Mt. Lindsey  
Condition Updates  
Route: Northwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-10-29, By: Ptglhs
Info: Hiked up to saddle and took a left for the 13ers. The route below 13,150 is snowy over most of it, but not deep in most places. A few spots are calf deep. Post hole on the "trail" or on the drainage. Snow isn't supportive. Floation would be a waste of weight, imo. Took traction but didn't use it. Ridge looked dry, spotty snow in gully but not enough for crampons. 
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Route: Northwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-09-04, By: mspin99
Info: Conditions are great throughout the hike. The 1st mile (through the stream crossing) is pretty wet in sections, but not a big deal. As for the stream crossing, no need to wade, there are several downed trees that you can maneuver through pretty easily. I took the gully route up and down as there was significant cloud cover and limited visibility, plus the ridge was pretty windy. At the turnoff, make sure you head up the correct section of the gully. It was helpful looking at the picture regarding the route that showed the specific rock formations above you. It's also pretty obvious as the climber's trail that you are traversing on pretty much ends there. I stuck to the right and held solid rock pretty much the entire way up. Make some mental notes of what the terrain looks like behind you, particularly if there is limited visibility. This way you don't go down the wrong gully. But there are several cairns up top that make it pretty easy to find the notch back. Also, with good weather, you can easily see the ridge on your descent. Lastly, wear a helmet. I saw a group of 3 ascending the gully without helmets. Lots of loose rock to accidentally shoot down the gully. Plus, the ridge route is right above you. Definite potential for rockfall throughout the gully section. All in all, I found it to be enjoyable and not that difficult of a climb, as long as you avoid the center of the gully. 
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Route: Northwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-08-11, By: ScottHendrick
Info: This was redemption for a failed attempt a few years ago, cut short by an evil hailstorm at 13,500 feet. We camped overnight at the trailhead and were on the trail at 6am. The first mile was uneventful and pleasant - it was nice to use the logjam to cross the river instead of wading through it. The second mile was TOUGH - relentlessly steep through the forest. The third mile was nice as we left the trees and wandered through the nice meadow with boulder outcroppings and friendly marmots. The fourth mile started very steep going straight the spine of the lower mountain towards the first saddle (almost 13,000 feet) - some switchbacks would have been well-appreciated here, perhaps some future CFI project. The boulder field up to the second saddle (13,150 feet) was also pretty steep and loose. Until this point, the day was rather hot and we had ditched a pile of clothing in the forest to retrieve later. After the saddle, there was a bit of wind that helped cool us down a bit. Based on our past experience, we put on our helmets and grinded up the Gully of Despair. We stayed on the right side to avoid as much of the loose/dangerous rock as possible. After we made the notch at about 13,600 feet, it was new territory for us. The guide from 14ers.com was quite helpful at that point - we looked closely at some pictures to decide which way to go. We were able to follow the "trail" decently well, and successfully gained the summit ridge. From there, it was a pretty basic and fun walk of a couple hundred yards to the summit. It was very fulfilling to finally be there! We took a couple pictures, then two people joined us on the summit and we made some new friends. Luke and Ally had ascended the ridge and (like everyone else) told us how much more enjoyable that route was. They volunteered to show us the way, since we had not really studied that route. Though they were clearly much faster and more experienced climbers than us, they stayed with us all the way back to the main saddle. We had a really good time descending with them and we totally enjoyed the ridge. I think we probably made a couple of basic class-4 moves on the way down, but it was certainly the better way to go and we felt safe the entire way. We saw six other climbers the entire day. I suppose this was a typical Tuesday. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-08, By: ckaplan01
Info: Hazy with reduced visibility. Route is wet on the approach but in good condition generally. Early sunset in the basin was cool and pleasant. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-06, By: kalestew
Info: Glaciers from last month have totally melted away. Ridge route isn't well cairned but is still very navigable if you follow the photos 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-12, By: Carsonj20
Info: Complete summer conditions. The trail through the trees could use a little maintenance. The route up the crux that goes next to the crack was very sheltered, I would highly recommended that over the gully, we heard rocks falling all day. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-08, By: cvbuffs
