Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  07/14/2011
Date Climbed:   07/08/2011
Author:  ChrisM
 Standard Route Class 2+X = ?  

I left the S. Colony Lakes TH around noon and went to Westcliff to find a shower and lunch. It was a great feeling to be washed and wearing clean clothes! I had a burger at Edwardo’s while watching tourists and traffic. I finally tore myself away from civilization and arrived at the Lily Lake TH around 4pm. The plan was to meet someone, with more experience than me, at the TH the next morning and we would climb Lindsey together. I mentioned that I might start earlier than her 6am arrival and that I am sure she could catch up.

After a couple of hours, I had prepared my gear for the climb and was getting ready to fix dinner when a regular car showed up at the TH. I was amazed that the driver could navigate the rocks and road to make it that far. I met the very nice couple, Todd and Sonia, from Texas, and they, too, were planning on climbing Lindsey the next day. So, we decided to climb together as long as we didn’t inconvenience each other. I had two radios, so I would leave a note on the car and a radio for the late comers to contact me with.

It seemed to rain most of the night. All the dust on the car had been washed off. That was a nice treat! I set the alarm for 4 am, but couldn’t budge out of my warm bag for several minutes. My Texas friends started stirring, too, and we were on the trail by 5:20am. The sky was mostly clear except for a few clouds scattered around and some haze, but the stars were out and the breeze was calm.

From this sign, the trail drops into a beautiful valley with lush grass and lots of trees on a fairly flat trail.

This route has a sneaky start and later, it get’s exciting.

Here’s the named route sign, but you want to go straight on the unnamed route. Maybe it should be called the Lindsey Summit Trail!

The first part of this route descends to a huge level area with lush greenery and trees. One of the most beautiful approaches I’ve seen. I was with one of the toughest Texans I think I had ever met. On the major stream crossing, Sonia slipped on a waterlogged dead tree and got both her feet wet. Ugh! I waited for her to head back to the TH, but she never complained and pressed on. Hiking with wet feet can’t be a good thing, or we’d all be doing it! I was impressed.

Still below treeline, winding through the woods, the trail takes us up a gully with a awesome view of a stream

Didn’t have time to explore this mine. Looked pretty interesting, though.

Looking down the gully and into the drainage below.

Lost the treeline somewhere in the gully.

The trail leveled off for it’s last tease, a beautiful tundra area and a small boulder field.

We get to a gully still under treeline and follow that for awhile and then enter a large bowl of grasses and a good size boulder field. This is where the “vacation” is over and the climb begins.

Almost on the saddle between Iron Nipple and Lindsey, you can see the ridge and the final summit push right on the left side, or North Face.

Reaching the saddle between Iron Nipple and Lindsey was hard work, but not nearly as hard as what was to come. The person who was supposed to meet me somewhere on the trail had not called or joined us yet, so I was wondering what had happened. Todd and Sonia were showing sign of fatigue, but neither of them were letting up.

We’re on the ridge and have a great view of the remaining route on the North Face

The ridge has a little wind block for folks contemplating their future on the north face of Lindsey. Good thing, because it was a little too windy to be comfortable. The three of us sat there for a few minutes studying the face, the maps and route description. I was seriously considering watching Todd and Sonia climb and wait for them. We talked about the route a little and decided we could see it better from the base of the first gully. We followed a fairly decent trail to the gully where you could see scree in the middle and solid rock on the sides.

The first and largest gully. I was unable to bring out the camera during the journey up due the problem of only having two hands.

It looked steep, but doable, so we began our upward journey. Todd being the lead route finder with Sonia and I trading places once in awhile.

I found the experience somewhat terrifying, but exciting. All I knew was to hold onto tested rock at all times. Testing and holding on, then find moving feet up. Finding handholds didn’t seem difficult and once in awhile I would have to shift left or right a little. We got through the notch alright and then looked at the next gully to the left in which we had to ascend next. Being shorter than the first, but similar in nature, we were able to get to the top of that one easy enough. Then the final pitch or so we thought. It turned out to be a false summit; however, the hike to the final summit was short and sweet. All the time going up, I was thinking about how in the world was I going to get down! We summited at 10:56am.

All smiles signing the register.

After a brief rest on the peak, I was getting antsy to get down due to some clouds looming around the mountain. The last thing I wanted was to be caught in the rain before reaching the saddle. That would add a dimension to climbing that I would rather not have.

The down climb was uneventful and, as usual, you can see the trail segments and cairns a lot better on the way down.

At the notch in between gullies, I was trying to show, in this shot, how steep it was.

I don’t usually pose for pictures, but I was pretty proud of this achievement. Nearly out of the “Danger Zone” and into the transition where it’s saf

The large gully is clearly visible from the ridge, as it fades away, you have to move over to another shorter gully to the left and then after that gu

My climbing partners, Todd and Sonia. Their encouragement enabled me to jump the gap between walkups and climbups

A fairly fast pace on the way down and through the woods and back up to the TH. Sonia got her feet wet again on the way back, but by now, it was a good laugh. We made it to the TH at 3:18pm with a 9:58 hour roundtrip climb time.

Where would we be if we didn’t take time to admire the flowers?

The last part of our trail going back up to the TH off to the right somewhere.

The end of a great day…now for the drive home.

We said our goodbyes and swapped email accounts so that when Todd and Sonia come back, we can climb together again. This was an awakening, and enjoyable time.

I included my gpx file of the route. Maybe someone can tell me if we wandered off the class 2+ route.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

07/15/2011 03:57
Those pictures take me right back to my experience with Mt. Lindsey a couple of years ago. That gulley sure makes for an interesting experience, especially going back down. Enjoyed your report!

Doctor No

Always love Lindsey!
07/15/2011 05:20
I took the gully down, but climbed up the ridge (see my Lindsey report for details).

Although it was class four, I definitely preferred the solid rock of the ridge (downclimbing class four was another matter entirely, so I took the loose gully. )


07/15/2011 12:09
You have had an impressive summer thus far, sir. I enjoy your reports and your obvious embrace of the mountains. Keep it up!


07/16/2011 03:48
Lindsey is beautiful, both the approach and the peak itself, isn't it. I don't think you were off route. That peak is pretty tough for a 2+ rating. Everyone I talked to the day I was on it said the same thing.

What's next? Sneffels' standard route is pretty comparable in difficulty, and also a beautiful hike. I haven't done KC/Challenger but my impression is it's in the same ballpark.

I love reading about climbers with more ”life experience” reaching new goals in the mountains. (I'm 54, climb with brother age 56.)


nice sense of humor
07/17/2011 22:05
I sometimes wish that I had a third hand for photo taking. Having only two can be a problem at times!
Nice work, maybe you can lead me up a peak sometime soon?
See you in a week...

Jim Davies

the third hand
07/18/2011 02:17
Nice TR! My wife and I climbed Lindsey yesterday. I noticed that I didn't take any pictures on the crux portion of the ridge, or in the gulley on the way down either. Funny how that happens...

I also mentioned to her that every trip report has a picture of that mine shaft. I took one on the way up and another on the way down.


Thank you for your encouraging words
07/27/2011 13:06
I really enjoyed your feedback! We face a lot of challenges in life and how we take them on is a product of who we are. If one does the best they can, no matter what the outcome, there can be no finer quality of a person. Experience shapes us and enables us to do things, we really thought we couldn't.

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