Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  09/03/2012
Modified:  09/05/2012
Date Climbed:   07/28/2012
Author:  HarknessHooligans
Additional Members:   marie123, kushrocks
 NW Ridge - 1st Class 4 route   

Started trailhead at 3:30am
Back to car at 12:30pm

Side note: The dancing video we took on the summit, I submitted to "So You Think You Can Dance" and they aired it on 8/15 for National Dance Day! Did anyone see it??? Totally cheesy but we still had a good time. If you missed it you can rewatch episodes online.

We met up with kushrocks, marie123 and their other friend Jason at the trailhead for the first time Friday evening. Thank you kushrocks for reaching out to us to join your group! is such a great site.

We started hiking at 3:30am through the forest with headlamps and got off route once or twice. The trail through the forest gains elevations quickly. It was a bit steeper than I was expected, but not too bad. The sun started coming up when we were hiking through the valley before topping out on the ridge.
The valley before the ridge (photo by: kushrocks)

almost to the ridge


pointing to the crux wall (the shadowed area to the right of the summit)

We followed a faint trail below the left side of the ridge and eventually had to work our way to the top where the trail began to turn into scrambling. The next photo shows the crux wall and we stayed left of the crack as we scrambled.
You can see some of our group up ahead


Once we got on the ridge we mostly stayed on top and the scrambling was a lot of fun. The route says to drop down left off the ridge when you are about 50 feet from the crux wall. Even though we knew this, it still seemed to creep up too quickly and we found ourselves at the sharp points. We climbed over and down the sharp point which was a class 4 move. I definitely thought this was the hardest part of this entire route, even harder than the crux wall.
Ryan & Jason waiting for me to catch up. This is before we climbed over the sharp point. The crux wall is behind them.

As most trip reports state, the crux wall is intimidating from far away, but soon enough you are already half way up the wall before you even realize you were climbing it. Honestly, the wall wasn't bad at all (if you are comfortable with Class 3). It was good scrambling on very solid rock. I was so focused on my moves that I didn't notice the great exposure around me. I thought that Kelso ridge was more exposed. When you approach the wall, we hiked left of the large crack. If you scout out your moves, you can keep the scrambling at a descent level.
Matt giving me a boost (since my legs were cramping) (photo by: kushrocks)

Part of the crux wall

Yes, Sophie, the super dog, made it up this route. She was amazing! (photo by: kushrocks)

Soon enough we were on top of the wall and heading over to the true summit. I really enjoyed the rock scrambling on the Class 4 route and would definitely recommend it to anyone. If you need any comparison to see if you are ready for that level, my only class 3 experience before this route was Kit Carson, Longs (keyhole), and Kelso Ridge to Torreys. My only major issue on the route was cramping. Before we got to the sharp point and the crux wall, I got a charlie horse in my calf. It was the worst cramping pain I have ever experience. I had to sit for at least fifteen minutes before it subsided and even then it kept trying to tense back up. I took every move after that very slowly. My hiking group was so great. They waited for me and kept an eye out the rest of the way up.
showing the rest of the route to the true summit


I think we summited no later than 9am but I am not 100% sure. The weather was beautiful! I even got our new hiking friends to dance with us on the summit for National Dance Day!
Funny summit pic (photo by: kushrocks)

First Class 4!

Little Bear and Blanca are seen behind me. It was cool to be in their presence.

After dancing and crazy summit pictures we left for the Class 2+ descent. I did not like the gulley at all. We stepped very carefully so we would not knock any rocks down.

