Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Iron Nipple  -  13,500 feet
Date Posted:  08/20/2012
Modified:  08/23/2012
Date Climbed:   08/09/2012
Author:  MountainMedic
Additional Members:   BenfromtheEast
 Getting to Second with Lindsey  

Sangre 14er Trip, Day # 1

Climbers: Ben Shulman (BenFromTheEast), Tyler Prince (MountainMedic)
Peaks Climbed: Mt. Lindsey (Northwest Ridge), Iron Nipple
Weather: Not a cloud in the sky; no snow anywhere
RT Mileage: 9.25
Vertical Gain: 3800

Start Time: 0825
Summit Time: 1200-1300
Iron Nipple: 1430
Back at car: 1630

After missing a number of summits due to a broken ankle, this was the first mountain of the first trip designed to allow me to finish on Sneffels in September with the "Rat Pack." BenFromTheEast was kind enough to come along. Leaving Denver at 0415, we made it to Lindsey four hours later. The Lindsey access road isn't particularly challenging, although it is around 20 miles long and took us a good 45 minutes or so. We had hoped to start a good deal earlier, but oh well...

There was a stream crossing about a 1/4 mile in that required some route finding - the easiest option was to traverse the unstable logs just to the right of the trail. We wasted about 20 minutes with this crossing - just take the logs. After a number of other creek crossings, we finally started gaining altitude about a mile in. The trail gets extremely steep for a mile or so, after which it spits you out at tree line with a phenomenal view of both Lindsey and the wall that is Blanca. Once at tree line it's about an hour to the Lindsey/Iron Nipple saddle, and then just a quick scramble up to the summit. Once we hit the saddle, we donned our helmets and started scrambling. Ben and I agreed that the Northwest Ridge was one of the more fun routes either of us had done. The rock was extremely solid and there were plenty of options to make the route anything from class 3 to low class 5. With consistent Fisching (TM), we kept the route at class 4 most of the way, although I did manage to find a fun class 5 downclimb on the descent. Once on the saddle, it's mostly class 2-3 for around 15 minutes with 200-300 ft vertical gain. The actual "class 4" portion is extremely short - perhaps 40 ft vertical gain - and can be kept at class 3 very easily. Once over this crux, it's a 3 minute scramble up to the false summit, and then 10 minutes of class 2 to the actual summit.

Once up top, we hung around for an hour or so and took a variety of controversial pictures, some of which are posted here sans captions. After having the summit to ourselves for 30 minutes, we were joined by a couple other groups, several members of which were dead set on building a zip line to Ellingwood Point. Unfortunately, I don't think they succeeded. We headed back down the NW ridge with minimal difficulty and traversed over to the Iron Nipple, which offered some fun class 4-low 5 with a little searching. Near the summit was a minimally exposed knife edge somewhat reminiscent of Capitol's. Once on top, we discussed doing Huerfano, but opted out due to late start and big plans for tomorrow. After a quick walk down, we made it back to the car around 4:30 PM and wondered where the day had gone.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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