThis was not only safer (less rock falling to unsuspecting climbers below) but more fun as well! The rock was stable and offered many options for hand holds.
Greg and Pat
As we ascended, we realized that it was not as steep as it appeared from a distance. So don't be discouraged if this class of climbing is new to you.
We finally reached the summit at 10:15am and had it all to ourselves. It was such a perfect climbing day, combined with the added pleasure of challenging ourselves technically, we revelled in the moment.
Greg and myself on top
It took me 2 days, but I finished it!
We started our descent at 10:45am with the understanding that the hard part was still to come. There were quite a few more loose rocks freeing themselves on the way down. Quite often, even with taking great care, a few tumbled down out of our sight. We made sure to call below in case there were any hikers below. I highly recommend wearing a helmut on this climb.
Pat using whatever body part necessary to downclimbOnce out of the gully we were pleased to be on stable ground. We reached our campsite at 1:00pm. So we had a 7 hour RT.