Best Mountaineering in Alaska

Trying to find the best mountaineering in Alaska? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.

1

Alaska, Denali County

44 :35 hrs
23.3 mi
2942.9583 ft
IV

Mount Brooks is a prominent peak at the confluence of Muldrow, Traleika and Brooks Glacier. It is known for its beauty and offers remote and true Alaskan expedition crossing over rivers, tundra, glaciers while reaching a stunning summit. Plan on about 10 days for the expedition. Beginning from Wonder Lake plan on 3-6 days to reach Oastler Pass. The climb can be done in one day from Oastler Pass (5,540ft.), but is more enjoyable by breaking it up. Here are some optional places to camp. Shoulder Camp (7,520ft)- offers good camping options. Upper Ridge (9,400 to 11,000ft)-Exposed to weather but good camping along the ridge. Bring standard glacier travel gear and descend your ascent line.

2

Alaska, Denali County

03 :08 hrs
1 mi
482.3109 ft
VI

Mount Barrill is considerably smaller than its towering neighbors, but has superb rock quality and is sought after by hard-core rock climbers. Beginning from the Ruth Gorge Airstrip, the approach is about 30 minutes. The Cobra Pillar offers a direct line up the central pillar of the East Face making a perfect alpine route. Most parties do the climb in two days if the weather cooperates. It is not necessary to carry bivy gear while climbing. You will be able to climb throughout the night and sleep or rest during the day. But go prepared with proper clothing and equipment to sit out major storms. There is a route bivy at the top of pitch 6 and on top of pitch 13. The route begins with a contrived hand crack on the right side of the pillars base and traverses left to the main dihedral. Be aware the upper pitches are prone to rock or snow fall. Bring 2 sets of cams to 3” and 1 or 2-4” pieces, 1 set of stoppers, 2 bat hooks, ascenders, 1 200ft. rope, one short ice-hammer per person.

3

Alaska, Denali County

12 :14 hrs
2.8 mi
1710.7898 ft
VI

First climbed in 1964, Mount Huntington is a classic to summit in the Alaska Range and considered one of the most beautiful peaks in North America. The perfect pyramid face offers outstanding rock with several lines to the top. The Harvard Route is a graceful line up the West Face of Mount Huntington. Approach from the Tokostina Glacier and plan 2 weeks for the trip. Beginning from the Tokositna Glacier, the technical route is usually done in 3-4 days, using 2-3 days to climb and 1-2 days to descend. Typical camps include: Advanced Base Camp (8,900ft.)-located at the base of the Stegosaur near the south end. Upper Park (10,200ft.)-good place for a bivy but not safe during a storm. The Nose (11,000ft.)- the best bivy along the route located underneath the Nose roof. There are some old bolts on the wall that can be used as an anchor. The Cave (11,400ft.)- located above the nose there is a large cave that can be dug into for a small bivy. Summit Ice-field Boulder (11,800ft.)- good anchor and close to the summit but would be time consuming. Storms on the face are intense but it is possible to withdraw at any time by rappel. Be aware of avalanche conditions in the access couloir and upper snow fields. Bring 6 or 7 cams to 3” with 2 one inch and 1.5 inch sizes, one set of stoppers, a selection of 4-6 thin and medium pins, 6-8 ice screws and two pickets.

4

Alaska, Denali County

13 :15 hrs
2.8 mi
1560.5946 ft
V

Rising abruptly in the Alaksan Range, Mooses Tooth is a rugged granite monolith that offers unforgettable views. The West Ridge Route climbs the long and sharp spine of the Mooses Tooth. It involves a difficult and dangerous ridge travers, with steep ice climbing, and dangerous cornices. Most groups that climb the West Ridge Route only reach the lower West Summit. Continuing to the Main (east) Summit becomes complex and extremely dangerous. The climb to the West Summit can be done in one long day from Ruth Glacier, but is more enjoyable with a high camp on Moose’s Back (7,000 to 8,000 feet). To descend from the West Summit rappel and trace your steps along the ridge back to Ruth Glacier. Bring 2 or 3 small cams, 6 to 8 stoppers, 3 or 4 pitons, 6 ice screws and 2 pickets. Take 2 200-ft. ropes and 2 ice tools per person.

5

Alaska, Denali County

13 :23 hrs
3.5 mi
1754.5779 ft
V

First climbed in 1964, Mount Huntington is a classic to summit in the Alaska Range and considered one of the most beautiful peaks in North America. The perfect pyramid face offers outstanding rock with several lines to the top. The West Face Couloir Route is a straightforward climb with easy access. It climbs a hidden couloir that splits the parallel ridges. Approach from the Tokostina Glacier and plan 1-2 weeks for the trip. Most parties leave behind their bivy gear and bring jackets, a shovel and a stove for resting rather than full bivy gear. Typical camps include: Advanced Base Camp (8,900ft.)-located at the base of the Stegosaur near the south end. The Nose (11,000ft.)- the best bivy along the route located underneath the Nose roof. There are some old bolts on the wall that can be used as an anchor. The Cave (11,400ft.)- located above the nose there is a large cave that can be dug into for a small bivy. Summit Ice-field Boulder (11,800ft.)- good anchor and close to the summit but would be time consuming. Storms on the face are intense but it is possible to withdraw at any time by rappel. Be aware of avalanche conditions in the access couloir and upper snow fields. Bring 4-5 cams to 2”, one set of stoppers, 8-10 ice screws, 2 pickets, 2-200ft. ropes and 2 ice tools per person.