Info: Road up to the trailhead is pretty straightforward, just a bit long, with the last 4ish miles being the worst. Give yourself plenty of time to drive down and make sure you note pull offs since the road is quite narrow most of the way. Started around 3:30pm with hopes that the weather would hold. Once you hit the river crossing shown in picture 3 I found the trail to be a little difficult to follow and wasn't sure I was on the right route until about an hour later when I passed the cave on the other side of the river (a great indicator that you're on the right path.) Fortunately the weather gods were with me and after a 45 minute break near the saddle to allow the last of the clouds to clear. Took the NW ridge route since the conditions in the gully didn't look very fun. Note, if you take the ridge there is a ton of route finding and I quickly found myself climbing difficult class 3 terrain to the class 4 section of the crux. Once to the false summit it is a pretty quick/simple scramble to the summit; summited at 7:45pm. With the sun fading I choose to follow the intermittently defined path toward the gully since I thought it would be faster on the decent and I didn't want to get caught on the ridge with no sun. Hugged the left side of the gully and found it to be pretty stable as long as you avoided the gully's main artery. Route finding wasn't too bad, but there was a bit of "choose your own adventure" to find the most stable rock. Returned to the saddle around 8:45pm just as the sun was setting behind the peaks to the west and witnessed an amazing sunset. From there I donned my headlamp and started down into the basin. No problems with route finding until it was time to start heading back down the west side of the river where there were a few places that were very hard to find the trail. Once down to the river crossing near the cave the trail was pretty easy to follow in the dark until reaching the area between the boulder field (picture 4) and the river crossing (picture 3) and I lost the trail somewhere right before the river crossing. Being a bit lost, I crossed the river and after a bit of bushwacking ran into the Lily Lake trail (phew) which connected back to the main trail. In hindsight I should have returned back to where I lost the trail and proceeded further down the trail on the south side of the river. Once on the main trail it was rather quick hike to the trailhead, with a brief scary moment where I saw a couple pairs of eyes looking at me in the dark about 50 yards off the trail near the river. Judging by the size my guess was a couple of bear, so after making a bunch of noise and passing by them I finally hit the trailhead about 5 minutes later, arriving at 10:45pm. Trail was mostly dry with a few muddy / wet spots from the recent rain. No snow so no traction or floatation needed. Couple of notes: 1. I should have brought a backpack and setup camp near the flat area near picture 6 in the event the weather did not work out given the time of day I started, and would recommend that to anyone else starting later in the day. 2. Good reminder to keep a trailmap and emergency materials with you on all hikes. I had a map, compass, emergency blanket and a steripen which I thankfully didn't need to use, but was prepared to if I hadn't met up with the Lily Lake trail. 3. If you do get lost on the area near the river crossing, the trail mostly follows the river so that is one way to navigate yourself to the right area. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-26, By: coopereitel
Info: Dry all the way. Ridge was fun. Started at 6:00, summited at 9:30, car by noon ish. It rained pretty good on the way down, made the hike in/out a lot more muddy and wet than it already is. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-25, By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: The approach is dry and a bonus this year is a log jam where the trail crosses the river, making the crossing a breeze. The route up the mountain is super dry. I hiked 13ers Huerfano and Iron Nipple but got a good look at Lindsey. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-20, By: frooney
Info: Ridge was snow free until well past the crux. Only a couple small sections of snow after the false summit and they don't really interfere with the route. Went up and down the ridge and those who took the gully reported very loose conditions. What little snow is left in the gully doesn't seem to be helping much. Below tree line there is still enough patchy snow to complicate route finding but not enough to cause any real trouble. Hiked in trail runners and was able to stay mostly dry. Brought spikes but didn't pull them out; most of the snow we crossed was on low angle terrain and the crossings were short. 
Route: Northwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-06-18, By: cisnerosab
Info: Snow in the gully is slushy and does little to keep the scree in place; didn't seem to freeze overnight. Ended up doing class 3 moves up and down the right side of the gully and above the gully to summit ridge. Route is mostly clear of snow. Some deeper patches as you climb right of the boulder field and just below treeline, but easily avoidable. Driving to the lower trail head is a rough dirt road. Do not recommend for 2WD or low clearance. Closest 2WD parking is at the Huerfano State Wildlife Area, which entails several miles of hiking on dirt roads to reach the TH. 
