| Perfect Day on Mount Lindsey
What a perfect October weekend to climb a peak! After multiple camp-outs this year, we decided to stay in a hotel in Westcliffe. The Antler Motel was cheap, warm, and slightly nicer than a tent.
We left the hotel at 5:00 am, and it took almost exactly 1.5 hours from Westcliffe to the trail head. Make sure you have a good map or directions, because it can get confusing, especially in the dark.
Arriving at the trailhead, it was a crisp 27 degrees F, but with no wind, it felt nice. We took off down the trail, and these were our first views:
First meadow, Blanca in the background
Spiky ridge from Lindsey to Blanca
Frosty stream at about 11,000 feet
The view of Blanca was amazing! What a beautiful North Face! With snow on it, it reminded me of the Eiger North Face. It must be climbed! (Maybe next year):
Blanca looms above the "small but beautiful basin"
Upon entering the "small but beautiful basin", we saw Lindsey "peaking" at us from behind the ridge:
Lindsey "peaks" from behind the ridge
The slog up from the basin to the ridge is a straight shot, 1,000 VF climb. We made pretty good time, doing it in 45 minutes. Here are some views from the shoulder:
View back down to the basin from the grassy shoulder
View of Lindsey from the grassy shoulder at 13,000 feet
So we were a little nervous about how much snow the north face would have on it, but it wasn't as much as I expected. However, on class 2-class 3 climbing, it can be a little hairy. We had rope but never needed it, but we did use our ice axes on occasion. This is the start of the class 2-1/2 trail:
The North Face
Class 2-1/2 section begins
My son James (15 years old) stayed true to the ridge the whole way. He is a 5.12 rock climber, so even without rope he was OK. He said some parts of the beginning of the ridge were definitely class 4-5. If you go into the gully and then head south, you can connect to the ridge much easier, and stay class 3. With snow on the steps, it felt a little more class 4. At about 13,700 feet the ridge starts to look like this:
James coming up the class 4/5 section of the ridge
The class 3 section of the ridge
We crested the "final" summit at 14,000 feet, and realized the "actual" summit was still about 1/4 mile away! The traverse is pretty easy, and this can be avoided if you don't stay true to the ridge, but use the class 2-1/2 trail to the left (north) of the ridge. Darned false peaks!
View of Lindsey from the false summit
We were hoping to summit by 11 am, but it turned out to be 11:15. Talk about a beautiful view and beautiful weather! It was 52 degrees, sunny, and windless! Tee shirt weather!
Little Bear, Blanca, and Ellingwood loom in the distance
We ate our lunch, and then headed back down. We went back down the class 2-1/2 marked trail, and with the snow, the down climb was a little hairy. I got out my rope to rappel a nasty section, but it was tangled, so we just bailed down it. Not too bad when all was said and done. We got back to the car at 2:30, happily tired and satisfied at our perfect weather, with NO traffic on the mountain. Pretty sweet.
Back at the starting meadow, looking back
The road home
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):