North Face

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 2+

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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71.06% Score
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North Face
Created On: Nov 2, 2002
Last Edited On: Nov 20, 2003


Round trip-7.8 miles and 3,800-ft

Follow the Huerfano Trail, the first mile of hiking consists of a few minor creek crossings and no elevation gain. After 1.3 miles were the creek meets up to the trail, look for a slight climbers trail to the east and cross the creek here. In June this can be a very difficult ford. After locating the trail, continue on, a steep thousand vertical later you will pop out into a beautiful grassy basin surrounded by high and wild scenery. I remember looking around from this spot and realizing how lucky some of us are to get to experience these cool places. This is also the location you get your first visual of the imposing, pyramid shape of Mount Lindsey. A quick note, the actual climb is not as nasty as it looks from this angle.

Continue on a strong trail through the beautiful basin and start the steep ascent to the saddle (13,160 ft.) between the Iron Nipple (13,500 ft.) and Mount Lindsey. At this point you can choose your route.

Route Description

The north face of Lindsey is considered to be the standard route, which ascends the steep, loose gully directly ahead. This gully has eroded into a loose mess of teedering boulders and great care needs to be taken when ascending it, especially when others are above. On one or more occasions this gully has sent a few unlucky hikers to the emergancy room with falling rock. Wear a helmet.

The other and some would say safer alternative is a direct ascent up the northwest ridge. The ridge consists of much more stable rock but involves some class 3 and 4 climbing over exposed terrian. Recently there seems to be a gentle push among us SP members to make this the standard route for its solid and more stable rock.

Contour east out on to the north face and locate the steep trough. The gully is loose; so choose a route that involves as much stable climbing possible. We couldn’t see why anybody would pass up the opportunity for some fun class 3 rock scrambling on the right to bypass all that stuff. This minor detour works very well and made this section of the climb very enjoyable. The remaining quarter mile consists of class 2 hiking on an obvious climbers trail.

Essential Gear

Be prepared for the worst, an overnight stay. Don't skimp on the food, water, and proper clothing.

Given the combination of steep terrain and loose rock on the north face, I would absolutely list a helmet among the essential gear as well.

Miscellaneous Info

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