The crux of the gulley; we stayed as left as we could to stay on more stable rock

The rest of our group waiting for me and Matt

The gulley route was much worse and took much longer than expected. After a nasty gulley descent, we were finally back at the ridge and quickly making our way back through the forest. It was beautiful scenery! Its always a unique experience on the descent to get to see the trail that you hiked through that morning in the dark. This is one of the more scenic places I have hiked. We managed to cross the river both ways without using the watershoes that we had brought. The hiking poles definitely helped with balance. We made a quick pace back to the car and arrived around 12:30pm.


crossing the stream without the watershoes


Overall, Lindsey was tough for me mainly because of how bad my muscles were cramping that day. I had severe cramps in every muscle from my hip flexers all the way down to my toes. Literally every muscle in both legs cramped at some point in this hike. It took me at least a full week for my calf to loosen back to normal. Minus the cramping, Lindsey is an amazing hike and the Class 4 route was incredible. I would definitely hiked that route again....but not sure I would ever descend that gulley again. I didn't really find the wall to be all that difficult. Just take each step at a time and you will soon be at the top. The exposure is airy, but exposure is relative and effects everyone differently. The exposure didn't bother me at all on this hike. But I could see how it was really make it difficult for someone who is more afraid of heights. It was all solid stable rock and I felt very safe the entire route. This is a great intro to Class 4 as every else has suggested.

Thank you kushrocks, marie123 and Jason for letting me and Matt join your group. You guys are amazing! We look forward to more adventures with you.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Vermont Mike
Beautiful Valley Isn't It?
09/04/2012 09:15
I haven't been up Lindsey yet but I climbed California from the same spot. One of my favorite spots in the Sangres! Congrats on your first Class 4 route, hopefully there's many more in your future 8)

09/04/2012 12:52
That's awesome that your video got aired! That is one heck of a dog too!
I see you descended the standard route, would you have preferred to descend the ”wall”?
I find whenever this site says ”difficult class 2” it means that it's going to involve a scree slog.

the descent
09/04/2012 15:11
I think descending the wall is doable. I wouldn't do it alone. I hated the class 2 descent. Both routes have their risks. I haven't seen many reports on hikers descending the NW ridge so I'm not sure how much more difficult it would be than ascending. But it would be worth doing some more research to see if it is something you'd want to do.

I Man
09/04/2012 15:41
Very exciting and awesome to see that you finally got out on the NR Ridge on Lindsey and looks like you did a great job!
Ryan and Annie are awesome people...must have been a fun trip

Love the group photo!
09/04/2012 16:21
Saw the dance video. We need more like those posted on here!

So much fun!
09/04/2012 16:37
My fiance and I hiked this yesterday. I agree - the exposure on the ridge and crux wall didn't scare me at all but like you said, it's all relative. We also descended the gully, though we ended up in the wrong one at first. We traversed our way over to the correct one and I agree with you - it was terrible! Made me wonder if down climbing the ridge would have been better... great trip report!!

For the record
09/05/2012 15:40
I didnt dance on the summit because if I try and dance people think I am retarded. But I must say my video taping skills had to be the reason the video aired. That is so awesome the video was on National TV.

Great getting out with you guys and looking forward to next time. So when is the TR for Crestone Peak coming out? I still have to send you guys some picutres for that.

Crestone Report
09/05/2012 16:18
I already have the script typed, now all I have to do is put it together with photos and post. If you send me those pics in the next couple days, I will wait until I receive those before posting. I still need to send you pics from both Lindsey and Crestone too. I will try to get those to you soon enough!

Fun hike!
09/05/2012 17:48
That was such a fun day! It was awesome meeting you both, and we can't wait to hike more with you guys! I would really recommend this route to anyone - it is a very straightforward beginner class 4 route. As for the descent, I would probably climb back down the ridge if I did it again. Again, it depends on how comfortable you are downclimbing class 4, but it seemed to be only a few class 4 moves, and they were relatively unexposed. The move that is most exposed (in my opinion), was a lateral move before the crux, so that would be about the same in either direction.

Peak report
09/05/2012 19:10
Great TR! Can't wait to see the one from Crestone Peak.

So You Think You Can Dance?
09/21/2012 00:26
I'm really impressed your video made it on television. Great work and way to accept the challenge!

scott goldberg
the ridge rocks!
01/24/2013 15:47
a great TR!!! i had a blast on that ridge in June, and your photos really remind me what a special place it is...

as a side note, Alicia, we also descended the ridge, and it is as much fun coming down as it is going up! Much better than the gully, IMO.

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