Crystal Crag is easily seen from almost any point within the Mammoth Lakes basin. Its rocky form tops out at 10,364ft. There are a number of climbing options available. There are a couple of climbs that go all the way to the summit. However, some of the best climbing is found along the North East base of the peak.
The rock along the base is good quality granite, with many dikes and knobs.
The cliffs get early morning sun, and are blissfully sheltered from the strong summer sun, for most of the day.
Park at the Lake George parking lot and start hiking on the Crystal Lake Trail. After about 20 mins a sign to Crystal Lake is seen. Hang a left at the sign and follow the trail down to the lake. Follow the trail around the lake and after about 100 yards, take the climbers trail on the left. Follow this until you reach the base of the cliff. The approach takes about 45 minutes.
Lots of fun interesting moves over blocks and towers (several little overhangs) on a long narrow ridge. Rock is good weathered granite (like the high ridges above Tuolumne), plus a short section on shiny-white crystal. Dramatic-looking peak surrounded by pretty lakes. Short non-steep approach."Direct" meaning that the climbing is done as much as possible on the exact top of the narrow ridge - (also "direct" by a steeper entry to the S ridge). If the harder moves are avoided, then a similar route...[more]Browse More Classics in CA
By Euan Cameron Administrator From: Redlands and Mammoth Lakes Jul 7, 2010
It was a really cold spring this year which means there is still a lot of snow around.
By rex parker From: mammoth lakes c.a Sep 15, 2011
their is a lot of different routes up to the summit on the north arete including a 5-8 variation and a 5-9 clevenger variation. these are much better routes then the 5-6 regular north arete I highly recommend these. better rock and more fun to be had.