An impressive amount of ice and glacier work is available to those willing to travel the 13 miles to the end of the valley from the parking area. A wide trail leads up the shore of the lake to a chalet and some cabins near the toe of the Eklutna Glacier, and close to some pretty spectacular lines on the flanks of the surrounding peaks. Well worth the trek for the awesome scenery and spectacular climbing. Eklutna Glacier is home to most of the vicinities "BIG ICE" routes. The climbs here range from 160 feet to over 1000 feet long, and most are thick and blue. Towering above most of the climbs are several of the areas 6000 foot and higher peaks. Because of the mountain environment here, climbers should come well prepared. Extreme weather, avalanches and rockfall are all possible threats. The nearest telephone is at least 15 miles away!
Some of the routes can be done as day trips, but adding 25 to 30 miles of travel onto several pitches of hard climbing can make for a long day. The routes are relatively slow to form, and most climbing here is done in the spring, when the days are longer and the freeze/thaw cycles build the routes into thick masses of blue ice. Most of the routes are in decent condition into early May, so it may be the place to head if the weather is too unsettled for a trip to the rocks in Hatcher Pass.