BIG! This would be the word to use when describing Alaska, and it is a fitting description for most of the climbs in the state. With the ancient granite of the Arrigetch Peaks in the Brooks Range; the awesome peaks in the Alaska, Wrangell, Chugach and Saint Elias Ranges; the one-pitch crags and road-cuts along the Seward Highway south of Anchorage; and the majestic icefields and spires of Devil's Thumb and Kate's Needle in the Coast Range; Alaska has some of the most extensive and varied climbing possibilities in the country. Try this on for SIZE!!! The Ruth Gorge is known as Yosemite with a glacier, the incredible and beautiful Mount Saint Elias has 18,000 feet of vertical relief only 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean, and the Wickersham Wall on the North Face of Denali has been called The Tallest Mountain Face in the World!
You must be willing to travel to your climbs though, and that doesn't mean driving. With the exception of the climbs along the Seward Highway near Anchorage, most of the climbs in Alaska require lengthy approaches. If you choose to climb in one of the Great Ranges, your best bet is to fly-in with one of the numerous aviation companies that specialize in glacier landings. Approaches have been done on foot, but most are more dangerous than the routes themselves; involving complicated logistics, glacial river crossings, wild animals, swarms of voracious mosquitoes and impenetrable brush just to name a few of the hazards.
Alaskan weather can be severe in the winter, but climbing here in the summer has no equal. With 24 hours of daylight in June and July, there is nothing to stop you from climbing except exhaustion. Climbing in March through May on the high summits minimizes crevasse danger and the clear nights allow you to view the spectacular and colorful Aurora Borealis. Climbing in August and September reveals the incredible pallette of fall colors reaching out to the far horizon, with the first dusting of winter on the high peaks.
Whether you are ice climbing in the winter, moutaineering in the spring, rock climbing in the summer, or peak bagging in the fall; Alaska is the place to be. With it's unparalleled scenery, long summer days, vast wilderness and immense scale; climbing in Alaska will be an experience you will never forget!
Photo of Alaska
Forum Discussions (5 posts)
|Chugach State Park (AK) Permanent Anchor Ban||wfinley||0||Oct 06 2011, 1:13 AM|
|The Alaskan Climbing Site||devilontheloose||3||Feb 26 2010, 4:07 PM|
|moving?||patmay81||1||Feb 09 2010, 12:53 AM|
|General Alaska Info||basilisk||7||Dec 08 2009, 11:06 PM|
|Closest climbing to Fairbanks (excluding the college)||abock33||0||Jul 25 2007, 9:21 PM|