Mt. Lindsey - 14,055 feet
"Northwest Lindsey" - 14,020 feet
Mt. Lindsey - 14,055 feet
"Northwest Lindsey" - 14,020 feet
|Ridge and Gulley|
#23 Mt. Lindsey ‚‘ 14,042 (and Northwest Lindsey 14,020)
I arrived late at the trailhead for 2 reasons:
1: When I got up I needed to fold some laundry, start a new load, and clean up from the kids' late night baking session (the dishwasher was full and needed to be unloaded and then loaded again).
2: The I25 was closed for 2 exits and the detour took forever because of all the semis trying to navigate the downtown streets.
So even though I got up at 2am I made it to the Huerfano / Lily Lake Trailhead at 6:15am. Here are some pics of the easy 4WD road to the trailhead.
There were two other cars in the parking lot (which could probably hold 10 in the immediate area, but there was a lot of room on the road itself as well). I was on the trail by 6:30pm. It was just beginning to get light outside.
The beginning of this hike was pretty easy. It followed a creek and a boulder field.
I could tell the views on the way back were going to be amazing!
I followed a waterfall up a hill and saw two hikers at the mine. (Side note, I had an epiphany here: Mine probably came from the word ‚mine‚Ě. Think about it). Anyway, they were on the other side of the stream and couldn't hear me, so I waved and continued on.
Here's my first view of Mt. Lindsey. It's the peak to the center right.
I crossed this basin and ascended the hillside. At the top I took a shadow selfie, because that's what I do.
Here I reached a saddle, and decided to leave my hiking pole at a cairn, as this was a class 3 hike/climb and it wouldn't help any when I needed two hands. I took a picture of both sides of Mt. Lindsey and put my camera away.
It was here I met a man who stopped and talked with me a bit about blogging and 14ers.com
We met up again while I was putting on my helmet. I was trying to figure out my route. I didn't want to hold my map as I was climbing, so I was studying the picture I had and what I could see in front of me. I didn't want to take the gully (blue line) because I'm not a fan of gullies. I wanted to take the pink line, as that's an easy class 3. We discussed our routes and both agreed not to take the gully.
I put on my helmet, put away my map, and started my way up. I'd told myself to just hug the left side of the ridge and I'd be fine. The sunlight was blinding, shining directly in my eyes. It was difficult to see any sort of trail. It took some maneuvering, but I felt I was doing pretty well. Until I came to the crux. That's where the route diverges into 3 different parts about halfway up the ridge. However, I couldn't tell that was where I was at. Looking at a picture/map is totally different from when you're actually climbing. You can't see much in front of you or behind you while climbing, so you have to go by memory from what you saw below. I knew I was good as long as I stayed to the left of the ridge, so I looked up and started climbing. The easiest route looked to be the pitch, so that's where I went. It wasn't too hard until I was almost all the way up. This is what it looked like:
I kept thinking to myself as I was climbing: ‚This is MUCH harder than Longs Peak. Aren't they both supposed to be class 3's?‚Ě My research had told me Longs was harder than Lindsey, but this was only my second class 3. I felt what I was doing was within my abilities, but why was this so difficult? And why did this feel so much more difficult than Longs? I knew at this point I must have been off route, but I still felt confident I was within my abilities and could turn back if needed.
By this time the man who'd talked with me before had caught up with me again. I was doing the route finding and he was following me. Since I had an extra pair of eyes I called back to him ‚Hey, from where you're standing does it look like this line goes to the top?‚Ě I figured it never hurts to double check.
He said it did, and I was almost there. Great! Except I didn't fit though the path I needed to take, and going back down wasn't an option I wanted to take (but would have if necessary). I'm not a big girl (5'4‚Ě, 105lbs), but in order to make this move I'd need to remove my backpack and lift myself/crawl sideways and up through a tight space. Once again, I felt secure I could do this (without my backpack). I discussed this with the man below me, and we decided to help each other out: I took off my backpack, climbed up, and he handed it up to me, then took off his and handed me his backpack. This worked great, and we both made it! The entire time I kept thinking to myself how I did NOT want to go down this way! I wouldn't be able to see what was below me, and even knowing there was a ledge just beyond my sight I knew it'd be suicide. I needed to find a safer route down, and knew I had options.
We separated once again and I was off to find the summit. This part of the hike was slippery with a lot of loose rock. When I finally gained the ridge to what I hoped was Mt. Lindsey I realized I was at Northwest Lindsey (14020). Luckily I could see Mt. Lindsey in the distance.
I thought briefly about taking a picture of me summiting here, but didn't deem it as too important, so I pressed on.
The rest of the hike was easy. I followed the small saddle towards Mt. Lindsey, and then looked back at Northwest Lindsey.
This part of the hike was only about 200 yards, and soon I summited! I was the first to summit today!
I got out my map and looked at my options for the way down. That's when I realized I'd hiked a class 4! Check this out: Here's a picture of what I'd intended to climb (the pink route)
And what I actually climbed (the red line).
Now everything made sense! When the man I'd climbed with reached the summit I told him about our achievement and we fist-bumped. Then promptly discussed taking the gully back down. I wasn't sure I wanted to do this because I didn't know where it started back down. I passed several gullies and wanted to be sure I was hiking the correct one on my way down. My intent was to hike back the way I'd came, but to try to find the class 3 route down. If I couldn't, I'd load my GPS with different directions and go looking for the correct gully. I wanted to be sure I was on route for the trek back down.
I was off, and on my way back decided to indeed take a picture at Northwest Lindsey, just because I don't' ever want to climb this mountain again and I wanted proof I'd been here. That class 4 part was really the climb up Northwest Lindsey, so I felt I'd earned a picture.
Here's the way back to Northwest Lindsey
And my summit selfie
As I started down I noticed the couple I'd passed at the mine coming up what I presumed was the gully. We talked about their route up, and they gave me directions back down the gully. This seemed like a good option. All I needed to do was aim for the red dirt in the middle right of this picture, and then the route down would be visible.
So that's what I did. And this is what that route looked like:
It wasn't very much fun. I'm not sure which was worse, the ridge up or the gully down. In fact, as I met hikers trying to make the decision which route to take I wasn't sure what to tell them. They were both pretty crummy. I was just glad I didn't need to do either of them ever again.
As I reached the saddle I turned and looked back at the mountain. Can you see the class 4 pitch?
Here it is‚¶
I talked to a bunch of hikers on the way down, but didn't see anyone after I reached the saddle. Except for a marmot in all his glory.
The trail went through a pine forest, which was lovely except the evergreens are losing their needles for some reason. The ground was littered with green pine needles, which are extremely slippery.
The trees are just starting to change colors here.
Oh, and I found a patch of wild strawberries by the stream! I love hiking this time of year because of things like this!
So, here are my final stats:
Started hike at 6:30am
Summited around 9:15am (I looked but forgot the time‚¶)
Made it back to my Truck at 12pm
Total hike time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Mileage: 8.25 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 3500' (it felt like way more)
Here's a 360 degree view of the summit
|Comments or Questions|
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