Posted on 25. Jul, 2011 by in Alaska

After our wet but exciting first day, our hopes were high that we would soon get to climb some of the nice projects. The weather was sunny and we decided to stop by Drive By V10, which is a great problem right off the road. It’s nice to have some hard established problems to test yourself against, before looking for FAs. As with almost all of the hard problems here, Anchorage local Todd Helgeson has the FA. His efforts of hiking around, cleaning and climbing many of these problems is certainly to be commended. Drive By is a great sloper problem on excellent granite. It took us an hour or so to figure out the tricky body positions, but Brian and I climbed it back to back.

IMG_1989 Drive By V10


One of the goals for the trip was to tick Alaska off the V10 list. Mission accomplished. I also did all the moves on a sit-start to the problem and I hope to have time to go back and finish that before we leave. It was a motivating way to start the trip.
Not wanting to drive our car up the bumpy dirt road to the Diamond we walked the last mile to the boulders. The first and most obvious project we thought we should try was the Nifleheim project. Brian quickly did the first few moves. It became apparent that we had a good chance of climbing the line, perhaps in a day when Brian crumbled a hold. It was completely cracked and it flexed substantially when it was weighted. Brian rapped down the line and pulled the hold off with his hands and we watched Nifleheim go from V12 to V14 or harder. We tried the sequence briefly but it was way beyond us. It was somewhat disappointing having this problem break as it seemed like a really classic line we could climb, but what remains is a 3 or 4 star V15 for the future generations. Such is the way of climbing new boulders.

IMG_2014 Hiking to the boulders.

It began to rain, fitting the mood somewhat. However we were committed to finding and climbing new boulders, and we began to hike. Drew and Will were with us again, and took us up to Lane Hut. Drew told us it was 15 minutes, perhaps a bit of an underestimation, as it took us well over an hour to get there. As we walked by at least one nice roof project and some other smaller boulders, the scenery became more and more impressive.

IMG_2103 Stream tinted turquoise with glacial flour.

IMG_2073Lane Hut Boulders

Alaska is an astoundingly beautiful place and this was some of the best hiking I have ever done. I would have been content finding nothing, just soaking in the gorgeous alpine scenery. We made it back to a small collection of big boulders. There was one incredible arete feature there but sadly it was blank. The rain abated and Brian and I climbed a V9 there called Addiction, and Drew came agonizingly close. Once again, Drew and Will were extremely gracious and we were happy to have them join in our fun.


I hiked around a bit and took some photos, and imagined myself in Middle Earth…

8 Responses to “Alaska”

  1. bongowurm

    25. Jul, 2011

    Great post, good form. Too bad about Nifleheim. Any trip where Middle Earth is in the imagination is a good trip

  2. Climber

    25. Jul, 2011

    Thats sick! congratz on the V10 and awesome photos

  3. Davin

    25. Jul, 2011

    Thanks for the update!

    Things were getting desperate here, waiting and waiting for what Alaska might hold.

    Hope the weather holds and you guys get a great week in.

  4. Ian Walters

    25. Jul, 2011

    “Often the grass was so high it reached above the knees of the riders, and their steeds seemed to be swimming in a grey-green sea. They came upon many hidden pools, and broad acres of sedge waving above wet and treacherous bogs, but Shadowfax found the way, and the other horses followed in his swath. Slowly the sun fell from the sky into the West.”

  5. Dan

    25. Jul, 2011

    Very very cool. More please.

  6. migran

    26. Jul, 2011

    Hope your living the experience by night climbing!!! Nothing like the Alaskan stars above your head while you climb in a magical area!!!

  7. Kelly

    26. Jul, 2011

    A) Karma. I remember you telling me once that something was only a 15 minute hike away and it took faaar longer.

    B) Everyone knows middle earth is in New Zealand Jamie

  8. Nifleheim

    27. Jul, 2011

    […] Some folks I know from Boulder, Jamie Emerson and Brian Capps, are up here climbing for two weeks in Hatcher Pass. On his blog, Jamie compared the problem to the Colorado classic, No More Greener Grasses. Being that Alaska is so isolated, I am excited to see some strong guys come up here to put up harder stuff, and Nifleheim was on their ticklist. Until it broke. Here’s what Jamie said on b3bouldering: […]

Leave a Reply