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I had read a few trip reports about the hike up Mt. Lindsey and expected it to be somewhat difficult. It was a bit more difficult than I expected so thought I would present this trip report from the "old guy" perspective.
After seeing the poor weather report for the Mt. Massive area, I decided to hike Mt. Lindsey for my 26th peak. Frankly, I had put this one off due to the descriptions of the upper climb and the pictures I had seen posted.
The drive down from Colorado Springs Saturday morning was mostly uneventful, but I messed up and missed the turn-off for the "unnamed county road" just outside of Gardner. By the time I realized what I had done and then backtracked, it was 0745 before I began the hike. I did get to see some Elk with their young and several deer as a result of my diversion.
The start of the hike was beautiful going through a meadow area with spectacular views.
I had brought along an old pair of tennis shoes for the river crossing. I was pleased to find that they were not necessary. With a little balance work, you can now cross on rocks and logs. This is where the "old guy" perspective comes in. The hike up through to tree line is beautiful but begins the steep ascent. I don't remember reading about this in other reports, but the trail remains steep for the lion's share of the remaining hike (I know, quit whining). The views are beautiful along the cascading streams and almost help you to forget the climb.
The basin at the top of the first steep area is beautiful and you get to see the remaining distance to Lindsey's peak as it just pokes over the ridge.
After moving through the basin (a nice break from the ascent), the trail gets steep again until you reach Lindsey's northwest ridge. The climb along the ridge is not bad. Once you reach the base of Lindsey's summit, the fun begins! Fortunately, many of the previous trip reports warned of the loose rock on the climb from here. They were right! The climb is steep and compounded by the very loose rock. Stay to the right of the chute and the rock is more stable. Keep on your guard though. While I was climbing, back down someone broke loose a large boulder, which became a small landslide. Fortunately, everyone was yelling warnings and people were able to scramble out of the way.
After the chute, the rock is more stable, but I did not expect the false summit before the peak. From there the rest of the hike was easier. The views from the top were beautiful.
The hike down goes slowly at first. Going back through all that loose rock is hazardous; especially for those below. Again, staying to the side of the chute is advised.
I was again reminded on this hike of how easy it is to talk with fellow hikers. On the way up I was leap-frogging with Alison (sp?) and her group. They were nice enough to let me tag along with them for most of the hike back down. This was Alison's first 14er, but you could not tell by her ability to tackle this mountain. Way to go Alison!
On the way down there was some debate about whether this creature was a Bighorn Sheep, or Mountain Goat. What do you think?
Anyway, this is the report from my perspective. Mt. Lindsey was a beautiful hike but definitely a challenge for eight miles. I put in the log that this was #27 for me, but the altitude must have gotten to me. Mt. Lindsey was #26 and Mt. Massive next Saturday will be #27. Happy hiking all!
"Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was." Dag Hammarskjold
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