Monday, June 27, 2011

South Fork Eagle River with Amy (June 12)

Amy S flew in from Middlebury on June 11 to head north and teach a month-long course for NOLS in the high Talkeetnas.
After making the rounds through Anchor-town Sunday morning, we headed toward the Mat-Su Valley where the NOLS Alaska branch is based in Palmer, with a planned stop to do a little warm-up hike.
We headed up to the end of Hiland Road in Eagle River to the South Fork trail head where we found the lot full. No surprise, free parking in Chugach State Park on a nice day goes a long way. The good news is, most people don't. Once we crossed Eagle River on the map marked in the map below, we didn't see too many others. I was vaguely familiar with the area. Jack and I made some turns there in December (LINK) and the valley has good touring when conditions are stable. Some of the farter back peaks are also Front Range mountaineering classics.
We hiked 5 miles back to the end of the glacial cirque. I had intended to shoot off into a side valley to a sheltered lake but missed the entrance.

The South Fork Valley viewed from a bench at the bottom of the hanging valley we hiked up.

The sub-summit of Hurdygurdy Mountain. Ya, that's really its name.

Looking back down the central moraine that leads to the top of the cirque.

Triangle Peak.

Calliope Mountain.

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