Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  11/04/2010
Date Climbed:   10/23/2010
Author:  Shogun

 A legend on Lindsey  

I noticed the name 'Nolan' written on the TH registry - I didn't recognize the name. On most any other day I would feel a gently sense of disappointment at not being the first to hit the trail, but on this morning I took comfort knowing that my friend Erik and I would not be alone on the mountain.

There has always been something about Mt. Lindsey that has made me uneasy. I would equate the feeling to that of a little kid being apprehensive about going into the cellar. Of course, there is nothing down there that will harm you, but it still gives you the creepy crawlies. The fact that 4-8 inches of snow had fallen the night prior only heightened my apprehensiveness.

Once we came out of the first patch of forest we were greeted with the following view.

About a half hour up the trail we met Ken Nolan. We didn't know who he was at the time. We chatted briefly and exchanged pleasantries before heading past. Roughly 20 minutes later Erik and I stopped for water, and Ken caught up with us. The three of us climbed together from here. During the climb, Ken told us he had finished all the 14ers, 13ers, 12ers, and 11ers in Colorado! Incredible! He also said he'd climbed all the 46ers in NY and countless other peaks around the world. I wish I had fully understood who I was climbing with on this day-picked his brain a little more, and gotten a decent photo of him. At any rate, it was an absolute pleasure to meet him and climb with him. We talked about everything from climbing days past to the inevitable firing of Dan Hawkins. I wish Ken luck on his qwest of chipping away at the "grid"...and thank him for all the good stories he shared!

Our first view of Mt Lindsey.
The beginning of the traverse over to the base of the gully.
A look up the lower portion of the gully.
Ken leading the way on the upper reaches of the mountain.
Erik on the summit ridge.
Life is good up here!
Which way were we going again?
Ken was a beacon of light all day. Here he is approaching the summit
We only stayed on top for 10 minutes or so. Here, Ken is reaching for his camera while Erik wonders what the hell he is doing here.
Two idiots not fully understanding the mountaineering legend who was now snapping their photo.
Once again, Ken leading the way, this time down the mountain
The traverse back to the ridgeline.
Parting Shot
The Aspen leaves have gone from green to gold to gone. Snow and cold now dominate the high country.

Mt Lindsey was a tough climb in these conditions, but then again that first windy/snowy day is always tough after a summer of 'having it good'. It is time once again to harden up for Old Man Winter, bust out our skis & snowshoes, our 4 season tents, and grow thicker beards.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Say what?
02/05/2011 00:22
Thanks for the comment....oh yeah, I did misspell quest as qwest. What is incredible is the fact you call me out on one misspelling in a TR and then misspell the word misspelling? Unreal!


11/05/2010 19:47
I think he was referring to you saying 46ers, rather than 40 6ers.


11/05/2010 20:31
..they are simpy called the ”46ers” or ”Adirondack 46ers” if you will. No mountains over 6k reside in NY.

Wish I lived in CO

I've completed all the 46ers also
11/05/2010 12:40
Mispelling aside, very nice report. Lindsey was my first and always enjoy a new look at it. Thanks


No Picture?
04/18/2014 19:27
No picture with you and Mr Nolan? It looks like you had that mountain for breakfast!

Doug Shaw

you've been tricked!
11/30/2010 17:28
Ken Nolan does not exist; he is like Bigfoot... legendary, yet almost no decent, informative photos of him exist. Why do you suppose that is? The few photos that I have seen I suspect to have been photoshopped. My theory is that "Ken Nolan" is a gestalt pseudonym used to aggregate the exploits of a cabal of elite Colorado mountaineers.

Think of it like the end of Monty Python's Life of Brian... ”I'm Ken Nolan, and so's my wife!”


11/07/2010 13:51
not be confused with the ”49ers”


My Favorite Ken Nolan Photo
11/10/2010 21:03
A full moon rising as Ken studies Matterhorn on a winter evening re-con for Wetterhorn. February 2007

No need to worry about the faceless photo; this is his best side.

The hand-hold 10” below the pole grips is a classic Nolan technique.


Classic. And Classy.
11/12/2010 20:44
You were very blessed indeed to have met Mr. Nolan. He is a gem among gentlemen, as you no doubt learned.

My favorite Ken Nolan retort:

As we were descending Tabeguache last April, Micah, many years his junior, looks over at him and says, ”So, Ken. Are you retired now and just do 14ers all the time?” Ken replies, ”My boss is beginning to think so.”

We need heros and legends to look up to. Mr. Nolan, in my humble opinion, has well-earned that reputation. The amazing thing is his continued living love of the 14ers. I think he did about 436 14er ascents last year. Think about that in terms of vertical. And for all that, as you learned, he is one of the nicest guys you could meet.

Great job getting that snowy peak, and fun trip report!

(BTW - Ken hasn't been back to Lindsey since ... yesterday. )

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