Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crow Peak

Crow Peak, Chugach State Park, August 28th, 2011
5953 feet, 5 hrs roundtrip from the Crow Pass trailhead

On August 28th I climbed Crow Peak via the Crow glacier and the Crow Peak South ridge.  The hike and scramble included all the ingredients necessary for a great hike and scramble: a nice trail approach, some tundra, moraine and scree hiking, glacier and snow travel, and a non-technical but challenging summit ridge requiring a bit of route finding.

View of the new forest service cabin at Crow Pass (3500 ft elevation) next to Crystal Lake.

Crystal Lake at Crow pass with Crow Peak in the background.

Eastern view from the tow of the Crow Glacier with Goat Mnt (right) and Raven Peak (left) in the background.

The intimidating Northwest face of Magpie Peak as seen from the pass between Magpie and Crow peaks.

Crystal Lake and Crow Pass seen from the start of the summit ridge.  The summit ridge started from the pass between Magpie and Crow peaks at about 5100 ft.

Looking up the summit ridge from the beginning of the ridge.

The summit ridge comprised several sections like this where a traverse seemed easier. 

The upper scree gully leading to the Crow Peak summit.  Not difficult, just very loose scree.

Northern panorama from Crow Peak.  Along the left bottom is Clear glacier.  From left to right are Camp Robber, Gray Jay, Delgga and Paradise peaks that I climbed earlier in the summer.  In the center is the Eagle River valley drainage.  On the right hand side are the Raven glacier, Raven Peak and Goat Mnt, and Crow pass with Crystal lake.

Summit portrait.

Self portrait on the Crow glacier.

North & Eastward panorama looking down the Crow Glacier.  Crow peak on the left.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blueberry Hill

Blueberry Hill (4530 ft)
Chugach National Forrest
5 hrs 40 min roundtrip, August 16, 2011

Tuesday, August 16th, provided a single nice day sandwiched between a lot of rainy days.  I decided to knock off from work early and go for a climb.  Initially, I had planned to climb Crow Peak, but as it was still fogged in I diverted my attention to Blueberry Hill at the end of Turnagain Arm. 

I had tried Blueberry Hill once before this year (May 28th).  On that attempt I had to trn around some 3-400 yards shy of the summit due to bad snow conditions (corniced summit ridge).

The lower parts of this mountain provides ample bushwhacking (typical for this part of the Chugach) with lots of Devil's Club.  However, if you are lucky you'll find a path through the hemlocks that is not too bad.  Most likely you'll find some of both.  The map below shows what I believe is the best route for this "hill".

 You know you are on the Blueberry Hill ridge proper once you get to the communication repeater.  From here the ridge flattens (for a while) and provides some of the nicest ridge-tundra hiking anywhere in the Chugach.
The Blueberry Hill summit ridge looking back at the false summit.  Placer Valley is seen on the left side of the picture.

Looking West out the Turnagain Arm and Cook Inlet.  Penguin Ridge is in the center of the picture.

Another view along the summit ridge.  The summit ridge provided fun scrambling over and around a number of false summits and gendarmes.
Looking Northeast from the summit towards the 20-mile glacier terminal lake and Carmen Lake.

Summit ridge rocks.

Blueberry Hill in the late evening seen from the communication repeater.

Panorama from Northeast to Southeast.  20-mile lake and Carmen lake on the left.  Boggs and Begich peaks in the middle.  20-mile river, Portage river and Placer River on the right.  The Blueberry Hill false summit is on the far right.  Turnagain Pass can be seen on the very far right side of the picture (Blueberry Hill is a very impressive mountain seen from Turnagain Pass).