Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  10/20/2010
Date Climbed:   10/15/2010
Author:  mtndude3737
 Perfect Day on Mount Lindsey  

What a perfect October weekend to climb a peak! After multiple camp-outs this year, we decided to stay in a hotel in Westcliffe. The Antler Motel was cheap, warm, and slightly nicer than a tent.

We left the hotel at 5:00 am, and it took almost exactly 1.5 hours from Westcliffe to the trail head. Make sure you have a good map or directions, because it can get confusing, especially in the dark.

Arriving at the trailhead, it was a crisp 27 degrees F, but with no wind, it felt nice. We took off down the trail, and these were our first views:
First meadow, Blanca in the background

Spiky ridge from Lindsey to Blanca

Frosty stream at about 11,000 feet


The view of Blanca was amazing! What a beautiful North Face! With snow on it, it reminded me of the Eiger North Face. It must be climbed! (Maybe next year):
Blanca looms above the "small but beautiful basin"

Upon entering the "small but beautiful basin", we saw Lindsey "peaking" at us from behind the ridge:
Lindsey "peaks" from behind the ridge

The slog up from the basin to the ridge is a straight shot, 1,000 VF climb. We made pretty good time, doing it in 45 minutes. Here are some views from the shoulder:
View back down to the basin from the grassy shoulder

View of Lindsey from the grassy shoulder at 13,000 feet

So we were a little nervous about how much snow the north face would have on it, but it wasn't as much as I expected. However, on class 2-class 3 climbing, it can be a little hairy. We had rope but never needed it, but we did use our ice axes on occasion. This is the start of the class 2-1/2 trail:
The North Face

Class 2-1/2 section begins

My son James (15 years old) stayed true to the ridge the whole way. He is a 5.12 rock climber, so even without rope he was OK. He said some parts of the beginning of the ridge were definitely class 4-5. If you go into the gully and then head south, you can connect to the ridge much easier, and stay class 3. With snow on the steps, it felt a little more class 4. At about 13,700 feet the ridge starts to look like this:
James coming up the class 4/5 section of the ridge

The class 3 section of the ridge

We crested the "final" summit at 14,000 feet, and realized the "actual" summit was still about 1/4 mile away! The traverse is pretty easy, and this can be avoided if you don't stay true to the ridge, but use the class 2-1/2 trail to the left (north) of the ridge. Darned false peaks!
View of Lindsey from the false summit

We were hoping to summit by 11 am, but it turned out to be 11:15. Talk about a beautiful view and beautiful weather! It was 52 degrees, sunny, and windless! Tee shirt weather!
Little Bear, Blanca, and Ellingwood loom in the distance

We ate our lunch, and then headed back down. We went back down the class 2-1/2 marked trail, and with the snow, the down climb was a little hairy. I got out my rope to rappel a nasty section, but it was tangled, so we just bailed down it. Not too bad when all was said and done. We got back to the car at 2:30, happily tired and satisfied at our perfect weather, with NO traffic on the mountain. Pretty sweet.
Back at the starting meadow, looking back

The road home

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice TR
10/20/2010 22:32
what a beautiful day for climbing! looks like you guys had a blast.


Great Mtn
10/21/2010 03:03
Nice pics and TR. Always enjoyed this climb, staying on the ridge and doing the class 4 route. I imagine that one class 4 section was a little hairy with ice/snow on it. Glad you made it down safely.


10/22/2010 18:21
Congrats to you and your Son. I did this hike this Summer. The gulley was full of people when I did it, glad you got to miss that experience

Happy hiking! Dr. Dave


Thanks for the comments!
10/24/2010 04:11
After 15 years of climbing, my first trip report. I think I will have to do it again sometime!

Eat and work to live, not the other way around, mountain brothers!

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