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Route: Northwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-06-14, By: seayachter
Info: Ascended the gully and descended the ridge. Gully is filled with enough snow, but is melting fast. Route finding/staying on actual trail is difficult through boulder field from snow drifts. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-12, By: Tommy4646
Info: Hello all, I lost my phone while descending yesterday. It is probably somewhere on the saddle, the switchbacks (down to the basin), or somewhere in the basin next to glissade tracks or boot-pack. If anyone finds it please pm or email me (tommyalamin@gmail.com). I would immensely appreciate it. I will pay for shipping and will send you a gift as a thank you. Trip Report: As far as gear goes, the snow is melted enough to where you don't need axes and crampons if you're doing the NW ridge. Snowshoes would be helpful for the upper basing though. Also, waterproof boots and gaiters are pretty essential as there is still quite a bit of unavoidable post-holing. Microspikes might be helpful for a few sections of the approach. Driving conditions to the trailhead are clear of snow; we made it up in a Subaru. There were a few tricky spots where we had to pile rocks under the wheels though, but we made it up just fine. Temperatures for us felt like they ranged from the high 40s to the low 60s. We had no precipitation and the wind was only bad while camping at Lily Lake the night before and when coming back down the saddle. We had no precipitation. The Trail in the valley was mostly clear until you cross the creek. The creek crossing itself was a little dicey for our group we ended up balancing across some fallen trees, which worked fine. The water is extremely cold though, so be careful. After the creek, the trail ascends the hiker's left side of the valley, which is where much of the trail disappears under several feet of snow. There is a solid boot pack over most of it which you can follow. Our group ended up climbing a bunch of rocks and scree up and then traversing hiker's right to rejoin the trail. We took the boot pack down and that was much nicer. Once the trail hits the canyon coming down from the high basin, you are supposed to traverse the creek. and then follow it on the hiker's right side as you ascend. However, the snow trail is hard to follow with all the snow still there. Also, the creek is frozen and snow-covered from about halfway up all the way to the basin. The snowpack over the creek was pretty solid when we were there, so walking up that is probably the easiest way up (this is probably where the microspikes would be helpful). Our group tried to stick to the trail on the way up and had quite a bit of trouble; we descended via the frozen sections of the creek on the way down. It was a lot easier. The basin still has quite a bit of snow in it. About 2/3 of the trail up there is still covered in several feet of snow. There is a boot pack which is okay, but this is where snowshoes would help. Once you reach the switchbacks to the saddle, the conditions are nice and dry. The NW ridge itself was also dry and we had little wind when we went up. Like all the other beta says, it's is quite exposed. Lots of fall and ygd moments. The summit ridge did have snow on it with some post-holing. Nothing too bad though. The summit itself still has some serious cornices but is mostly dry. Be careful while descending. The crux is quite tricky going down. I think 3+ would probably be the right grade for it. The NW gully is still filled with snow and has a boot pack going up it. Most of the snow was quite slushy past noon though. 
Route: Northwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-06-07, By: cyclecross444
Info: Climbed California Peak on Sunday and I got some good pictures of Lindsey. It looks like there is still a good amount of snow in the crux and most of the trail. 
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Route: North Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-29, By: macg91
Info: Patchy snow on the trail up until the river crossing, then essentially continuous snow coverage from then on. River crossing is about ankle deep currently. Snow made route finding by headlamp in the morning somewhat challenging. Wore hiking shoes up until the crossing and then switched to skis/skins. Fair amount of post-holing when not on skis. Travel below tree line was overall slower and more challenging than expected. Things got significantly easier above tree line thanks to supportive snow and easier route-finding. Climbed and skied the N Couloir which has a great bootpack (thanks joflyer22!). The N Couloir is very much in and is skiable from the summit. Snow was firm for the climb at 8am and ripe for skiing at 930am. The couloir goes as low as about 12.5k, but opted to stop at 13k to minimize elevation re-gain to the saddle. As for other routes, the NW Gully is filled with snow and also appeared to have a good bootpack. The crux wall of the NW Ridge appears to be holding some snow as well. Skis on from just below the saddle down to the river, then hiked the rest of the way out. 
