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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-09-29||Route: North Face
Info: Hi! My name is Kristina! This is my 51st fourteener summit this summer/season. My goal is to climb all 54 (with the exception of Culebra. Instead I did North Maroon). You can read more about this hike and others at Sunshineof1985.com. Enjoy! Route: North Face Distance to Trailhead from Parking Lot:14 miles round trip Distance to Mount Lindsey from Trailhead: 8.66 miles round trip Total Distance: 22.66 miles round trip Total Elevation Gain from Parking Lot: 5,150 ft. Elevation Gain from Trailhead: 3,500 ft. Start Time: 8:35am End Time: 6:45pm Time to get to Trailhead from Parking Lot: 2 hours and 15 minutes with bike Time to get to Summit from Trailhead: 3 hours and 30 minutes Time to get back to Trailhead from Summit: 3 hours and 20 minutes (stopped and picked up a lot of rocks) Time to get back to Parking Lot from Trailhead: 1 hour and 5 minutes with bike Overall Pace: 2.2 miles per hour with bike and stopping to pick up rocks GEAR (to bring): Bike (optional), bear spray, GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, warm hat, lightweight gloves, day pack with water sack (64 oz), snacks. Road Condition: For one thing, don‘t follow the GPS if you‘re coming from the south. It tried to lead me an inaccessible way and for those of you that don‘t know, the road 580, to the trailhead is closed!! You‘ll have to park by the sign that states it‘s 5.3 miles to Upper Huerfano. From there it‘s 1.6 miles to the closed gate (which they won‘t let you park by). It‘s a total of 7 miles from the parking lot to get to the trailhead now because of the landslide. I strongly suggest bringing a mountain bike to cut down on the total mileage of walking. Even with my bike it took 10 hours (more like 9 hours without picking up beautiful rocks). Trail Condition: No snow at this point on the mountain, however there is a lot of mud on the "secret" road. T use the "secret road" and to avoid the landslide, take the faint grass/dirt road that is behind all the cut up logs when you exit the forest to a meadow (pictured below). The road is rough and covered in river rock for most of the way. Once at the trailhead, it starts out with a nice dirt path, but will turn back into rough river rock for the majority of the hike. Once in the forest, you may get lost around the creek a couple times, but you should be able to find your way back easily with the cairns. Once out of the forest, it‘s mostly an easy hike to follow to the summit. On the way down, I lost my way a little when entering back into the forest, but remembered my surroundings and got back on track.
|2015-09-28||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: The forest service road 580 is closed by locked gate next to the Aspen River ranch entrance, 5.2 miles before the Lily Lake trailhead. The landslide itself is 3.0 miles beyond the gate, 2.2 mi. from the trailhead. The landslide is massive, but if you detour around to the left of it, staying low and walking maybe 0.25 mi., you can quickly return to a dirt road which merges with 580 after only another 0.5 mi. So it is the locked gate, not the landslide, which really makes the hike arduous, 19 mi. round-trip by my math. The additional problem is that you can‘t legally park on the road at the gate. There are several creative(!) solutions to the problem, the best legal one being to ride your mountain bike to the Lily Lake trailhead. You can easily carry the bike across 100 yds. of landslide to continue riding. So, from the last point where you can legally park on 580, before reaching private property, you will probably ride 8-10 miles up rough dirt road to the trailhead. Thus, the hike is still 8.25 mi., with the addition of a 20 mi. bike ride. The route yesterday was dry, the weather beautiful, and the elk noisy. I ascended by the stable ridge and descended the loose north face gully. No surprises on the mountain itself.
Info: Fall colors are starting to show. Approaching Lake Como today it doesn‘t have a lot tall Aspens. From Blanca/Ellingwood could see good colors to the northeast a few miles. Looks like approaching Huerfano/Lily Lake Trailhead for Mt Lindsey would be a great mix of summer and fall. No snow in the Sangres.
