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Mt Lindsey, Colorado


Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 7.6 miles

Mt Lindsey

Arrived at the Lily Lake trailhead around 1500 on the 18th of Aug 09 and found a flat spot to park the H2 with a nice campfire ring. The road up to the trailhead was really quite good for 4x4 vehicles. There was a deer that enjoyed my company who kept popping out of the woods and continued to circle my site. Took some pictures of the spectacular views and was trying to figure out if you could actually see Mt Lindsey from the TH. I determined that you couldn’t with some topo map study and proceeded to make some dinner before nighfall. A sububurban made it up to the TH with a couple of guys from Denver and I ended up hangin out with them around a fire discussing the next day hike and admiring the millions of stars in the very dark sky above. I was happy to have some good company and some mutual support for the next day’s hike as well as one of the guys “weiner dogs” that had completed 26 14ers to boot! We pushed out at 0710 and had a pretty good pace going. This trail was perfect compared to the Blanca route. The trail started downhill thru the trees and quickly came upon a creek around a mile into it. Once across the creek the trail started up pretty aggressively thru the trees and then came out in a gully that we tracked up for another ¾ of a mile or so. Once atop the gully the views were spectacular as it opened up into a meadow that you could clearly see the trail meandering across and then up a spine to the top of a ridge connected to the “Iron Nipple” and Mt Lindsey. Perfect meadow for a log cabin or just a place to relax and enjoy the views. You could see the Crestone Needle and all the other 14ers off in the distance. You could also see the huge cliff face on the side of Blanca and Ellingwood Point. Mt Lindsey was still just peaking over the ridge and consumed by the early morning sun. we made it up on the spine/ridge around 13K and decided to have a little sit down break to get some energy for the final push up Lindsey . from here, we scaled up a medium pitched rock field to arrive on the final ridge of Mt Lindsey and the Iron Nipple. I must say, Mt Lindsey really looked STEEP and I was still trying to figure out where we were actually going to ascend it. There were a couple of hikers that surpassed us and they ended up taking the class 3 route which looked pretty exposed. We took the class 2 route. We finally saw the gully we were going to scree up and It was quite apparent this was the trail from a distance. It was pretty slow going as we carefully made it up the scree field on the edges to get good handholds. Once up to a point that looked like we were reaching the top, there was a good crutch that topped out and then started to descend. They guys I was with said it looked better to traverse back to the West that was more exposed and tracked out of the gully to be way more exposed, but with good solid rock for handholds. I must say that I was completely intimidated by the looks of it and really realized I was just hanging on the side. It was good to be with other hikers for the confidence factor and a little direction for the proper line to take. It seemed like it was never going to end being stranded out on the rock ledge and looking down didn’t help at all! We finally made it to a point where it was leveling out and looked like the summit, but nope, not it as we passed one of the guys on the return who assured us what we were looking at was yet a false peak. Once over the false peak and then back down the ridge , we came upon another false peak that did allow you to see the summit of Lindsey. Made it to the summit at 1145 and once again took pics and video. Called the wife and let the other guys use my phone to call and announce our victory. Today was a super clear day and you could see forever. We finally had to retreat and left the summit around 1215. As we started back down, I was nonchalantly hinting if we could take the class 2 route that I clearly saw on the way up as we neared the summit. I was in trail and the other guys did in fact take that route that was twice as fast as the way up. once we made it past the steep gully and scree field, we stopped for a break and one of the guys accidently let his helmet fall off his pack and it tumbled about 200’ down the rock field. We were going to leave it and we talked him into going to get it because we had plenty of time and we could get in a good rest. He finally retrieved the helmet and we continued down to the lower ridge where we had made a lengthy stop on the way up. once rehydrated and had a little snack, we started down to the meadow field. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted some fast mover Vipers (F-16s ) that where coming right at us about 3-400 feet above us doing a standard airspeed of about 350kts!!! I got my video camera up, but regrettably was not able to hit the record button. Had to have been some guys from Buckley AFB in Colorado Springs. I will make the call to see if it was someone that I know. Continued back down the trail and decided to check out a cave we saw on the way up. we got our headlamps and ventured back into the cave till it came to an end about 200 yds back, took some pictures and video. Continued down and made it back to the TH parking lot around 1500 if I remember correctly. Super hike! I must admit that this was probably one of the best all around hikes I have done and rank this one pretty high.  – 

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