REGION: Kenai Range

ACTIVITY: Ice Climbing



I love classics… be it rock, ice, ski descents and even the occasional mellow river run.  So when I heard that the classic ice routes in Middle Glacier Canyon were fatter than usual we dusted off the ice gear and headed south to give one a try. 

We hiked into the canyon and checked out all the routes.  Most of the routes looked either hard or thin, but Lucky Man looked better than usual.

Lucky Man is a wonderful ice route that is about 300’ tall and was first climbed by Charlie Sassera and Robert Frank in 1982.  It usually has a very very thin beginning - after which the route ascends a mellow ramp system to the canyon rim.  However this year there is a super easy sneak on climbers left that gets you past the thin horrow-show of verglass and stubby placements down low on the route.

Yvonne and I climbed the route; sticking to the dihredal climbers left for about 100’ then branching off onto the main falls until stretching the rope tight where I set an anchor.  Then up again for another 100’ or so until we reached the anchors just below the top of the ice. We rapped off and were home at a respectable hour.

If you head out to climb the route keep two things in mind: 

  1. As you rap off the top anchors look climbers left and you will see a nasty rock flake sticking out of the ice.  If you have good rope management skills (which I lack) and can keep the ropes in check it would be nice if someone gave this rock a kick and dislodged it before it snags a pair of ropes or – worse -  falls on someone.
  2. There are 3 sets of rap anchors in the rock dihedral.  The lowest one has a biner and is good – the other 2 suck.  Had I not forgotten my knife at home I would have cut at least 1 set of old anchors…. They’re ancient and look horrible.

  •  Gingus in fat conditions.
  •  Fringe Wall
  •  Yvonne on Lucky Man.  Rainbow Bridge in the bkg.
  •  All smiles.
  •  Yvonne on Lucky Man.  Rainbow Bridge in the bkg.
  •  ...and more smiles...
  •  Top of pitch 1.
  •  Anchors of mank...  I love rapping off alders.
  •  Top of pitch 2.
  •  More anchors of mank.
  •  Coming Down.
  •  Lucky Man

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