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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2014-10-07||Route: North Face
Info: Conditions were great up to the saddle. After that, there was about as much snow/ice as shown in the route description photos on the site. Most of the snow/ice was in shadow, so 90% of it was slick, hard ice.
|2014-09-13||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Lindesy, Iron Nipple, and Huerfano were all perfect Saturday 9/13/2014. No ice or snow anywhere, perfect sunshine all day, and just a bit of wind. Trailhead road is pretty clear, made it up in a Subaru Outback Sport (Impreza Hatchback) with a few bumps and bruises but nothing serious. A lot of carins are knocked over, so routefinding is a bit tough. Take your time and remember landmarks for the way down.
|2014-09-07||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Climbed the ridge and came down the gully. The north and east facing aspects had a lot of pockets of hail and some ice patches on shaded rocks. Most ice had melted by mid morning but hail was still in in most nooks and crannies through early pm. Lower portion (below saddle) is in good shape.
|2014-09-07||Route: North Face
Info: We took the standard North Face trip up Lindsay. Frozen snow/hail pellets helped keep the scree manageable, however if it had not been there, climbing on the rocks to the right (headed up) it would have been just the same. We didn‘t find the scree section to be as horrendous as previous reports made it out to be. Still I‘m happy we didn‘t bring the dogs. It was a a nice 43* at trail head (5:20a) and by the time we hit the rocks in the shaded gulley they were still covered with frost and slick. Be careful friends! We had an awesome day above the clouds, but could have done without the inexperienced hiker running down the gulley letting rocks fly everywhere.
|2014-08-16||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: River crossing in the dark was fairly interesting. I would recommend trekking poles or a large stick to help cross. We ended up taking our shoes off but didn‘t have trekking poles so it was still fairly slippery. The rock is super solid on the Ridge - I‘m unsure why anyone would do the gully unless they are terrified of exposure or have a dog with them.
|2014-08-16||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: River crossing was relatively easy with a log spanning the water. Another couple we bumped into apparently hiked too high and had to wade across. With hiking poles (or one of the branches left on either side), it was quick and easy. The gully is every bit as loose as everyone else says. I‘d rather down climb the 3/4 rock than touch the gully again.
|2014-07-27||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Updated TH conditions as well. Trail from the upper TH is in good shape. Managed the river crossing (on the way up) without getting wet. Took us about 2.5 hours to reach the saddle between Iron Nipple and Lindsey. No snow or obstacles to speak of on the way up. Stuck to the left of the head wall (mostly class 3 with a couple class 4 moves), rock was solid. Once on summit, storm rolled in FAST and dropped 2ish inches of hail blanketing the entire route to treeline making for challenging route finding / slippery conditions down and already awful gulley for a descent. Snow on the face probably will remain for a few days.
|2014-07-19||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Climbed the NW Ridge and descended the north face gully and both routes are completely free of snow. The only noteworthy item was that last week there was a landslide along the dirt road to the Lily Lake trailhead which has created a large mud pit that you must drive through. No problems in my jeep, but I could see that it could cause some issues for a car.
|2014-06-14||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Still a little snow hanging on below treeline. We lost the trail once or twice and ended up just walking right beside the creek up into the high basin. We climbed the ridge route and came down the standard gully route. Virtually all snow is gone from the gully and the rock is rotten and unstable. I would recommend the ridge route over the standard route. It was much more enjoyable.
|2014-06-13||Route: Northwest Ridge
Info: Snow banks still in the trees covering the trail. Not all that bad though as you can step in others‘ previous postholes. Deep in places, but never for more than ~10 feet. Saddle to peak via the ridge was windy/gusty, made the climb up interesting. Took the gully down, in the current conditions, avoiding the snow, was easily class III.
|2014-05-16||Route: North Face
Info: No rideable snow on N side of Lindsey