Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Eklutna Canyon Mixed Nasty

For quick access to some great ice climbs, there's no place better than Eklutna Canyon. While most of the climbs are typically mellow in nature (WI3-4), there are lots of options to explore and the setting is beautiful. Lately we've learned that there is lots of potential for dry and mixed lines on the steep walls of the canyon.

Recently a local climber established a really pumpy seven-bolt drytool route at the back of the canyon. Like a vanerial disease in a hippy commune, word quickly spread about this supposed new route.

After pulling out of work early, photographer-extraordinaire Matt Hage along with his lovely assistant "Super" Ags Stowe accompanied me to the canyon. Perhaps they hoped to get some good shots and maybe witness a little carnage amid the myriad of crumbling rock, fracturing ice, ropes and sharp pointy things.

The route was indeed pumpy and I did my fair share of hangdogging the first time. On the second lead though, I only fell once. Perhaps next time the climb will go clean!

All photos courtesy of Matt Hage. Please check out his website at HagePhoto.com

Ags looks normal but I look all fat. Damn Matt's weird lenses!

Scratching up the lower section

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring time in Alaska seems to surprise me every year. It's dark, cold and I'm lethargic...then suddenly it's seemingly always light, warmer and I'm full of energy. Essencially, I go from being the deflated balloon to being an adventuring fiend!

It's pretty damned cool to be able to get out of work at 7PM and still have time to go for an evening ski or ice climb. Here's a few shots from an evening ski on Peak Two in the Chugach front range.

Mount Redoubt's ash cloud to the south west.

Matt always provides ample entertainment on our outings

Super Ags kicks a great trail and is one tough chick!