|2015-09-07||Route: North Face
Info: I was thinking about where I could go on Labor Day weekend that wouldn‘t be a total sh*t show, and I thought LINDSEY! This is a pretty chill hike in honestly. The road is a mellow grade and its scenic, I saw several deer and a heard of big horn sheep on the hike in. It takes about 3 hours with a moderate pace. The landslide is very impressive! On your way in, a ways before the actual landslide there is a meadow and a pull off with several large dead trees laid out in a line as a barrier. Follow this road through the meadow because it is the detour road! If you choose to keep pressing forward on the main road (like I did) you will end up at the edge of the landslide and be forced to cross it or backtrack a ways to the meadow. On the way in I hiked straight across it and that was a bitch with a heavy pack, up and over and under so many huge aspens. But on the way out I followed the "detour" road which is not a sustainable road so everybody needs to stop bitching about how the road is still closed. I hiked in on the trail after the upper TH about 1/2 mile and there‘s a really good campsite, before that and for the last mile on the road there are plenty of campsites but no water nearby. Did not encounter any bears but I had a bear canister and stashed it well away from my camp, and did all cooking and eating away from camp. The north face route is straightforward, gully isn‘t that bad and has a lot of fun scrambling opportunities if you want them. We bailed on the Ridge route due to high winds. I made a traverse over to Huerfano too, will post conditions on the 13er page. I stayed 3 days and did California from the Zapata trail at the lower TH and then Lindsey/Huerfano the next day and packed out. It was an awesome trip, basically had the entire place to myself, and SO worth it.
|2015-09-07||Route: North Face
Info: Wow! Absolutely ridiculous!!!! They close the road 4.6 miles before the landslide! The 8.25 mile hike becomes a 22+ mile hike. I hiked 7 miles up the road and still hasn‘t reached a trailhead. Not being mentally or physically prepared for this long of a hike, I grudgingly turned around. Someone needs to petition for this road to be opened up waaaay further up the road. It‘s absolute politics and bulls--t.
|2015-07-23||Route: North Face
Info: Don‘t waste your time trying to drive to Lily Lake TH. I talked to the local ranger station yesterday and they confirmed that the LANDSLIDE is huge and completely wiped out the road and side of the mountain. The road leading the trailhead goes through private land so the county is working with the land owner to try and create a work-around. Once a work-around is agreed upon, they will most likely not be able to reopen the road due to damage, EVER! So the work-around would be a hiking trail along the road and around the slide. In the meantime the county road is closed and the private owner has it closed at the beginning of the road (more than 4 miles from th). The ONLY way in to this area as per the ranger, is to follow a faint trail along the north/south ridgeline coming from Mosca Pass (north of lily lake TH) leading south and around the landslide. The landslide is apparently massive and the road will not be cleared soon, if ever. I think the hike from the Mosca Pass adds at least another 5 miles one-way but I haven‘t looked at it in depth....all said in done, this is most likely the only way anyone is summiting Lindsey in the near future, that is until the land owner allows the county to cut a new trail to hike passed the slide, so no matter what, the hike will be much longer than currently reported. Now, race to be the first to create a report from Mosca Pass. Good Luck!
|2015-07-13||Route: North Face
Info: As of July 13 there is still a rockslide that is blocking the road from going all the way up to Lily Lake TH. They had the road closed off at about 4.9 miles down from Lily Lake TH. Also no one seems to know what ranger district Mt. Lindsey is in and the phone number listed on the page is a wrong number and redirects to a woman‘s cell phone. Needless to say, it was a frustrating morning.
|2015-07-12||Route: North Face
Info: Thanks to everyone who has updated the group on this landslide! We hiked Lindsey on 7/12/15 after hearing that the slide would be cleared within a few days a week before. The landslide is massive and has permanently changed the topography of the land. It‘s possible that they may be able to build a new road around the slide, but my guess is that it will be some time before the slide is even done settling. This roadblock added 7 miles on each side of our trip, making for a 22+ mile day. After being up there, I highly doubt that this status will change for a very long time. Photos attached.
|2015-07-04||Route: North Face
Info: The road about 2 miles below the Mt Lindsey TH/Lily Lake TH this morning had a very large landslide which covered it up - it left quite a few people stranded above this morning. A group of us with 4x4‘s were led down by ranchers on 4-wheelers on what I was told was the "old road", which is how myself and others were able to get out. The slide was pretty large, the crew said it could take a few days to clear out, so I‘d wait a few days to try to get up there, or even perhaps call someone with Huerfano Co. to confirm when the slide is cleared up. Sorry for no pictures, there was not a chance.
