Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  07/18/2007
Modified:  05/13/2013
Date Climbed:   07/17/2007
Author:  benners

 Mount Lindsey: Northwest Ridge  

Peak: Mount Lindsey, Sangre de Cristo Range
Date Climbed: Tuesday July 17, 2007
Group: Dad and I
Route: Northwest Ridge from Lily Lakes TH

After a BIG day in the Blanca Group, Stu left for Boulder (work) and I met my Dad at a hotel in Alamosa. The plan was to sleep in Alamosa and head out for Lindsey early the next morning. We woke up at 3:30am and discovered that the Lindsey trailhead was about two and a half hours away (I didn't do my research very well on this one). Anyway we checked out of the hotel and headed for Walsenberg. Just before arriving at the Aspen River Ranch, we hit a deer going about forty and dented the side of the car pretty badly (the deer was stunned but ran off so I am assuming it was alright). Besides a big dent and some deer fur sticking out of the seams of the driver side door, the car still functioned fine. We arrived at the trailhead at 7:30am and began trekking through the dense foliage.

Blanca Peak from the meadow half a mile in

The trail follows the Huerfano River for a bit and then cuts south up a gulley. After a mile or so the gulley becomes a massive basin with rolling green hills and peaks all around. The Iron Nipple and Mt. Lindsey come into view upon arrival at this basin.

The trial winding up a grass slope, Mt. Lindsey's summit cone behind the ridge

My Dad and I enjoyed the views all around and took our time through this area. This was one of the most beautiful hikes I have done and it was awesome to share it with my Dad.

My Dad and I in the basin we dubbed "Scotland with huge peaks"

We began the ascent up the grass slope which would eventually top out on the Iron Nipple/Lindsey saddle at 12,900 ft. My Dad and I arrived on the saddle and I prepared for the final thousand feet while my Dad set up his telescope (he loves to watch Stu and I climb steep stuff and summit mountains from good vantage points).

Dad heading up the grass slope

Blanca and the shadow of Lindsey from the Nipple/Lindsey saddle

I headed off for the Northwest Ridge which, given what Stu and I done the previous day, did not seem very intimidating. I did end up feeling the previous days efforts in my quads however.

Mt. Lindsey, the Northwest Ridge is on the right leading all the way to the summit

I basically stayed directly on the ridge all the way to the summit. There were a few mildly exposed sections and one Class 4 segment but for the most part the ridge seemed to stay at Class 3. The one Class 4 section was the crux wall, I opted to head straight up it which entailed about twenty feet of climbing.

Looking up the ridge, the crux wall can be seen near the top

In the middle of the crux wall looking up at the second half

Once above the crux the route became a walk up to the false summit.

Looking down the ridge from above the crux wall

Once on top of the false summit, the Northwest ridge route connects with the standard route, it took less than ten minutes to reach the actual summit from the false summit.

The actual summit seen from the false summit

I summited at 11:00am and dark clouds were already forming in the area. My Dad communicated over the radio that he was starting his descent from the saddle. I took a quick summit shot and headed out, passing several people still on their way up.

Mt. Lindsey summit, Blanca and Ellingwood in the background

Some nastiness forming above me

I caught up with my Dad and we descended back to the car, arriving at 1:30pm. It rained on our way down which cooled off the area. We then drove to Subway in Westcliffe and re-fueled on some tuna/veggie subs, during which we set in motion the plan for the next trip to my finishers, the Crestones!

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