Alaska is packed full of winter activities, but one of the most sought after winter activities in Alaska is ice climbing. When the weather is cold and you want to get away to enjoy some fresh air and exercise, pack your bags and head to either Northern or Interior Alaska for some excellent ice climbs. Plan on staying a few days or even a week or two and travel Alaska with your snowshoes, a backpack, a tent and some ice climbing equipment for a trip to last a lifetime.
North Alaska. There aren’t too many known ice climbs in North Alaska, but the reason is it hasn’t been explored to its fullest. One such spot, that is known, is called Dillon Mountain Ice Climbs. This ice climbing area is waiting for the perfect ice climber to explore its regions to find new and exciting ice climbs.
Another part of North Alaska is Sukakpak Peak. Sukakpak Peak is a mountain near Dalton Highway. It is a long journey to the climbs and is advised that climbers take along extra gas in case of an emergency. One of the ice climbs on Sukakpak Peak is called Claim Jumper and is rated a WI5+. It is known for its intense climb and three ice pitches.
Another ice climb on the mountain is the Sukakpak Peak Right Falls ice climb. Rated a WI4+, the falls ice climb is more than 200 meters in length with three pitches. Visit this ice climb early in the season for the best climb.
Interior Alaska Climbs
With nearly two dozen climbs in this region, Interior Alaska is the place for the serious ice climber. Below are several ice climbs that you might want to jot down for the next time your looking for things to do in Alaska.
Boulder Creek. Boulder Creek is near the Black Rapids Glacier which makes for some great climbs listed below:
- The Grotto Ice Climb- Rated a WI2, the Grotto is around 15 meters in length and climbers will need a V-thread for descent.
- The Pillar Ice Climb- Also rated a WI2, the Pillar is located just before reaching the Grotto ice climb above and is approximately 15 meters in length.
Jack River. Located in the Nenana River area near Cantwell, the Jack River ice climbs can be reached by snow mobile. Three of the climbs are simply known as Climb 1, Climb 2 and Climb 3, while the Jack River Falls ice climb is a nice WI3 to WI4 three pitch ice climb with a length of around 155 meters.
Johnny Cash Falls. Two climbs are at Johnny Cash Falls near the Nenana River. The first ice climb, Sunday Morning Coming Down, is around 50 meters in length and is rated a WI3. The second climb, Folsom Prison, is not as difficult as Sunday Morning Coming Down, but is a nice climb rated at WI2 with a length of around 50 meters.
Darling Creek. While not the roughest, toughest of names, Darling Creek holds two different ice climbs that are spectacular to look at. First, The Curtain ice climb that is named appropriately as it looks like a huge curtain hanging down. Rated WI3, The Curtain will challenge most ice climbers as it is a very steep 10 meter climb. Last, but not least, a WI3 to WI4 rated climb called Wedding Cake. With three pitches, this 60-meter climb is well worth the trip. Keep in mind, water will be underneath it until the weather turns cold.