Posted on 21. Jul, 2011 by in Alaska

Sunday Brian Capps and I left for Alaska, to explore the bouldering around the state. We left Boulder knowing there could be a lack of rock, an abundance of mosquitos, and a lot of hiking for relatively little reward. For me the opportunity to go to such an amazing place with the potential of finding something awesome was too exciting to pass up. It’s important to step out on a limb sometimes, and do things that can provide great reward for a little risk. Success in climbing for me is very important, but more important is adventure, exploration, and feeling inspired. Psyched for something new and different was very high. My motivation was tempered though, as the plane descended through layer after layer of dense clouds and we landed in Anchorage in a steady rain, the mountains obscured by low clouds. It was possible that it could rain for 2 weeks, but we were committed to hiking around, exploring and seeing what was out there.

Our first day we drove up Archangel Valley, in the Talkeetna Range north of Palmer.

IMG_1981 The explosion of boulders at the base of the Diamond.

This seemed to be, from the research we had done, the area with the easiest relative access and the most potential for rock. We drove up an stunningly beautiful valley, and a gorgeous river, tinted turquoise with glacial flour, coursed through the brush at the bottom. The hillsides were glowing vibrantly green. It was an amazing place to be, regardless of the bouldering. Even more exciting was that there was rock everywhere! It was hard to decide where to look first. The area clearly receives alot of rain, and all of the boulders are covered in a thick carpet of beautiful moss, making it feel like an almost magical boulder garden. The weather was perpetually changing, and would wildly alternate from rain to sun and back again. Drew Crowther and his brother Will drove up from Anchorage and graciously walked around with us all day in the rain.

IMG_1969 The thick moss which covers many of the boulders.

IMG_1977 Brian on the hunt for projects.

They took us to one of the main areas and there were a number of hard projects on awesome rock. Brian scopes the first problem we saw at the area, and it is a project.


They also took us to a named project called Nifleheim. This was an incredible overhang, potentially 4-stars. It was of similar quality to No More Greener Grasses and looked to be of similar difficulty. It was all soaking wet, but our motivation was high. It seemed like this could be a worthy objective for the week and plans were made to climb on it the next dry day.

IMG_1961 Feeling the grips on Nifleheim.

We walked around the hillside to an mostly undeveloped talus field near Fairangel Creek and some other established problems. There seemed to be an endless amount of rock to look at. Many of the boulders were small, but some of them were gigantic. It seemed to be a good sign that there would be plenty for us to climb on while we were here and while we didn’t see anything spectacular (besides the stunning mountainous scenery) we were psyched to come back for the next day to climb.

6 Responses to “Alaska”

  1. tendon

    21. Jul, 2011

    damn it…..that arete looks rad….

  2. AB

    21. Jul, 2011

    Nice pictures, hopefully you’ll be able to get a hard climb in and tick off another from “The V10 Project”

  3. bongowurm

    21. Jul, 2011

    That’s what I’m talking about!

  4. Matt Lowber

    21. Jul, 2011

    I think the Nifleheim has been a standing project for something like 8 years. Todd would have to confirm this, but regardless its about time… I’ve spotted drew and todd on it many times, but have never considered myself “ready” to try it. Maybe I need some inspiration!

  5. Michael

    22. Jul, 2011

    James will send it!

  6. Dan

    25. Jul, 2011

    I didn’t know Carrot Top was a boulderer.

Leave a Reply