Alaska, wow. My week long excursion into the Alaskan wilderness this summer was in a word fantastic. To climb in the divine architecture of glaciers and sojourn amongst grizzly bears and warm friends was truly special.
My ice climbing focused mainly on the Matanuska Glacier. The "Mat" about an hour and a half from Anchorage and measuring 27 miles long and 4 miles wide is not to be missed. Climbing here in July is other worldly. Sticky hero ice for as far as the eye can see and 24 hours of daylight make for huge possibilities and adventures.
The sticky ice conditions provided me with a unique opportunity, it was well within my grade to solo most routes. This turned my days into continuous climbing, moving from one glacial feature to the next within minutes. I could climb out of a crevasse onto a ridge line, through a moulin and onto another extraordinary ice face without ever stoping. This allowed for the feeling of extreme freedom of movement and maximum exploration, like a moving meditation that never had to stop.
Exploring the glacier reminded me how beautifully small we all are. It became clear that this blue cathedral was unlike anything else I had climbed. The ice it's self was at least 300 years old, some could be more then a millennia. It's features were carved through time and all I could be was grateful to explore this vessel of divine architecture and magnificent beauty revealed in this magical place. Thank you Alaska.
Great expeditions don't happen on their own, big thanks to Trango climbing. Those Raptors sink like a champ and gave me all the support I needed on those big walls as I celebrated my freedom from ropes on the 4th of July!