6

Alaska, Matanuska-Susitna County

26 :32 hrs
8.8 mi
2397.3533 ft
IV

Sitting at 14,570 feet, Mount Hunter is one of the “big three” in the Alaskan Range and the most difficult fourteener in North America. There are three summits with the northern being the highest. The West Ridge Route begins from the Kahiltna Glacier Base camp, which requires air service by plane. It is considered the standard of the two classic routes and climbs the 4½-mile narrow icy ridge to the summit. With approximately 8,000ft of climbing, most parties spend 10-14 days to summit. Because of the lower elevation, acclimatizing is easily done while you ascend. The climb has a variety of rock, mixed, ice and corniced ridge climbing. Several locations exist along the ridge to camp, but cornices can be scary. Use caution through the frequently avalanched icefall as you pass through the basin that leads onto the ridge. Bring 3-4 cams up to 2”, 6 stoppers, 4-5 ice screws, 2-3 pickets, 2 200ft. ropes and two ice-tools per person.

7

Alaska, Denali County

20 :11 hrs
7.7 mi
3789.365 ft
III

First climbed in 1913, Denali is the highest point in the United States, the Alaska Range and North America. It offers one of the world’s greatest expeditions with some of the most intense weather in the world. The West Rib is a direct line with a step up in technical difficulty from the West Buttress route. It requires the risk of entering the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna, where danger of terrible avalanches is common. The average expedition is 3 weeks and requires air service by plane to reach the Kahiltna Glacier Base Camp. While several camping locations exist, the most commonly used camps are Safe Camp (9,450ft.)- A crevasse-free area but has extreme danger for avalanches. Couloir Camp (11,000ft.)- Safest camp in the area but is exposed to rock-fall. Apex Camp (12,900ft)-Located on the ridge and requires digging for a level tent. Top of Second Snow Dome (13,900ft)-The wide and exposed are where the ridge flattens out. Begschrund Camp (14,800ft)-A well protected spot on the ridge. Upper Ridge (15,700 to 16,400ft)-Several small campsites along the crest. 17,000-foot Camp- Also known as the Balcony Camp. This is the last place for camping along the ridge. Storms are ferocious here. Bring 6-8 ice screws, 2 or 3 cams, a set of stoppers and 2-4 pickets. 2 165 or 200ft. ropes, two ice tools per person. Snowshoes can be helpful along the approach. Alaska Grade IV.

8

Alaska, Denali County

04 :44 hrs
1.3 mi
752.6332 ft
IV

Mount Barrill is considerably smaller than its towering neighbors, but has superb rock quality and is sought after by hard-core rock climbers. Beginning from the Ruth Gorge Airstrip, the approach is about 30 minutes. The Japanese Couloir was first climbed by the Japanese in 1975 and can usually be done in one day. Be extra cautious of the couloir after a storm or during a warm spell. As you ascend the couloir, it will steepen and gets significantly narrower for the last 300ft. The Col is actually on a separate spur, but the West Ridge can be reached by downclimbing off the back side and making a traverse under a rock wall. Climb up the gully to gain the crest of the West Ridge. To descend make a series of rappels down the couloir. Bring 2-3 cams to 1”, 6-8 stoppers, 3 ice screws, two pickets, 2-200ft. ropes and two ice tools per person.

9

Alaska, Denali County

17 :57 hrs
6.5 mi
1343.1698 ft
II

Mount Dickey explodes out of the glacier as the south face dominates Ruth Gorge. Being one of the more prominent peaks it is a marvel that you can without difficulty walk up the western backside. The West Face offers a beginner route that can be done in a long day from Ruth Gorge or a more relaxed two-day adventure. There is a place to camp at 747 Pass (6,370ft.). Begin from Ruth Gorge and ascend to 747 Pass. You have two choices: Stay on the ridge crest or head to the main face and glacier to the left. The ridge usually has better conditions but is steeper. Descend the same as your ascent. Bring standard glacier gear. Alaska rating II, 35-40 degree snow.

10

Alaska, Denali County

03 :12 hrs
0.6 mi
519.30054 ft
IV

Gaining just 1,800ft., The Goldfinger route on The Stump is sustained and sports some of the best rock in the Gorge. You can rappel from any point so all snow gear can be left at the base as you focus on the rock climbing. The approach from Ruth Gorge is a short 20 minutes and teams work best as 2 or 3 people making the climb doable in one day. Bring 2 sets of cams to 3”, one set of stoppers, draws, slings and 2-200ft. ropes. Climb the dihedral up the main right crack. To descend, down climb to the notch between The Stump and The Wisdom Tooth. Traverse back to the top of Pitch 11 and rappel down to the base.

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