Well I left Anchorage friday night around 8pm and got to the Mint trailhead around 9pm. It was wet and miserable -- the rain coming down like crazy and the trail muddy and nasty (which makes all the trees hanging over the trail soak you to the bone). Pharaoh and I started hiking and within minutes we were soaked. I was wearing a crappy windbreaker (since my jacket is lost in the mail somewhere) and was getting quite cold so I booked it and slogged the nine miles to the hut in 3 hours (not a minor feat considering I was hauling camping gear, a rack, rope, a quart of scotch, dog food, and other odds and ends - one day I'll learn to pack light).
There is still a ton of snow there for July --- snow is all the way up to window level! The Talkeetna Mountains got over 300 inches of snow this year - twice as much as the average year. ( Read more... )
Saturday. I float the Upper Kenai in my tiny Dory and thoroughly enjoy the say. It feels like summer; the sun is shining brightly and the salmon are rolling underneath my boat - I even manage to catch a couple. The Upper Kenai is pretty calm for such a nice day. Everyone sits around in the sun enjoying the weather... life is good.
Then Eric calls. Like a true yuppie I pull out the cell phone on the river and chat it up.
"Hello?" - "Climbing tomorrow sounds good." - "Talkeetna mountains?" - "Weather looks good?" - "Lower Spire?" - "See you in the morning!"
I get home at midnight, throw the fish in the fridge and crash. The alarm wakes us up at 6:30 and i stand in the shower trying to wake up. Eric shows up at 7:30 (he practically lives across the street) and we're off.
We reach the Reed Lakes parking lot around 9ish and soon we're hiking up in a thick cloud. Conditions do not look so hot but the joke is it will burn off. Somewhere in the back of my mind a tiny voice whispers about climbing in inclement weather but i manage to silence it. ( Read more... )
For years I’ve put off writing about the Bomber Traverse due to various reasons... but the primary reason being that I feel it's a very popular trip and I don’t really want to encourage people to head to the area. It's a pretty selfish reason. I love the area - I love the huts, I love the climbing and I don’t want to share the areas with strangers. But given recent events I feel it's time to stop trying to keep areas to yourself and to encourage responsible non-motorized usage in the High Peaks areas.
Yeah it can suck to share a hut with a bunch of 20-something tele skiers… especially when they ski harder and faster than you and make you look like an old man. But like I said… it's time to change that attitude.
The Draft Hatcher Pass area Management Plan was recently announced. It's the first time the Hatcher Pass area has seen a new management plan in 25 years. Too long given the changes and population growth in the region. And given the number of people you see out rock climbing, cross country skiing, hiking, back country skiing and mountaineering you’d think that the Division of Natural Resources would be implementing a plan that is more geared towards non-motorized usage in this area. ( Read more... )
An afternoon on the West Ridge of Pinnacle. ( Read more... )
Pix from a day at Hatcher on two stellar routes. ( Read more... )
A guide to a route that should get done more often but doesn't. ( Read more... )
Former Anchorite Austin Thayer was visiting and the weather forecast looked halfway decent so we met up early and drove up to Hatcher in the hopes of getting in some climbing before the rains came back. Ignoring the puddles we pushed up Archangel road and were roped up and starting up the first pitch of Toto by 10am. Swinging leads we jogged up the route and topped out on the top of pitch 5 two and a-half hours later... ( Read more... )
A good day in Hatcher with friends, sun, snow and stability. The magic combination. ( Read more... )
A few seconds later he rolled out of view and I slid into the couloir so I could spot; not 2 seconds later I heard the deep whumpf of collapsing snow. Instantly alert, I looked down to see a powder cloud shooting out into the valley... ( Read more... )
Photos for an August ascent of Triplemint Peak in the Talkeetna Mountains. Also some some photos and notes from Montana Peak. ( Read more... )