Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bird to Glen Alps

Creative credit for this one goes to Phil. Recently, Phil and Natalie took a long weekend to hike from Girdwood back to their doorstep on the Anchorage Hillside, a trek that has always caught my eye.
It’s just that, all that pesky biking gets in the way of long hikes like these.
Looking for a shorter, though still solid day-trip this past weekend, Phil suggested Bird to Glen Alps on Sunday.
I was stoked!

After leaving a car at Glen Alps, Natalie dropped us off in Bird. As though that weren’t awesome enough, she told us there would be homemade mac’n’cheese waiting back at the house!
We power-hiked and jogged the 18.9 miles back to Anchorage in 7:45 with somewhere between 8,500-9,000 feet of vertical between. We had great visibility and a moderate breeze most the day, with only about a half mile spent working through some soup near the summit of Bird Ridge Overlook. That part made for interesting route finding on the slippery/crumbly rock. Things got a little extra spicy for about 5 minutes when we tried to drop down too soon, realized we had erred and were heading for a big rock face, and on the climb back to safety, I set off a mini landslide. It just proves the point that pretty much all activities will devolve into trying to push big rocks down a hill just to see them explode…

Phil knew the route well, and the tricks and secrets to avoid the schwack crossing Indian Pass. Fall colors were at their peak too: bright red tundra up high and vibrant orange in the valleys; with lots of juicy and sweet low bush blueberries to eat as we marched over the slopes.

Bird Creek Valley

Banks of clouds and clear views over Turnagain Arm on Bird Ridge.

Emerging from the soup descending off Bird Ridge Overlook.

Bird Ridge Overlook on the left, the Beak on the right.

The rock face we were looking to avoid...
Looking back toward Indian Pass before heading over Ship Creek Pass.


wfinley said...

The peak you climbed is called "Bird Ridge Overlook". Bird Peak is about 5 miles south (due east of Penguin). Fun peak - did you take note of the striking N couloir for future winter reference?

Dante said...

Thanks for the correction Billy. Lots of potential back there for skiing, but better pay attention to where the cloffs are!