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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-10-23||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: The tree that was blocking the road is gone -- made it to the Lily Lake trailhead in a Subaru Crosstrek. The last 0.2 miles got a little rough, but did it OK (1.5 foot deep pool at one point, but still water, and a deep washed-out rut right before the trailhead that took a couple approaches to get through). The landslide is so cool looking. Next to no snow, only point with some accumulation was maybe 20 steps when the ridge route dips down before the main headwall. They're a little exposed, so didn't love the slick snow underfoot, but I had microspikes and didn't feel the need to use them. I would still definitely do the ridge route over the loose gully/north face (heard rocks cracking through every time I saw someone trying the route). Great conditions, but could change rapidly.
|2016-10-18||Route: North Face
Info: Wind was cranking on Sunday and Monday. Several fallen trees along the road in, but was able to get past them. But ... fallen tree blocking road just above Huerfano trailhead. Probaby going to need a saw to move it. So, the tree is two miles below the Lilly Lake trailhead. Cannot drive up to the Lilly Lake trailhead. After the trail goes around the meadow, and meanders through the the river plain, you'll see that the beavers have been busy. At one point, it seems that the trail dead ends in a beaver pond. You have to cross over to the right bank to pick up the trail again. Trail was dry. No snow. Windy again today.
|2016-10-08||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Cold and mostly dry. Windblown snow deposited in tiny pockets in the shady sides of rocks and in more or less continuous (but maybe only 3/4 inch deep) strips on the North side gully. No axe, no spikes, no problem. Nobody was really thrown when *AT* the crux wall, but there was considerable hand-wringing GETTING TO the crux wall. If you stick the ridge, as you usually should on this route, you arrive at a point where you need to traverse a 7 foot rock fin right before the base of the crux. It's exposed on both sides. The alternative is to begin a lateral traverse about 75 feet lower, leaving the ridge and arriving at the base of the crux. It appears that in summer, this would be straightforward and not warrant much comment. The challenge NOW is that the little toe holds and foot placements on this lateral traverse are sprinkled with the fluffy stuff. A fall here would be unpleasant but unlikely to be catastrophic. Take your time. I went out and back using different tracks...you're not at all locked-in to a single approach to the crux wall, so pick one you find comfortable. The rock fin is more exposed but more direct In contrast to the minor difficulties in the approach to the crux wall, the ACTUAL CRUX was clean, dry and BARELY class 4....maybe not quite. Everyone I saw blew right past it.
|2016-10-08||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: The microspikes we wore were mostly of psychological benefit. The ridge is mostly snow-free (for now), save for a few pockets. The North Face gully is snow filled and you would definitely want good traction if you wanted to avoid the exposure of the ridge. The clock is ticking but for now you can complete the ridge route without it feeling like a winter ascent.
|2016-10-02||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Mostly dry conditions on the ridge; just a few small, avoidable snow patches in shaded areas above the crux wall. Did not do the gully, but people who did reported more substantial snow, and indicated that microspikes were a good idea there. Fall colors are absolutely stunning in the Huerfano Valley right now. Beautiful day up there!
|2016-09-24||Route: North Face
Info: Most of the fresh snow on the entire route has melted out. The gulley up the north face had a good amount of snow in it -- expect it to be slick and icy for the next couple days. Other than that there should be no snow left. That said, we did this in trail runners with no poles or traction, and scrambled on solid rock around the slicker parts of the gulley. Kinda sketch but not too bad.
|2016-09-18||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Took the ridge up and the gulley down. Figured gulley down is faster if you don't mind getting a little dirty while sliding on your butt. Easily avoidable snow patches on both routes. Ridge is nice solid rock with good holds and no dizzying exposure. Gulley is loose rock but can find some stable holds on the sides. Just for fun we actually backpacked up to treeline and camped at about 11,600', which is just before you lose the creek. We found a secluded, sunny spot on top of the hill in the trees to the left of the gulley pictured in Photo #5 on the North Face route description. So beautiful, highly recommend! And, the fall colors will be at their peak in 2 weeks I'd say!
|2016-09-11||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: No snow on the route. A little bit of standing water in the first 3/4 mile, but you can rock hop to avoid getting the toesies damp. Fun climbing on the Northwest Ridge, mostly solid rock. Recommend doing this rather than the loose steep gully.
|2016-09-04||Route: North Face
Info: The main word to describe this route: steep. Nice, flat-ish mile to the Lily Lake/Lindsey fork and then just straight up through tree line you go. Be ready for the elevation gain. Basin is getting some nice fall colors to it. We were originally going to do the ridge but with the 20-40mph wind gusts, we opted to do the North Face - along with most of the other people we saw. It was windy, foggy, and rainy. The North Face is loose but not as bad as I expected. If you go along the right or left side of the gully, there is some sturdier rock. Be careful though as people may kick some rock down.
|2016-09-02||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Heavy rain on 9/1 made both the road and the hike a bit damp. The first mile from Lily Lake trailhead was inch deep water running off from river overflow. It can be avoided along the edges and by rock hopping. Wet tree roots made for a slippery descent through the forest in some places. Nothing a bit of patience could not address. I went up the NW Ridge and came down the North Face. It was straight forward and quite pleasant. There were several spots where you could see folks had gone down earlier on the North Face. That didn't look like it would end well and would result in needing to do some additional climbing back up to the saddle between Lindsey and the Nipple. I left at 4:00 am was able to follow the trail pretty easily through the dark till sunrise with the headlamp.
