The north face isn't as bad as everyone says. Quit crying.
Climbed with the same group as shknbke (to be fair about 30 minutes behind). The ridge was very nice. The descent down the gully was terrible. If I were to do this again I would avoid the gully going both directions.
Awesome view from the summit as well. One of the best I've seen.
Climbed Lindsey with 9 others from 14erworld.com in 2 groups. Lindsey is one of my favorite 14'ers thus far. We all took the n.w. ridge, which was a fun scramble which can be kept at class 3 at the headwall about halfway up. Just traverse below the class 4 knife edge and most of the exposure can be avoided by climbing a protected gully with bomber holds. We descended the north face, which as expected was a dangerous, loose mess. We also bagged the Iron Nipple and centennial Huerfano to complete an awesome climb.
Help! What are "bomber holds"?? Special equipment?
Left the Upper Huerfano Trailhead at 7. Had some trouble finding a good place to cross the creek so I ended up wading across. Found some cairns leading up a snow slope in between trees and a boulder field but missed the turn to cross the creek and ended up heading to treeline straight up. Traversed into the basin below the Iron Nipple - Lindsey saddle and met a couple of guys from C Springs. We joined up and made the saddle where I convinced them to take the Northwest Ridge route as they did not bring crampons. The going was easy until the crux. One of the guys tried descending a bit and heading up the gully but turned back due to slippery conditions. I opted to tackle the ridge directly and made it up, but it felt like some pretty exposed lower 5th class stuff to me...maybe it was the snow and ice. The others turned back so I kept on to the summit (nobody had signed the summit log yet this year). I elected to descend the couloir back down which involved some traverses across very steep snow slopes and tricky downclimbs amongst the rock. Finally near the bottom I was able to glissade out and join the trail once again. All in all a harrowing ascent & descent!! For added fun I hiked up Huerfano Peak which was super easy. Weather started moving in so I hurried down after that, following the steep streambed as it tumbled its way down all the way back to the river crossing as snow began to fall. I managed to break through the snow at one point and fell into the stream on my way down! Round trip time was about 8hrs 45min. I had planned to do California's North Ridge the next day but it rained all night and was snowing in the morning so I bagged out and went home.
We were blasted by a sleet storm just before we reached the summit. A storm boiled over from Blanca and hit us with high winds. I abated long enough to tag the summit. It was certainly a slippery descent but by the time we reached the valley the sun had returned.
The road leading to the trailhead is not appropriate for 2WD vehicles, I got my Dodge Neon stuck in a sink hole !!! Be prepared for extra miles without an SUV
This day started as hell because my buddies car got stuck in a sinkhole while driving up to the trailhead. Thankfully a nice guy in a Jeep Cherokee gave us a tug out. We started hoofing up the road at 11:30am, summited at 3:30 pm (latest summit so far =-/) After seeing the half bullet-proof ice, extremely loose scree in the normal route gully, we ascended up to the ridge which was SO GREAT! I love Sangre de Cristo rock! So much better than the miserable scree below. Minimal pucker factor...having good, solid handholds helps tremendously. This was my favorite 14'er so far (until Pyramid Peak that is)
Please see my trip report titled "Where Eagles Soar"
fast and furious. this was the first of a 4 14er weekend.
headed up too fast (coming from sea level) stopped a
minute on the way down to puke my brains out then
all was well. gave my friend a good laugh. it was
a nice projectile stream of pink!
A fantastic route and really fun climb with moderate exposure and suprisingly solid rock. Perfect jug holds when you most want them. Without a doubt this is the better way to climb Mt. Lindsey. The standard route is a scree-filled nightmare!
The day was clear and pleasant, but it had hailed the night before and there was still much ice, snow and hail remaining on the route (up to a foot in places). I was hiking with my 23-year-old son Chris, and friend Ramiro. At the saddle, Ramiro immediately decided on the standard route and ascended very quickly. My son and I tried the NW ridge, it was fun for a while, but we ran into a class 4 pitch, the going had been somewhat icy up to this point, and the pitch looked beyond my abilities, so I decided to go back and try the standard North Face route. My son was more confident and continued on up the pitch. He was also at a point that would be difficult to turn back from due to the ice below and the route looked drier up above. (Many Thanks to Al, who we met on the route and who helped my son find his way through the difficult sections.) I watched as my son made it safely back up onto the ridge, and then quickly down-climbed back down to the trail and tackled the North Face route. The first 200 vertical feet so were not too bad, then the footing became very icy and treacherous ! There is also a lot of loose rock here. At times, the hail actually helped with traction, but in other places, it was compacted into a sheet of ice and slippery. I found myself climbing around various sections and eventually made it to the summit where I met up with Chris and Ramiro. it took me five hours to summit from the trail head, where I think It would have normally taken from three to three and half. We all descended the standard route, which was even worse on the way down. This route is somewhat dangerous in bad conditions with very bad footing and potential for rock fall. If I were to do this again, I would carry an ice ax and use a helmet. I felt that this mountain was under-rated for difficulty, at least in these conditions. We made it down to the saddle in about an hour and to the trail-head an hour after that. Beautiful mountain, though, and tremendous view of Blanca Peak!
Climbed up and down Northwest Ridge. It was a fun scramble and looked a lot less scary than the gully. I tagged Iron Nipple on the way down. This is well worth the extra fortyfive minutes. I also thought the Huerfano River Valley was spectacular. What a pretty area!
I decided to try the North Face Route to see what it is actually like. I didn't think it was as bad as people make it out to be. I climbed the 3rd class rock to the right of the loose gully, and found it to be a fine climb. I took this rock all the way to the summit ridge below the false summit, instead of veering to the left as the trail goes. The rock fall danger is exceedingly high here. I was the first one up that day, and that made it much better. Definitely bring your helmet!!
By the way, my Ford Explorer made it all the way to the TH with no problems, if anyone is wondering what the road is like.
the standard route sucked; the west ridge was one of my introductions to steeper rock and 4th class climbing. loved it.
By all means, stay on the ridge crest on the way up! Way less loose rock and fun scrambling, too. Descending the north face made for a good loop, though, because our poor dog didn't like the exposure on the ridge very much.
The ridge crest is where it's at, folks! If I had known better, I'd have descended that way, too! A trip report is available here.
This was my second time to summit Mt. Lindsey, in three attempts. I have seen all types of conditions on this mountain - fog, high winds, rain, hail, snow, static electricity, lightning, even total darkness. (My brother wanted to do a night climb.) See sunset photo taken near the summit on this trip.
Awesome hike and fun short scramble to the summit - one of my favorite Colorado hikes.