Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,055 feet
"Huerfano Peak"  -  13,828 feet
Iron Nipple  -  13,500 feet
"Huerfanito"  -  13,081 feet
Date Posted:  10/02/2013
Modified:  10/23/2013
Date Climbed:   09/29/2013
Author:  bergsteigen
 Lindsey's Orphans   

"Huerfanito", Mt Lindsey, Iron Nipple, "Huerfano Peak"

Trailhead: Lilly Lake
Mileage: 11.06
Elevation Gain: 5,435'
Partner: Solo (by accident and wrong choice of vehicle), but guest appearances by Dave, Steve and Nick

After my day on California, I relaxed at my truck, grilling dinner (outside) and watching the hikers come and go. I noticed one white SUV with CN plates that was very clean, no mud puddles hit. I wondered how that was possible. It didn't seem like a fun way to drive. I waited for my partner to show, but I wasn't sure when she'd arrive. So I left a note on my windshield, so she wouldn't have to wake me up.

Next morning, no partner. Hmmm? Waited a bit, wrote another note, did a reorder of peaks, started up trail. Greeted the sunrise on the Blanca massif again. Still frosty!

Another day, another sunrise on Blanca and Ellingwood Pt

Made quick work of the lower trail in the chill morning air, though the stream crossing was pretty insane with verglace covering the logs. Snow/ice packed trail is intermittent in the trees as you make your way up the stream valley. Once you cross the stream, the snow is non stop and deeper (ice packed by end of day). On this side of the stream I met Dave and Steve and they convinced me to hike with them for a while until we parted ways for me to hike up Huerfanito. I decided that it would be easier to follow the ridge, than to contour talus hop on icy snowy boulders. Not much elevation gain is lost, and there is a semi rocky section for some spice (minor as it was).

Taking the ridge up to Huerfanito

Blanca and Ellingwood Pt

Ridge up Huerfanito

I wasn't sure if the ridge proper went, but the scree/talus gully looked worse, so I stuck with it. It was minor scrambling class 2+ at worst. Soon I was searching the false summit bumps for the real one, marked with a cairn on top.

Upper ridge on Huerfanito

Looking down ascent ridge

Pano from Huerfanito

Looking over at Lindsey from Huerfanito

On the summit, I got cell reception, and a voice mail from my partners that they were on their way last night (no reception at the trail head). So, they were around, but where? Not knowing where they were, I quickly traversed the scree and up to the saddle with Lindsey. Waited for a short bit, but as it was 11am, I decided to go "run up" Lindsey and see if they were there. So not many photos on the way up, but plenty on the way down. I helped 2 guys who bailed on the route get down the easier way on the side. That gully is now loose and snowy, so you don't know what you are stepping on, until it lets loose on those below. First time up this route, I went up the left side. This time I went up the right. Either works. Right side is very ledgy, so there a bit more zig zagging.

My missing partner and I wanted to do the 4th class ridge route, but as I was at this point solo, and the ridge looked like it still held a bit of snow, I opted out. After the crux section in the gully and ridge, I scrambled up to the ridge, just to do something a little different. Why not?

Looking back on Huerfanito

Lindsey looking a lil frosty

Iron Nipple and Huerfano

Starting up the North Face gully

On the summit I meet up with Dave, Steve and another guy I shall call clean car guy. Did my quick summit routine of clicking buttons, and turn around to go down out of the wind and cold. Ya'll are super lucky, since if it wasn't, there may have been a very very bad spoof dance video in the works. I didn't want to freeze my tongue to my ice ax.

On the way down I helped Steve through the harder sections, as it was safer and easier to scramble at the sides of the snowy gullies, than to stay in the center of them, even on the way down.

Blanca group from Lindsey

Looking down the upper section of Lindsey's standard route
Some snow to scramble with

Steve making his way down the scramble section
Steve sticking to the rocks

Overview of the crux gully
Zoom of loose snowy gully

At the saddle, I part ways with Dave and Steve, and make my way up the Iron Nipple. Funny that the one officially named peak, is the unranked one. But with a name like that, who wouldn't want to climb it? And its fun too. A knife edge to boot, right before the rocky summit. I didn't find any iron though.

