Route: Mammoth Lakes, Crystal Crag (CA)

Submitted by Ryan Tetz on Sat, 09/05/2020 - 02:20am
Location
California, US
Distance
2.26 mi
Vertical Gain
1252 ft
Description

The most popular local morning or evening run/scramble in Mammoth Lakes. It starts from the edge of the pavement in the main parking lot at Lake George and heads up any route possible to the summit starting via a couple prominent trails then scrambling over rough ground and talus to the base of the North Arete, climbing and traversing the ridge to the south summit before descending back to the start. The route can be done in multiple directions with creative route finding, but has to end on the pavement from either trail head at Lake George. The starting chimney moves are rated at up to 5.6, but the rest of the route goes at 3rd and 4th class or easier till the end.

The speed game was officially first pushed harder on this peak by Mammoth locals, Josh Dibble and Ryan Boyer, with some creative route variation explored by Shayd Forrest Otis (aka the Secret Squirrel). Josh first got the time down to 48:32 in 2014, followed by a time in the 47 minute range by Boyer. As the strongest historic known pioneering competitor, Boyer has this to say, "I also come from the old school concept that Summits matter, so the North Arete to the South Summit (true summit) is the only route that counts in the FKT game.” I think that says it here.

The competition is hot and the game is fun! There's also a perfect lake to relax in at the end (maybe one day someone will do a triathlon picnic version from town still too?).

FKTs

Comments

Bike from Stellar Brew > Swim across Lake George > Run up and climb Crystal Crag > Then reverse back to Stellar

Is stellar brew a business? What if it goes out of business?  Is there a more iconic/permanent landmark nearby (or intersection if no landmarks)? Is there a particular start/stop and route that avoids promoting any illegal/dangerous actions (running red lights/stop signs)?

What are the most aesthetic/traditional/logical swim entry and exit points? So that everyone is doing the same swim.

Food for thought as someone develops the picnic version of this.

Yeah all fair points. Stellar Brew is the typical dirtbag hangout cafe in Mammoth, but you could probably start somewhere more permanent such as the intersection between Main street and Old Mammoth road or the intersection of Lake Mary road and Minaret road may be more fitting.

For swimming I feel that one should start right by the marina/boat launch and end at the large rock outcropping on the other side.

These are just suggestions though, the first one to actually do it can set the rules.

Meant to update the first paragraph of the description more clearly if admin sees this (Full Description with best effort made to respect local tradition/original efforts) :

The most popular local morning or evening run/scramble in Mammoth Lakes. It starts from the edge of the pavement while standing in the main parking lot at Lake George and heads up to the crag via a couple prominent trailhead options, then scrambling over rough ground and talus via any route possible to the base of the North Arete - climbing and traversing the ridgeline to the south summit before descending back to the start. The route can be done in multiple directions with creative route finding, but has to end on the pavement from either trailhead at Lake George. The starting chimney moves are rated at up to 5.6, but the rest of the route goes at 3rd and 4th class or easier till the end.

The speed game was officially first pushed harder on this peak by Mammoth locals, Josh Dibble and Ryan Boyer, with some creative route variation explored by Shayd Forrest Otis (aka the Secret Squirrel). Josh first got the time down to 48:32 in 2014, followed by a time in the 47 minute range by Boyer. As the strongest historic known pioneering competitor, Boyer has this to say, "I also come from the old school concept that Summits matter, so the North Arete to the South Summit (true summit) is the only route that counts in the FKT game.” I think that says it here.

The competition is hot and the game is fun! There's also a perfect lake to relax in at the end (maybe one day someone will do a triathlon picnic version from town still too?).