Anchorage Vicinity Ice Climbing

Eagle River From Anchorage go Northeast up the Glenn Highway for about 11 miles to Eagle River. Take the Eagle-River exit, turn right on Eagle River Road, and follow it to its end at the Eagle River Visitor Center. Many of the routes are on the Northern side of the valley across the river from Echo Bend which is about 3 miles from the Visitor Center parking lot. There's a trail which starts from behind the Center. The routes range from WI2 to WI4 in difficulty and 1/2 to 4 pitches in length.

Seward Hwy Along the Seward Highway between Potters Marsh and Bird Creek (within 20 minutes drive of Anchorage) are many ice-climbs.

Eklutna Canyon From Anchorage, follow the Glenn Hwy northeast for 25 miles to the edge of the village of Eklutna, and take the Thunderbird Falls exit. Most of the climbs are about 1 mile up (east) the Eklutna river from the Falls parkinglot. Descend to the Eklutna river on a trail from the Falls parkinglot. Most routes face north, and vary from WI2 to WI6 in difficulty and 1/2 to 1 full pitch in length.

Portage Portage is about 35 miles south of Anchorage on the Seward Hwy, and holds several separate areas. From the Seward Hwy, the Portage road deadends after about 5 1/2 miles at a visitor center overlooking Portage Lake. From the Highway turnoff, the areas as marked my mileage are as follows:

Portage Area Flats directions: Park at Portage-Whittier train parking lot. Ski or snowshoe up valley for 2 1/2 to 3 miles. routes: Highly subject to avalanches. Grade III and between 120 and 700 feet.

Five Fingers directions: Drive Portage Rd 3.10 miles. Just after crossing a short bridge a small road cuts left. Park either along main road, or along small road (depending on snow conditions) and hike along road a short ways. Climbs are visible on left. routes: An excellent beginner area. All routes are between 80 and 200 feet, and are either grade II or III. There are, depending on conditions, as many as 8 different lines. All climb obvious gullies or ice pillars. Descend by rappel from trees.

Hanging Forest directions: Drive to mile 4.00 and hike or ski in via Middle Glacier Canyon trail. Climbs are located on right just before the canyon. routes: Grade II - IV and between 50 and 150 feet. Belay and rappel from large spruce trees

Middle Glacier Canyon directions: Climbs are in the obvious canyon located on right at mile 4.10. routes: Most climbing is done earlier in the season (October - November) because of the extreme avalanche danger. Done at this time the routes are thin and dangerous. Climbs range from II - VI and are between 75 and 300 feet long.

Ninilchik Bluffs From Anchorage take the Seward Highway to the Sterling Highway to Ninilchik (the better part of 150 miles). There is a road to the beach from which the climbs can be reached. The routes vary from WI2 to WI5 in difficulty and 1/2 to 1 pitch in length.

Homer Bluffs Homer is about 170 miles from Anchorage down the Seward and Sterling Highways. The Homer Bluffs are at Bishops Beach 2 miles west of Homer. The routes are along a 2 1/4 mile section of the beach, and many have water-lapped starts at high tide. They range in difficulty from WI1 to WI5 and in length from 1/2 to 2 pitches.

Interior Ice Climbing

Panorama Peak Panorama Peak is a 5,778' peak which rises above the Parks Highway around milepost 216.7 or 219 (gravel pull off). Several snow gullies provide alpine routes to the summit. Ice climbs are grade WI3 to WI4, and are around 2 pitches in length.

Dragonfly Creek On the Parks Hwy at milepost 242.3 is a paved pull-off one hundred yards from Dragonfly Creek; The ice is downstream. The routes range from WI2 to WI3 and are about 1/2 pitch in length.

Fox Creek On the Parks Hwy at milepost 241.6 is Fox Creek. Hike upstream to the ice. The routes range from WI1 to WI3 and are about 1/2 pitch in length.

Valdez Ice Climbing

Valdez Much ice is in the Keystone Canyon of all difficulties and up to astounding lengths.