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I had been hoping to get in one more new 14er this year before the snow really started to hit the high country. Mt Lindsey had been on my radar all year. I had planned on climbing it on two different occasions this summer, once after a trip to Kit Carson and Challenger and another time after climbing the Blanca Group but after both those trips Lindsey just didn't quite happen. So last Thursday Shogun posted a TR for Lindsey (thanks) and conditions looked okay, even though it had just snowed the night before. I knew the area hadn't received any new snow since then and the temperatures had actually been quite warm, so I figured this was a perfect opportunity to give Lindsey a shot. I sent my buddy Lance (rocrunner) a text message on Thursday night asking if he wanted to join me. He replied "sure" about a minute later and the trip was on. We decided to leave Denver on Saturday morning at 5:00. The road to the TH was icy in spots. I needed 4WD in a couple of the steeper sections of the road where it was icy.
We were treated to incredible views of Blanca driving to the TH.
Blanca from the road, photo by Lance
When we arrived at the TH I was surprised to find we were the first vehicle there. As it would turn out, we were the only two people on the mountain the entire day! Incredible for a Saturday with such a nice forecast. We hit the trail just after 8:30 and were treated to more excellent views.
The trail through the trees had minimal snow but was a bit icy. Neither of us had microspikes but they would have helped. Once above treeline, more amazing views.
Photo by Lance
Lindsey peeking out, photo by Lance
Next we had to cross the basin and then hike up to gain the saddle between Iron Nipple and Lindsey. There wasn't much snow in the basin and there was a good trail to follow the entire way.
Blanca and Ellingwood from the saddle, photo by Lance
From the saddle we were amazed to see how little snow Lindsey's North Face had on it. We briefly considered taking the ridge route but decided the standard route would be safer.
Photo by Lance
The North Face route turned out to be a lot of fun. The rock was stable enough and we got to do some scrambling.
Lance heading up
Scrambling up the gully, I am near the top right of the picture, photo by Lance
Lance on the summit ridge
When we reached the summit the weather was truly outstanding. No jacket, gloves or hat needed. It certainly didn't feel like November at 14,000 ft.
Summit photo, I'm on the right
Awesome panoramic summit view, photo by Lance
We stayed on the summit for about half an hour. It was a wonderful summit experience, clear blue skies, warm with no wind and very quiet. I could have stayed up there for hours.
The route down the North Face was thankfully uneventful. We had to be careful on a few snow crossings where an ice axe came in handy. The most snow we encountered on the route was back in the trees.
Snow crossing on the descent
Heading back into the basin
A couple parting shots on the way out.
Photo by Lance
Photo by Lance
We made it back to the TH around 4:30. I couldn't believe that we had just climbed Mt Lindsey in those conditions without seeing another person the entire day. Fantastic day and a great mountain - I plan on returning to climb the Northwest Ridge sometime next year. Thanks for reading and happy trails.
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