Approaching the Iron Nipple, go through obvious notch

The Iron Nipple knife edge!

Looking at Lindsey from the Iron Nipple

Huerfano from Iron Nipple

After the 5 minutes of scrambling the Iron Nipple provides, its a talus stroll over to Huerfano. Nice views from this peak as well. Scoped out some snow lines on Lindsey to ski one of these days. Noted the very dry Spanish Peaks - How'd they miss that storm?

Spanish peaks are DRY!

Looking north from Huerfano

California group from Huerfano

Scouting my ski line on Lindsey

With the day getting longer, and the sun more westerly, it was time to depart. Sad to have missed CarpeDM on the summit by a day. Not often that you meet another person on a 13er! Of course, I thought that too soon, since on the return to the Iron Nipple, I ran into Nick. At first I though it was an illusion, but it wasn't. A real person on a 13er! So after a short chat, we go our separate ways.

Back at the Lindsey saddle, I take note of the much dryer appearance of the ridge. Darn, if my partners had shown up at that moment, I could have been tempted to go climb Lindsey again!

Lindsey melted a bit over the hot day

But alas, it was time to go down to my truck and go home. Back at my truck, I found a note from Dave and Steve, but none from Ute. It was only later that I found out that she had brought the wrong vehicle and didn't feel comfortable driving the last stretch of road with it. Another time, I guess!

I had yet another awesomely fun drive out hitting the mud puddles so it splashed over my truck. Giddy as a lil girl! What a fun day! On the drive back to I-25 I was greeted with an amazing sunset. Just the cherry on top!

Sunset pano over southern Wet Mountains

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

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Comments or Questions
missed by that much
10/02/2013 19:11
I had meant to hit Iron Nipple and ”Huerfanito” while I was up there, but the wedding/honeymoon layoff and the ridge from Pt 13,555* left me with nothing in the tank and a pounding head. (*that plus the extra 4 miles of walking the road that I hadn't planned for)

Sweet photos!
10/02/2013 23:51
Well Done and wonderful photos. Too many good ones to pick favorites. Great work!

back in the game
10/03/2013 14:02
2 TR's in one week... way to get back on the horse. these are on my short list. HOLY 1st picture!

10/03/2013 16:37
...account and lovely pictures! Except, of course, for the missing spoof dance video and your hallucination about meeting people on 13er summits - tsk-tsk!

I Man
You've climbed at least 2 14ers recently.
10/04/2013 00:38
Fun ones though. I think that road is the worst, not looking forward to some of the more obscure ones. Looks like yet another fun solo outing and the views of Blanca's Face and Ormes are amazing. Did you say hi to 'El Muerto' for James & I?

10/04/2013 19:04
Another great TR! I rarely look up peaks any more for info or pics. I just look up Bergsteigen and know I will be well rewarded. You NEVER disappoint.

Thanks :)
10/08/2013 21:13
CarpeDM - I accidentally signed the Huerfano register as the same date as you, as I didn't remember what day it was! Well, when you go back for Huerfanito, go the same way I did, ascending that scree from the Lindsey saddle would be horrid!

BostonBD - Snow makes everything prettier!

Natalie - For whatever reason, the pain of the approach, melts away as I ski down a peak. Maybe we can convince someone with a snowmachine to help out

Dillon - Beware, Winter is Coming! Yeah, that sunset was worthy of a stop and stare!

rajz06 - No one needs to see yet another bad wrecking ball spoof! Stupid local radio station! I had to purge the song by actually using my iPhone as a music player on the way down.

Matt - And I'll be on another 14er soon! I was staring at that face of Blanca both days. Had hoped to get Ute excited about those routes for next summer.

summitstep - I'm glad you enjoy the TR's!

10/24/2013 02:37
Wow! Love that first shot! Great report, strong effort, artistic imagery!

Sounds like
04/02/2015 19:45
The drive was way easier just a few weeks ago. I made it all the way up in my Subaru. Got Iron Nipple and Huerfano but I completely spaced out on Huerfanito. Those ski lines on Lindsey look sweet! But of course skinning all that extra mileage on the road will be a major pain.

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