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Route: Northwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-05-28, By: joflyer22
Info: Ascended via the Northwest gully and found that to be in good shape with climbable, consolidated snow. However, I didn't like all the steep side traversing to get to the summit and opted for descending the North Couloir. The upper few hundred feet where it's most steep had hard, granular snow that was difficult to kick step, but that improved when the slope moderated and the lower part had deep, soft snow. That made for an easy plunge-step descent - but I wouldn't recommend ascending that unless you are able to climb it after a freeze. I did a high traverse exiting the couloir at about 12,900 to get back to the 13,100 saddle ridge. The traverse was miserable with lots of snow-filled talus and trap doors. It might have been worth it just to re-climb the extra 400-500' from the bottom. The class 3 North ridge looked fine - mostly dry with some intermittent snow. I was too intimated to try the ridge up and down by myself but that's probably the easiest route at this point. The final ridge scramble to the summit was a mix of snow and rocks and the summit is one giant cornice right now. I used snowshoes for a short bit on the initial climb but switched to crampons and was able to climb on mostly stable snow to about 12,900, the point before reaching the saddle, and that's where I stashed my snowshoes. The saddle ridge is a mix of dry and snow. I put my snowshoes on for the descent back to treeline and was grateful for the support on the very soft snow that covered the climber's trail and that whole basin in general. The descent from treeline was unfortunately a spring sufferfest. Everything that you love to hate about spring - this trail has it all. Waist-deep postholing, snowbanks covering any semblance of trail, soft and wet trail when there isn't snow, etc. The stream crossing would have been impossible without forging except for the fact that some downed trees provided a dry crossing opportunity. I made the mistake of sleeping through my alarm and got a late start. That was a costly mistake and the descent took me as long as the ascent. If you're going to climb this now, start early and try to wait for a cold night and freeze (if one will occur now at this point). 
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Route: North Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-01, By: jmanner
Info: 16 miles from where you can park your car, then you'll walk a mile to intermittent snow. From the upper trailhead it's skin-able to near the saddle with Iron Nipple. NW gully holds snow, we chose to take it half way then climb up to the ridge. North Face is skiable from the summit. We brought our powder skis, probably wasn't necessary. We skied off the ridge from the saddle and didn't take the skis off and slap the skins back on until about a mile from the upper trailhead. It's a big day right now. 
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Route: North Couloir
Posted On: 2021-04-27, By: climb2ski
Info: Not really an update - more a question if anyone has been up here this spring? Couloir and Road conditions? 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-07, By: Geckser
Info: It was a very nice day on Lindsey. The road is closed 5.8 miles below the normal summer trailhead. The road is very grim this time of year with variable snow coverage for the first 1.8 miles. The road becomes very bumpy and snowy after that point. Skiing the road is difficult even if the first 1.8 miles were somehow snowy as it requires a great deal of skinning on the way back (we left our skins on for the entire trip back). The basin after the trailhead is still quite snowy and the trail is not very clear, another case where skins stayed on for the descent. Once the gully is reached it is a very nice skin to around 12,600 feet where we deposited our skis above a pile of rocks. The basin section was stunningly beautiful and included some very fun moraine skiing. We brought trailrunners for this section of the climb and we were glad we had them. It was even a nice enough day for a not very painful transfer between boots and shoes. The climb to the ridge was easy and not super snowy. The northwest ridge was the route used for the remaining portion of the ascent, this section was not very snowy and actually very pleasant and fun scrambling. The crux wall is slightly snowy depending on the route chosen but you can easily avoid all snow if desired. Great views from the summit on a pretty nice day. The descent was very nice from the summit back down to the lower basin the snow was very high quality and the features of the mountain were super fun to ski. Getting from the lower basin to the car was a bit of a slog as there was never a point where it made sense to take off skins and there were many flats or uphills. Do not expect a smooth descent, at least on skis. Overall very good day. I would recommend hitting the peak asap as I doubt the trench that we generated will last very long and I doubt many other people will put in a trench before spring. As far as we could tell we were the first group up the mountain for at least a month. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-06, By: gmorgenegg
Info: About a week ago 2+ feet of snow had fallen in the area. We were able to make it about a mile away from the trailhead in my friends lifted forerunner after we had put chains on the back tires. We needed snowshoes almost the entire way to 13,000 feet. It is really rough going though, those snowshoes have definitely seen better days. Ice axes were useful, but some good trekking poles would have probably done just as well. Ice spikes were extremely useful once we got on the ridge. We were able to keep the difficulty at mostly class 3 with a few class 4 moves. The crux of the route was a downclimb from the ridge to the base of the “crux wall”. Made it to the summit in just over 8 HOURS!! It took about 4 hours to get back. Good Luck! 
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