Lindsey Ridge up, Shellrock Mtn down

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Chip Down
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Lindsey Ridge up, Shellrock Mtn down

Post by Chip Down » November 22nd, 2020, 1:05 pm

Looking at a gorge map, spotted Lindsey Ridge, looked interesting. Researched a bit, and was reminded that there a few reports here. Earliest I found was 2008 on a PortlandHikers archive, by...of course...the legendary Pablo, who is either a pioneering offtrail gorge hiker, or just likes writing up TRs more than some people.

So, between Defiance and Shellrock, we have Lindsey and Summit creeks, with Lindsey Ridge ascending between them. It's mostly broad and indistinct down low, but eventually gets crisp, sometimes so sharp that you'll want to be sober (no bloody maries with brunch before this hike). I even stepped off crest at least a couple times, although I do think a committed/obsessive hiker could stay on crest. This wasn't a great ridge, but there were a few fun spots to make it worthwhile. It does get a bit brushy at times, so not a great hike if moisture is considerable (I got soaked just from bushwhacking). I've seen at least two TRs describing this as a very steep route, but there was only one spot where it was uncomfortably steep with no sensible workaround. It wasn't scary, just slightly unsettling. I was happy to have my extra-long ice axe for dirt/rocks/trees/whatever.

From 3400' to 3800' the ridge was very broad, so I picked any upbound route through the ever-deeper snow, getting pelted by slushbombs. At the top, another ridge joins from the west (my descent ridge), and then I continued south on an undulating crest, postholing to Wyeth Trail. That wasn't worth the time/effort.

Back at the top of my descent ridge, I started down in extremely deep snow, plunging to crotch on occasion. Because gravity was aiding, and because I knew it would get better in a few hundred feet, I persisted.

I was pleased to break out of forest/brush onto an exposed ridgecrest. Sketchy though, because a foot of fresh snow over talus is not conducive to fast safe descending. Eventually out of the snow and into forest, veering east/right to take the correct ridge to Shellrock.

The descent from Shellrock Summit was miserable. Trail obliterated on an unstable slope. My last time here (which was post-fire) I accidentally dropped into Summit Creek canyon. That actually might be a better route now. I was happy to reach the switchbacks on the big talus slope (still intact) but I bailed, because of the ridiculous 1% slope. I think that trail was built as an exhibition, not for people who want to get up/down the mountain. So I popped over the ridge to the east, to the backbone, and down to Summit Creek, where I yada yada'd my way to car. [I've never put that in a TR, but it makes perfect sense when you get to the point that nothing more needs to be said.]

This was my first post-alpine hike of the season. I did love the short drive, the warmer temps, lack of wind. But as I was bushwhacking my way up lower Lindsey Ridge, I was really missing my beloved Mt Adams.

Almost forgot to mention, there are some old roads crossing the ridgecrest down low. They show up on lidar, and I think Don has explored a bit. I doubt they would enhance travel. A shorter direct hike up the ridge is probably faster, since the roads are a bit overgrown.

Oh, and speaking of Don, he left a note on my car :D
That was a fun end to my day.

added text to enhance search results for people who use an alternate spelling: Lindsay Ridge
A fun geological anomaly that went on for quite a ways.
Another geological anomaly. After my hike, I saw this in a TR, but with sun and leaves. Wow, what a difference. Easy to overlook this when ascending, more obvious when descending. (I got lucky and looked back at this spot.)
Just barely getting above the gorge soup here, which created great lighting.
Surprise clearing on descent ridge. Could see Shellrock from here, which made me feel better about doing this route blind. [edit: that's not Shellrock poking through the clouds, it's Wind, which is Shellrock's sister across the river]
Looking back up my descent ridge.
When did they install a propane heater at the Shellrock instrument center? Incidentally, you may have seen (in person or pics) the nearby "danger" sign. It's on the ground now, as its host tree has fallen.
New bridge assisted my return at end of day, saved me a tricky bushwhack and hopacross.

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Re: Lindsey Ridge up, Shellrock Mtn down

Post by lordgares » February 22nd, 2021, 1:35 pm

I was up that way around the end of January and it looks like the bridge had taken a couple of good tree hits during one of the storms that came through. As a side note so did my head when trying to go under one :lol:

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Chip Down
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Re: Lindsey Ridge up, Shellrock Mtn down

Post by Chip Down » February 22nd, 2021, 6:26 pm

Woohoo, debut post above! :D

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