Mount Lindeman

July 7, 2017


Center Creek / Chilliwack Lake Road, BC

Mt. Lindeman is by any mean not a “big prize” but is surely a more interesting peak among the ones near Chilliwack Lake. It has two lower northern neighbours namely Mt. Webb and MacDonald Peak regularly drawing visitors thank to the inclusion in Matt Gunn’s Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia, but Mt. Lindeman itself is still a little bit obscured in the scrambling community. Everyone has been talking about it but not many actually set to attempt mostly because of the bushy approach. The access has been greatly improved in the past two years thank to the fixation of Center Creek FSR as well as a “Mt. Lindeman Trail” built by Chilliwack Outdoor Club. Now attaining this summit is a mere day-hike with virtually no bushwhacking whatsoever. You just need a 4×4 to get up the access road.

Despite the improved status I knew it could well be “temporary” given the nature of these remote coastal BC objectives. As soon as the logging activity stops that road (Center FSR) will be taken by nature in no time. Right now the road is in, the trail is good and the weather is golden so I had to go no matter what. I was very tired after Nivalis/Sir Richard exploration and then Mt. Jimmy Jimmy solo overnight, but this is not the time to get lazy. I did sleep in as I figured an “alpine start” was not necessary for this particular objective. By the time I made to the parking lot around 9 am another party of four showed up (also in a red Tacoma). One of them had just been up Mt. Lindeman two weeks ago so after some debating I decided to let them show the route. I was tired so following behind seemed right.

Mt. Lindeman scramble route. GPX DL

After some chatting they actually recognized me out and they are too, very experienced mountaineers and also paragliders. Time flee by fast as I just made 4 new friends. The initial 3 km follows the old logging road upwards into the valley – overgrown with a couple small creek crossings but nothing major worth noting. The start of Mt. Lindeman Trail has an obvious wooden sign and was impossible to miss. I have to comment that the Chilliwack folks did a great job constructing this trail. Other than a few boggy sections with Devil’s Clubs I cannot say anything bad about the quality and the next thing we crossed a creek (on a bridge) and then arrived at the “meadows”.

There were wash-outs and creek crossings along the first 3 km

Very impressive east face of “South Rexford”

Continuing up the old logging road it’s getting bushy

A well-signed “Mt. Lindeman Trail”

Gaining height on this new trail. You can see some other very old logging roads

One of the few swampy sections but otherwise trail in a great shape

This creek crossing was pretty easy with the logs

This is the meadows that everyone talks about

This meadow is the end of this official trail but the route-finding was very simple from here onwards. The worst section was right by, and after the meadow. Option 1 was to thrash through the bogs and option 2 would be skirting around on some pretty big boulders. We ended up ascending the latter and descending the former and I have to say that neither was fun. Gaining the hanging valley required more steep off-trail hiking on boulders and grass too. The first stage was done on the climber’s right side of a small creek/waterfall but once into the upper draw we merged onto continuous snow. The travel had become dramatically easier with the aid of snow and now our aiming was the distant “Lindeman Col”. This part was a bit foreshortened and did involve fair amount of elevation gain but now the views completely opened up. Once we all gained the col we found a flat dry spot to take a long break.

Skirting around the meadows requires negotiating big boulder field

Gaining some height now, looking back

Making our way up the lower drainage

Ascending the lower drainage

Merging into the upper draw, finally hit snow

Looking ahead towards “Lindeman col”

MacDonald Peak

After a long grunt on snow we were almost at the high col

Craig topping out at the col. Time to find a spot to take a break

The upper west slopes shown

Upwards again the ascent was a simple trudge up the broad west slope on snow, ledges and boulders and should never exceed low-3rd class. As often snow offered the line with the least resistance so that’s where we went up but eventually we had to merge onto rock once the grade steepened. The route-finding on the upper block was pretty straightforward with some zig-zags on ledges but in a group of 5 rock-fall was a bit of an issue to pay attention with. The last bit before the summit requires scrambling on big granite boulders but then the views were incredible especially looking into the Washington Cascades. I also went to explore the summit ridge towards a sub-peak.

The party with the upper Hanging Lake below

Traversing some loose scree

Traversing some snow slopes

Kevin almost on the summit

Summit Panorama from Mt. Lindeman. Click to view large size.

The Cheam Range on the horizon

Mt. Redoubt looks super impressive

The fang of Luna Peak in the remote Picket Range

Mt. Shuksan is iconic from every angle

Mt. Baker doesn’t need much introduction

The trio of Larabee – Border Peaks

Slesse Mountain teases every peak-bagger like myself

Chilliwack Lake with east side peaks such as Silvertip Mtn. on the horizon

I wondered towards this sub-peak but the ridge doesn’t connect

Another shot looking down at Chilliwack Lake

Mt. Rexford

Slesse Mountain

Me on the summit of Mt. Lindeman

After at least an hour on the summit we decided it’s time to go home. Reversing the upper summit block went by without an issue and then we all enjoyed a long boot-ski down the softening snow slope. Back to “Lindeman col” we took another break before plunging down the upper hanging valley on again, softened snow. Descending the lower boulders/grass slope was the worst section but at least short-lived and then for some reasons we went right into the meadows and it turned out to be pretty boggy with lots of mosquitoes. The rest of the descent following that trail was uneventful although by the end of the day the tiredness did start creeping in.

The Bulgers of Redoubt – Spickard group and some cool clouds

Starting the descent. Note the size of these boulders

We did a short detour to check out the lower Hanging Lake

Lower Hanging Lake

Descending the grassy ledges. Mostly just Class 2

Boot-skiing down snow was fun

Descending on snow down from “Lindeman col”

Further down

Into the lower gully now running out of snow

Back to the Meadows now

Kevin crossing the log bridge

Richard leading the way down the steep trail

The forest is pretty steep

Back to the road plod

The end. Taco parked…

After saying goodbye to Richard, Kevin, Craig and Alex I slowly drove down the rough Center Creek FSR, onto Chilliwack Lake Road and then back home. The traffic was not bad on this weekday. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and if Mt. Lindeman is on your list then this is the right time to tick it down. Don’t wait for too long as I’m pretty sure that access road will not be there forever. The quality of this scramble deserves more visits.