Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  08/05/2019
Date Climbed:   08/04/2019
Author:  medunham
 Revised Best Route Up Lindsey   

This note describes some improvements to the "easiest route" up Lindsey, based on conditions in 2019. Southwest Explorers took 7 up on August 4, two did the ridge route and 2 did the couloir route, while 3 enjoyed the upper basin vistas from the Iron Nipple saddle below the summit pitches.

A. Road conditions--- If coming from I-25 you will have no problem bringing a Subaru-class SUV up the access road after Singing River Ranch. No major ruts exist and any rock teeth can be driven around. If coming from US160, then know the Pass Creek Road is no longer open due to massive washouts from the fire last year. We tried!! However Co Rd 520 cuts across out in the flatter country, just across from the La Veta turnoff, and is good graded gravel.

B. The trail up is clear, since 90% of the traffic is to Lindsey, and not to Lily Lake. Be sure to bring water sandals or flip-flops at least, for the Huerfano River crossing, so you can move quickly and not freeze your feet!

C. Once above the 13000' ridge connecting Iron Nipple with Lindsey, there are some important changes for those not planning the ridge climb. The gully or couloir described by Roach et al is now a dirt filled chute, still with the rolling rock hazard endemic on overused 14ers. Much better to stay right in the couloir up on the hard granite blocks which afford many Class 2+ routes up with no slipping and minor exposure of 5' or less. See marked photo here.

D. Once you reach the top of the couloir, the so-called main trail drops down 20', then ascends another short but equally slippery dirt chute, then crosses rough 2+ country to ascend the ridge past a false summit. In my experience, it was much easier to again ascend Class 2+ blocks with no exposure, up from the top of the couloir to the ridge. You will need to pass over the false summit and lose 30' of elevation, but there is no exposure on the ridge at all by this point. See marked photo here.

E. Last comment: When will peak baggers accept that switchbacks are good for the mountain, and good for you on descent at least? Most of the ascent pitches could use attention from CFI, adding some good switchbacks so the tundra does not gully, and be ruined further by new trails. The mountain is at that gully forming point right now, and my toes are sore from descending straight down. Help!

The upper Huerfano Basin will make you a believer in the value of tundra trekking without peak ascensions. Coors must have modeled their can label after this valley, and the NE face of Blanca/Ellingwood equals the Longs Peak diamond in grandeur. Very friendly Marmot colony too, to greet you as you enter the high valley.




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
angry
User
Coors
08/05/2019 16:12
It's actually Wilson Peak on the can.



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