Mount Lindsey

  • Mount Lindsey
  • 4280 m.
  • Primary factor 470 m.
  • 43rd in Colorado
  • Location: North 37:35.033, West 105:26.700
  • Climbed August 24th, 2002


How to get there: From the east, exit I-25 in Walsenburg, go north-west on Colorado 69 to Gardner (approx. 25 miles). Turn west here on a paved road towards Redwing. From this intersection the trailhead is about 22 miles away. The road quickly becomes dirt, stay straight in all intersections, bear left in a Y-fork after approximately 12 miles. The road gradually becomes worse, but a clever and careful driver can get a regular car all the way to the final parking.
From the Alamosa area, go east on Hwy. 160, there is a nice shortcut across to the Redwing area. This road is a good dirt road. It goes left a few km before the pass. There are no signs and the road looks more like a local ranch road than a connecting road. When hitting the road near Redwing, go left, then follow the main dirt road until you hit a T-intersection. Go right at this place, then left at the next major intersection and you are well on your way towards the Y-fork described above.
Route description: From the trailhead, hike southwest on the Lily Lake trail. The trail first descends to a large meadow where there is excellent camping. Continue along the trail until a very clear Y-fork where a sign on a tree says Lily Lake going right. Take the left fork and continue a short section until this trail quite crosses the river. The trail is smaller, but still very distinct as it continues on the left side of the river. Gradually, the trail heads away from the river and climbs just along the lower (right side) of a talus field, first gently then steeper among the trees before reaching the left side of a creek that comes down from the basin above. As the slope eases, the trail eventually crosses the creek and then climbs the ridge on the other side of the creek. The trail climbs among the last and highest growing trees before reaching a shoulder above tree line. From here, there is a very good view of Blanca Peak, the connecting ridge to Ellingwood Point asn the upper part of the Huerfano Valley.
The trail now descends into a small, but very nice basin, then starts climbing an obvious ridge that seems to lead up to the proper ridge below Mount Lindsey. However, when this ridgeline is reached there is yet another small slope, partly through rocks that must be climbed before reaching the main ridge connecting Mount Lindsey with the Iron Nipple.
From the main ridge, Mount Lindsey is straight ahead. The normal route contours off the ridge to the left, traverses the face into a main, loose gully, then proceeds to climb this. The route continues, partly in gullys, partly along a very visible trail up to a point near the saddle between the two summits on Mount Lindsey.
An alternative, and much more difficult route follows the main ridge up and across the the minor summit of Lindsey, the along the almost level ridge to the main summit. A more detailed description is in order. In the beginning, the ascent of this north-west ridge is an easy scramble. The ridge becomes somewhat steeper and also more exposed as one climbs higher. However, from the very beginning of this climb one can easily see a main obstacle. The ridge has a major break, looking like a triangular rock face about half way up. As one nears this point, the ridge becomes very steep and very exposed, especially with a big drop off to the west side. There are two ways to proceed. Option one is to climb the highest ridge, first a bit on the left side (holding on to the top), then descend into a small notch, proceed carefully on the right side of the very last part of the ridge and sneak back to the left side through a small notch between the final part of the ridge and the triangular rock face. Option two is to backtrack a bit on the main ridge, then get off the ridge on the left side and climb into the upper part of the rather steep gully just below the same triangular rock face. Either way, once at the base of this steep rock wall, explore a route that heads up left, then turns ninety degree right and attains the ridge above the rock face. This climbing is not very difficult, but there is significant exposure behind you. Once above this crux of the climb, the main ridge can easily be followed to the minor summit, then onwards to the proper summit of Mount Lindsey.
Comments: I did this climb with Arnt Flatmo. We started 0610, reached the summit after 3:45 at 0955, spent about 30 minutes in absolutely perfect conditions at the top before heading down the standard route on our way to Huerfano Peak (see this entry). We returned to our camp at the large meadow after a total trip of 8 hours.