|2015-07-02||Route: North Face
Info: Trail is dry at 90%. Few snow patches remains between the 1st ridge and the summit and could be a problem if you take the gully, icy and slippery. We decided to climb on the right of the gully to avoid loose rock as much as we can. It is a steep one. Photos speak by themsleves
|2015-06-20||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Trail has snowdrifts every now and then, but with minor route-finding you can avoid the snow and still stay close to trail. Upper gully still has good snow and looks like it might for a while. Unless going through the upper gully no snow tools needed. Huerfano River crossing was tough - we placed a log in the morning that worked fine. By afternoon it was relocated a bit downstream and in the river. Yep, I fell in the chest-deep river. It made that last 1.5 miles or so to the car more... refreshing... and I didn‘t care that significant portions of the trail were submerged because I could just walk through the ankle deep water So be warned, flat parts of trail may not be flooded in morning but unrecognizable with the afternoon river rise, at least until the snow has finally melted.
|2015-06-13||Route: North Couloir
Info: Well i wasn‘t sure about putting together a report with pictures just yet, but since you asked. No snow until after the river crossing then patchy post holing until you get to the top of the falls. From then on snow packed almost all the way to the top and starting to melt pretty quick. We were still able to walk on it with micro spikes and no post holing but it was sure getting soft on the way down. Snow in the couloir makes for a long steady climb but that will be loose soon too. If you don‘t want to spend the day in the snow then 2 weeks is perfect for this mountain. Have fun.
|2015-05-31||Route: North Face
Info: First, a warning about the road to the trailhead, it is washed out around Aspen River Ranch. Two puddles about 6-10" deep there, with a river running through the middle of the road just above it. Then about 1.5 miles before the trailhead, there is another puddle about 6-10" deep. Do not even think about attempting this road unless you have a lifted truck or jeep for the next week or so. We got to within about .3 miles of the trailhead, hiked up a dry-ish road to the trailhead from there. Just pass the clearing in the trees, it was intermittent snow, lots of post holing on the way out and back. The first couple of creek crossings were not bad (but are going to get worse), then the big creek crossing was a nightmare (and also, likely to get worse). Continuous snow from the big creek crossing to the summit. Snow good in the gully in the morning, you could here the water running under it though and in the afternoon it was post hole madness for my buddies in snowshoes. Without a freeze, that is going to be an issue to get through. Hard snow up to the saddle in the morning, same story, post holing if you aren‘t on skis/board in the afternoon. The snow in the North Face couloir was almost perfect for a bootpack at 8-9am, soft from the exit and the last section to the summit as the sun was hitting it. Very sketchy at the top with the soft snow and rocks everywhere (kicking in a bootstep and finding rocks instead of snow). The north couloir on the descent was soft/slushy snow as was the traverse and hike back up to the saddle. Without some good solid overnight freezes (which it doesn‘t look like there is going to be anytime soon), I would not attempt Lindsey for a while. Between the creek crossings that are going to get worse, the road to the trailhead washed out, and the soft/slushy snow, it is going to be dang near impossible to make it. We started at 230am, summit at 1030am, got back to car at 230pm.
|2015-05-23||Route: North Couloir
Info: Really good conditions for skiing and otherwise. We booted up the standard route and skied North couloir. Solid stable layer under a foot of freshies on the traverse from the saddle and in the standard gully. Really good snow coverage in North couloir, about a foot of freshies. Very minimal wet avy debris. There‘s a lingering snow drift about 2-3 miles from summer TH. If you pass that section, you‘ll be good to go for another 1-1.5 miles. We played it safe and didn‘t, and it added 1.5 hour to an already long day. It sucks to hike that road in wet ski boots! Creek crossings are starting to get interesting, and it‘s only going to get even more problematic with intense snowmelt.
|2015-05-17||Route: North Couloir
Info: Not to duplicate the last report, but Lindsey‘s north coolie is prime skiing right now
|2015-05-17||Route: North Face
Info: Patches of snow ankle/shin deep up to about the creek crossing, then snowshoes up to the saddle. Standard route is a couloir climb now up to the ridge.
|2015-05-01||Route: North Couloir
Info: Climbed Lindsey today via the North Couloir, then descended via the Northwest Ridge. Lot‘s of snow all the way up, a ski descent is still doable, but not for long as it‘s melting fast. Was able to drive to within 2 miles of summer T.H. The couloirs are in good shape, ridge was snowy but a lot of fun!
|2015-04-12||Route: North Face
Info: The ski is in good shape. Good amount of snow above 11k.
