Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hikes and Huts

Fall: It's the time of year when I do two things I don't seem to do at any other point in the year, go hiking and stay in huts

Back in September, Rachel invited me to go hike Tikishla in the Anchorage Front Range with a crew of friends. Tikishla is a craggy, 5,230-foot FR summit that is part of a ridge line dividing North Campbell Creek and the Snow Hawk Valley. The smaller summits of Kanchee and Knoya, as well as the higher summit of Tanaina are part of the same ridge.
We had amazing weather for this hike: cold, clear fall morning lead to a warm day, and gorgeous alpine colors.


Spurr over Anchorage. Denali was out too, very clear to all but my camera..

Probably getting laser tagged.

Eagle River beyond the lonely Snow Hawk head waters.

After a stop for lunch on Knoya, headed to Tikishla, in the distance.

Tikishla's west summit from the higher east summit. Lots of Chugach crud scrambling and rock hopping.


Tanaina, and Koktoya peaking above just past.

On the way back, Tikishla's west face. A worthy ski.


Kanchee and Knoya.

The Dome.

Moon rise.

Two friends.

Sunset on a great day.
More recently, Lizzy and I and a big crew (a total of 8 people and 3 dogs, trekked into the Mint Hut at the head waters of the Little Susitna and stayed over at the Mountaineering Club of Alaska'a Mint Hut.
This is probably one of the most scenic huts in Alaska, and also one of MCA's most accessible. Perched in a small bowl near the Mint Glacier, the red and green hut over looks the granite peaks of the Talkeetnas and is back-dropped by a play ground of good skiing. When Jack, Kruse, and I did the Bomber Traverse we bypassed the cabin on our way to Penny Royal Glacier, but it's well worth a visit and a stay.
EDIT: This post has generated a lot of activity, likely because of its mention of Bomber Traverse and Mint Hut. It also generated a couple comments regarding membership to the Mountaineering Club of Alaska, the organization that built and maintains the Mint Hut and a number of others in the Talkeetnas and Northern Chugach. Membership to MCA cost $15 annually; compare this to the price of renting a National Forest cabin on the Kenai Peninsula at $45 a night. MCA memberships are available online here: LINK

Fresh snow on the way in.

Mostly cloudy, but we got a little break in the afternoon.

Turns out, it was winter up at the hut. A couple inches at the trail head translated to a freeze-thawed 2.5-foot base with a foot of blower on it at the hut, around 4,300 feet FSL. We didn't have to dig out the door too bad, but another good storm with really start to bury this thing.

Here's a close up of the Hut taken from Backdoor Pass, May Day 2011.

Same photo, not zoomed in.

Sorry Marta. Busy at breakfast time.

We slept cozily with 7 people and one little dog in the loft, and one person and two dogs downstairs. EDIT: Plus one inflatable goat...what?

Snow flakes falling gently before leaving. Back Door Pass is to the left.

Half buried.

Steep morning commute.

Rest of the crew coming down.

1 comment:

Wfinley said...

Come now... You shouldn't blog about the MCA huts without taking the 5 minutes to join. It's only $20 - do the right thing & sign up.