Sunday, September 28, 2008

Autumn's almost over; Ascent of Bold Peak, "First Attempt", 7522 feet

Bold Peak, looming over Eklutna Lake, has been on the top of my list of Chugach Peaks to climb since the first time I saw this peak in 2006.
These panoramics were taken of Bold Peak in May, July, and December.

Resting at 7,522 feet, most routes up Bold Peak are technical in nature, the only "non-technical" route is to flank around the South East face, and approach the upper reaches of the summit by way of the Stivers Gully. A 2,000ft chute full of scree.

But first, we had to get to the peak. I guess you could consider Bold, off the "Beaten Path". Eklutna Park is 12 miles off the Glen Highway. We then rode 10.5 miles around Eklutna Lake on the Lakeside Trail. Ditching our bikes in the woods, we hiked 2 miles to the base of the Stivers Gully.
Due to the distance to reach the peak, and the elevation change to reach the summit, we had to start early, making for a gorgeous mystic sunrise above the lake.
Bold Peak, sunrising behind it.Gretchen hiking along the East Fork of the Eklutna River.
The base of Stivers Gully.
The Mitre, Bellicose Peak, Benign Peak, and Ovis Peak, all between 6-7000feet. With termination dust accumulating between 3-4ooofeet.

Gretchen hiking up the Stivers Gully. It was sort of like a never ending StairMaster, except two steps up and one step down as the scree slides out from underneath you.

Sam and Jack enjoying the beautiful fall day.The top of the gully, around 3,200 feet; here we had to use two fixed ropes to "climb" up the loose 4th class slope.
Once above the gully we broke out into a steep grassy slope, we continued up this slope, until just below "Gods Palace". At approximately 4,000feet, visibility dropped to zero, the wind picked up, and snow started dumping on us. The peak was completely obscured in the snow clouds, the ground was becoming increasingly slippery from the snow; so we decided to turn back, saving the summit of Bold Peak for another day. Sam and Jack enjoying lunch in the Gully, after turning back from the summit, 3500feet short... We will return.

26 Years, 26 Miles; Gretchen's Birthday in Fairbanks

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jack on television, very funny!

Labor Day Weekend in McCarthy; the town at the end of the Road.

This past Labor Day weekend we decided to pack up the station wagon (aka the Escape) and head for McCarthy, Alaska; a small old mining town located 60 miles down the gravel McCarthy Road.
The road ends at the Kenicott River, running off the nearby Kenicott & Root Glaciers. Locals are able to access the town by a small bridge to the south, all other traffic is by foot, bike, or paw only.
The quaint little town of McCarthy has since re-faced itself for tourists and Alaskan adventurerers alike. Mining here ended in the 1930's, leaving the area as a ghost town until it was rediscovered by travelers in the 1970's.

The nearby Kenicott Copper Mines, a landmark within the Wrangell-St.Elias National Park
Jasper and Jack had fun playing on the Root Glacier.
The following photo's were taken on the Mccarthy Road monday morning on our drive out.

The confluence of the Copper River and the Chitna River.