Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cantata Peak

Cantata Peak, South Fork Eagle River, Chugach Mountains
August 24th, 2008
Highpoint: Cantata Peak (6391 feet elevation)

Amy Hinkle and I had planned to climb Eagle Peak on August 23rd and 24th. But I chickened out because of poor weather on the 23rd. Instead, we opted to climb Cantata Peak on the 24th. We used 10:30 roundtrip from the South Fork Eagle River trailhead. It took about 6 hours up (including about half an hour wasted on route-finding in the fog) and 4:30 hours down. We started out in beautiful weather, but most of the climb was donein thick fog, until right below the summit where we got some awsome views of the surrounding Chugach Peaks.

Cantata Peak south face as seen from Triangle Peak (October 2006). The route on Cantata follows the left hand ridge until about ~1000 feet below the summit where it traverses the south face and accesses the summit via one of the obvious scree gullies. Crossing the boulder field below the old cabin between Symphony and Eagle lakes.
Ascending the ridge above Symphony Lake (left) and Eagle Lake (right).
Soon we entered the fairy tale world (read "fog"). I got some great views of my own shadow in the clouds below us (Brocken Spectre) .
Amy at the notch where we started traversing the South Face
Heading up the gully towards the summit
Trond on the summit with Calliope Peak in the background
Coming back off the summit. The scree was the typical Chugach crud.
Heading back down the ridge. The ridge is the most enjoyable part of the climb.
Overlooking the tarn at the toe of the Calliope glacier with Calliope Peak rising in the background.
Tear lines (cracks) in the tundra. It appears that the soil is sliding downhill at a rate that causes cracks to appear.
More cracks in the tundra with the Symphony Tarns in the background. This piece of real estate looks to be heading over a cliff real soon. I have seen more of these cracks this summer than all other summers in Alaska combined. Is this a sign of permafrost thawing out?
Summit panorama (North to East to South) with Eagle Peak to the left of Amy, Calliope in the center and Triangle peak at the very right.

1 comment:

Elfy said...

Great information here. I took pics on my phone of your map and route directions for my hike up there today. I got onto the west ridge in rain, and clouds kept me from getting too close to the final scree field to the summit. I think I may have been lost in there actually. Once at the bottom of the ridge, there was a climber trail to the right of the ridge. It dipped low, and off the main ridge. On my way out I noticed a cairn with trail that stayed on the ridge more or less. Which is the way to go and not fall to certain death? Thanks for the great info.