Peak(s):  Mt. Lindsey  -  14,042 feet
Iron Nipple  -  13,500 feet
Date Posted:  07/05/2021
Modified:  07/26/2021
Date Climbed:   07/04/2021
Author:  Peaks4Days
 Mt. Lindsey Ridge Details   

There are a bunch of Mt. Lindsey trail reports, but none of the ones I looked at prior to doing this hike have good "to scale" photos of the hard part - the crux wall. So here you go, a trip report that includes some photos of the crux wall with actual, living human beings in it, so you can see what you're really up against.

GPX is included at the bottom.

For starters though, lets talk about the trailhead. If you put "Lily Lake Trailhead" into Google it will get you in the right direction, but tell you you're done about a mile or two short of the actual trailhead. As far as the conditions go - they are pretty simple. I rode this in a slightly lifted Land Cruiser w/ 33s, which could do that terrain all day long. I had friends that joined and did this in a completely stock, new Honda CRV. Not an older, 90s, light, nimble CRV - I'm talking the family hauling, minivan-esque CRV that exists today. While they had to go a bit slower, they made it up just fine as well.

Since the point of this report is to highlight the crux wall, I'll breeze through the other bits. The trail to Mt. Lindsey is essentially flat for the first mile and a half, before going up the slope of a mountain and eventually entering a large, above-treeline meadow.

Beginning of the trail. That is Blanca, not Lindsey in the background.
After exiting the treeline, the trail enters a high alpine meadow. Lindsey is in the center w/ Iron Nipple on the left.

After crossing the high alpine meadow, a rib will take you up to the ridgeline and saddle between Lindsey and Iron Nipple.

On the ridgeline looking up to Lindsey

Once on the ridgeline, contine for a few hundred feet, then (assuming you're doing the ridgeline route and not the gully), cut up to the right to stay on the ridgeline or just left of it.

On Lindsey's ridgeline looking back to the saddle and Iron Nipple

You can stay on the ridgeline proper and do a sort of sketchy traverse to get to the crux wall (sorry I don't have a picture of this), or go down just left of the ridgeline proper and go up a gully that runs into the crux wall (not the "gully route" mind you).

Okay, so now for the crux wall, the raison d'etre of this trail report. For comparison's sake, I'll put the photo that I have with people in it next to the matching photos from the main site (which has lines, but not people).

Main site photo. Lines but no people for scale.
My photo. See people descending from left Class 4 "fissure" Route and me at the top right doing the right Class 4 "ridge" Route. Class 3 route not visible.

The main site suggests 3 routes. A far left Class 3 route, a left Class 4 (fissure) route, and a right Class 4 (ridge) route. I did the "ridge" Class 4 route going up and the "fissure" Class 4 route going down. As such, I don't have much to say about the far left Class 3 route. Regarding the two Class 4 routes - the "ridge" route is definitely harder than the "fissure" route. The "ridge" route has far more exposure, the holds are smaller, and the rock is otherwise sloping downward. I definitely would not take this route going down. It begins simple enough, but get more serious in the slightly darker color rock that is shown in both photos. To compare, the holds are larger on the "fissure" route, it isn't as exposed, and it feels more like a staircase.

Hope these pictures helped! Be safe and enjoy!

UPDATE!: A lot of people were asking about simply continuing up the "fissure" (as opposed to crossing over it and going up the "steps" shown by the orange line in the main site photo) so I included another photo taken below the fissure looking up. My head (guy in orange jacket) is just to the left of the cross-over, at the beginning of the "steps" up the wall, with the guy in the blue jacket at the top of the "steps." You can see that the fissure becomes more recessed after the cross-over, so going up it would require quite a squeeze.

Below the fissure looking up

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 6 7 8

Comments or Questions
Thanks for posting
07/05/2021 22:46
Question for you on the class 4 'fissure' route. In the .com pic, the route (going up) seems to cross over the actual fissure continuing on the left side to the top of the wall. Is this the way you descended? I believe I saw a couple of YouTube vids of folks that seemed to be going up the fissure itself. Just wondering if the staircase you are referring to is where the .com pic shows the line to the left of the fissure (going up) or actually in the fissure? Thanks for any info as hope to be heading there next month!!

Fissure Clarification
07/05/2021 23:02

I think the line on the .com pic pretty accurately represents the way I came down, in that it has "steps" that go up/down the wall on the left and then crosses over the fissure . From what I remember, it would've been possible to go up the fissure the entire way, but it would definitely be a tight squeeze!

person in fissure
07/05/2021 23:15
Thanks much for posting, peaks4days.
Isnt there a person with a white helmet in the fissure in the #8 photo (and NOT where that orange line is)? The size matches the size of people in your photo anyways.
its clear that this headwall section isnt very long.

Person in Fissure
07/06/2021 10:32

That's a good question about the .com "Photo #8." I'm not sure if that is a person w/ a white helmet or a glare off a rock in that photo. The fissure becomes much more recessed after the "cross-over," so you'd really have to squeeze into it if you were to climb up from that point.

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