|2014-12-07||Route: North Face
Info: KEY POINTS: - The standard gulley route up Lindsey from 13k doesn‘t get any better than it is right now -- enough snow to hold the loose rock together, but not enough to slide/require full on snow climbing. The ridge also looked very doable. - We bootpacked it, though snowshoes would be helpful at points. No traction or crampons. - We used poles mostly and axes above 13k. - We set a nice trench down that mostly follows the correct route (a few mistakes and...creative paths in places though). - It took nearly 12 hours and somewhere between 10-14 miles to accomplish. Check the related "TH" report for how far we were able to make it up the road. CAIC and SNODAS reports are accurate -- there is about 1-2 feet of snow on average across the Blanca Massif. My partners summited without snowshoes or even traction, though they used axes. With no new snow forecasted for the next week, look for our trenches to the top! Snowshoes would be helpful in some places and I sort of regret not bringing them. Not sure an AT ski setup would be advisable. From the lower TH: - About six inches of snow on the road to the upper TH, deeper and shallower in places. Easily bootpacked, wouldn‘t recommend skinning as there are some dry/rocky sections. From the upper TH: - Six-inches to a foot of snow for the first mile. Snow becomes consistently a foot deep after the trail begins meandering across the stream a few times. From the split to head up towards Lindsey: - 1-2 feet of snow. We bootpacked with poles and it was not fun. Frequently up to our knees and sometimes our waist. We opted to avoid the trees and attempted to hop up the talus, which really wasn‘t much faster. From the small stream leading from the iron nipple/lindsey cirque: - We meandered across both sides of the stream attempting to find areas with shallow or firm snow. My own strategy was to just walk directly on the frozen stream itself, which kept the snowpack cool and firm. Occassionally my foot would plunge down to the ice or even through it. From above the stream in the cirque: - We were able to find tongues of grass and rock that provided quick paths to the top through shallow snow. - These were broken up by large drifts in depressions that required brief waist-deep postholing. From the ridge/lindsey saddle: - Very dry. Any snow is only a few inches deep. - The standard gulley route up Lindsey from 13k doesn‘t get any better than it is right now -- enough snow to hold the loose rock together, but not enough to slide/require full on snow climbing. The ridge also looked very doable. Avalanche concerns: - Not enough snow on any of our routes to really slide, except when we got into some deep snowpack on some very low-angled terrain. - The NW aspects of several mountains in the massif had slid. Nearly the entire mountainsides were outlined by large avalanche crowns. - Lots of recent slides. With no snow forecasted any time soon....Get out there! It‘s doable in a day. Follow our trench.
|2014-10-24||Route: Lindsey/Iron Nipple Saddle
Info: From the upper 4wd trailhead, the trail is essentially snow-free (a few avoidable patches) all the way past the lower stream crossings and through the lower forest until it begins to climb steeply uphill. Once the trail begins to gain elevation, patches of slick snow and ice are intermittent. I was able to do fine just walking carefully. Once I passed the old mine shaft, after which the trail crossed the stream for good, the snow and ice covered the trail without a break. I stopped and put on Stabilicers and was grateful for them. The snow became patchy again above timberline in the high cirque and glacial rubble. Southern and western slopes were bare in patches, northern and eastern slopes snow-covered. This was consolidated, crusted snow that held my weight on the ascent, but softened some on my descent. The Stabilicers worked fine both directions. It took me about three hours climbing time to reach the saddle, and cross to its north side. On the north side, the snow was powdery, unconsolidated, and drifted deeply enough that it was hard to see the trail. I was wearing low gaiters, and the snow was deeper than my gaiters and my socks were getting wet. I don‘t know that the standard route up the gulley would be a good choice in these conditions because there is no way you can kick steps in unconsolidated snow. The ridge route might work, but looks icy in places. In today‘s bluebird weather, it was warm in the sun, but in the shadow of Lindsey it was cold. I sat and ate a protein bar and wondered if my second summit of the peak was worth the risk of the ice on the ridge, and decided not. I was solo. There was no one else in the basin. My signature on the log at the trailhead was the only one since October 19, and the only tracks I had seen were snowshoe prints several days old, and coyote and bighorn tracks. Partially snow-covered Blanca and Ellingwood were beautiful from the route, and Lily Lake and Winchell Lakes looked half ice-free. What a great day hiking! Took me about two and a half hours to make it back to the trailhead. I kept the Stabilicers on until the trail broke away from the stream and leveled out some.