|2016-09-01||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Beautiful summer conditions on Lindsey today. Warm weather surrounding the Blanca massif has melted almost all the snow that fell on Monday and Tuesday. Northwest Ridge route is a nice Class 3 on solid rock. Be leery of afternoon storms as they have been building from the Southeast behind the summit and don't show themselves until they are upon you. To reach the summit took 2hr56min and roundtrip was 4hr29min.
|2016-08-27||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Entire route was snow-free. NW Ridge was a great scramble. We descended the standard North Face, which was very loose, the gully was no fun to descend. If I were to re-do, I'd ascend and descend the NW Ridge. The road up to the Lily Lake TH is now clear - they did great work on that road, my Honda Pilot made it to the TH with ease.
|2016-07-17||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Entire route snow free. Route through landslide to alternate road not difficult. When you reach the slide, look left about 75 yds for pink/orange ribbon. Follow the obvious path watching out for holes hidden by the grass. You'll be through in less than 10 minutes. If you do this as an over night trip, I highly recommend making camp on the flats at 12,000 feet. This area is about 9.5 miles in from the parking area below the locked gate. There's still running water up there while the snow fields last. And, there are zero mosquitos and minimal flies. Others reported hellasious mosquitos and flies at Lily Lake TH. I kept it light with just a tarp which helped out during the very steep portion of the trail between miles 8 and 9. Great view of the Iron Nipple from my camp.
|2016-07-16||Route: North Couloir
Info: Road still closed beyond Singing Ranch. We road mt bikes from Singing ranch to trailhead. Landslide along the way is very impressive and it sure doesnt look like anything is being done to fix the road. skirt the landslide down and to the left. There is no snow on mt lindsey.
|2016-06-26||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Snow has cleared significantly since I attempted this route last Saturday. We just wore trail running shoes. No axe or spikes necessary. My directions for how to get around the slide still stand from last Saturday. If anyone finds a 27.5 mt. bike wheel at the parking lot please PM me. After the 22 mile day, I spaced and forgot to put it in my car!
|2016-06-25||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: After the first quarter mile from the TH it gets very wet. Like walking through several streams unavoidably until you get to the major stream crossing. There is still some significant snow drifts on the stretch up to the upper basin that can make the trail hard to follow. From the upper basin it is clear all the way up. For an idea of the conditions, here is a link to a time lapse of the hike: https://youtu.be/IGsNmWdwa7I
|2016-06-19||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Didn't climb Lindsey, but we did climb the Gash from the Lily Lake TH and got a good look at Lindsey from there. The trail is flooded and marshy in a lot of places down low in the valley, so expect wet feet with one mandatory crossing of the main river with no way to keep feet dry. The upper reaches of Lindsey looked pretty clear (see photos), with several large snow patches around. Most of the snow was decently solid with some serious postholing around the edges and rocks, but the center of the snowfields was solid.
Info: You'll need to park at the parking lot with the "local traffic only" sign 1.5 miles below the road closure. From the parking lot it's about 4.6 miles to the landslide. From the landslide look down the debris slide and you'll see a pink flag marker, follow the pink flag marker to a stagnant pond and cross over one tree to reach a muddy jeep road. Follow the jeep road to a sandy wash where the rest of the landslide may be seen and notice at the last pink flag marker there is another forest road to the left. If you follow that road it will lead you to main road after about a 1/4 mile. Hope that helps everyone, I bush whacked a lot on my way out and only found the short cuts on my way back. I went across the river on the log pictured below.
|2016-03-06||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: We attempted a climb of Mt. Lindsey over 3/5/2016 and 3/6/2016. We were able to park at the Aspen River Ranch about 5.2 miles below the summer TH (not sure if you are allowed to park here, but nobody bothered our car). About 3.5 miles from the ranch we had to put on our snowshoes to continue on the road. There is an incredible landslide that apparently occurred in September that we had to go around. It was relatively easy to re-find the road after this. However, no one has really been on this road/trail in a long time. The snow was not consolidated in the least and it was a post hole nightmare all the way to the normal trailhead and beyond. It was very difficult to locate the trail and we ended up camping on Saturday night not knowing where the trail was located. Sunday morning we managed to find the trail (we had miraculously camped right on it) and continued our climb. We got turned around quickly and had to climb a steep and sketchy snow-filled gully before deciding that it was not worth it to continue. We are positive that this gully is not on the standard route, and it is likely that the real route was below us. We packed down the trail with our snowshoes so there should be tracks to follow from here on out. Good luck to anyone attempting it!
|2016-01-17||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: This is more about the approach from the parking area 0.5 miles below Singing River Ranch. I was only able to hike up 4.5 miles. I turned around after slogging through unconsolidated snow for a mile. My snowshoes were sinking down about 14 inches. Be careful at the parking area and don‘t get too far off the main road or you may find your vehicle stuck... The half-mile from the parking area to the gate at Singing River Ranch is nice and packed, a little slick to walk on. Beyond Singing River Ranch to the locked gate is about another mile. This road is sloppy and I wouldn‘t recommend driving it. There is absolutely no legal place to park between the lower parking area and the locked gate! After stepping over the chain, there was a loose trench for about 3/4 miles. Spikes or Shoes will help but it is doable without either. The road then alternates between dry patches and soft snow for the next 2.5 miles. At about 3.5 miles, I started trenching through sugar snow just below my knees. Every once in a while there would be a bit of dry patch or wind blown slab.