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Hatcher Pass

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Archangel Valley Bouldering - Diamond, Fairangel, Monolith, Roadside, Indianhead 
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Hatcher Pass  

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Elevation: 3,886'
Location: 61.81347, -149.25537 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 79,495
Administrators: Jared LaVacque, Dommelhiemer, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Luke to Zuke on Jul 17, 2008






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Jared LaVacque lunging on Captain Kaboom.

Archangel Valley Bridge Closed MORE INFO >>>


This is a very untouched climbing area or rather unknown, full of FA's. The rock is blocky granite with alot of moss because the area receives steady rain in the spring and fall.

Hatcher Pass has a rich history of climbing, stretching back into the days of Fred Becky (not that those are really over...) Many of the loved classics were originally climbed in the 1980s. Grades can feel stiff and bolted climbs can feel very run out.

A rock climbing guide covers the climbing in Hatcher Pass, by Kelsey Gray. They are "Alaska Rock Climbing Guide" and is available in two editions, although the second is much better than the original, however like all guide books, there are mistakes in Kelsey's book, some mistakes include incorrect bolt counts and incorrect route lengths.

Bolts in Hatcher Pass
While a rebolting initiative has been happening throughout Alaska, many climbs in Hatcher still have bolts from their first ascents, when button heads, compression bolts, and other strange mank was the norm. Take every bolt in the area with a grain of salt. Many button heads still exist on very good routes. Some of these have seen partial rebolts, examples include 'Too Much Fun for You', and excellent 5.10 on the Monolith has alternating new and old bolts, and others have new anchors, but old bolts.

alaskarockclimbing.com/ for the route guidebook.

Current sites covering bouldering at Hatcher Pass are akclimber.com and a Face Book group called AKclimber, both run by Todd Helgeson and David Funatake. A bouldering guide to Alaska was recently released by Todd Helgeson and David Funatake with Kelsey Gray and covers most of the bouldering in Alaska and features an in depth Hatcher Pass section with great details and photos. The guide is available for sale at

akclimber.com/guidebook-orderi... for the bouldering guide

Cleaning Boulders
Striking a balance between cleaning and leaving boulders in a natural state is difficult. Due to the mossy nature of Hatcher Pass, most boulders have a thick carpet on the top. Generally the rule is only to clean what is absolutely needed to climb the route. An example of bad cleaning can be seen on the Muffin Man boulder, at the base of the Diamond, you can see the orangish color from the road. Please be respectful of this beautiful resource.

Additional Information about Anchorage and South Central Alaska Climbing:

There is a gym in Anchorage, w.alaskarockgym.com and also a small gym in Wasilla.

Also, to give an idea of the rock at Hatcher Pass, here is a link to the official Trailer of "Falling Forward", which is a video about alpine bouldering in Alaska and will be premiered and released next spring.

Relic on Toto (5.7)
Relic on Toto (5.7)

Getting There 

From Anchorage drive north on the Glenn Highway, 30 minutes, to Palmer. Continue through two stop lights, prior to ascending the large hill, that leaves Palmer. Keep following the Glenn to N. Palmer Fishhook Rd., which will be on the left hand side, approximately 2 miles from the 1st stop light. You will take this for 30 minutes. Drive parallel to the Little Susitna river up to the "Mother Lode Lodge" take the sharp U-turn, head up the hill for a few hundred yards, then take the easy-to-miss, sharp right up a single gravel road,you will see the Archangel Rd. sign. Continue on this past a river and then over a bridge. The climbing begins approximately 3.75 miles up. The bouldering starts at the Aldershade Boulders(marked by a large cairn on the right side of the road) on the right hand side, hidden by view, but right off the side of the road, around mile 1.75 from the start of Archangel Road. A 4x4 is required if you want to drive past the Reed Lakes Trailhead parking lot, which is approximately 2.5 miles up the road from the start.

Guidelines for bolting in Hatcher Pass 

Over the last several years discussions have been started about adding new bolts to existing climbs. While REPLACEMENT of bolts is usually an accepted practice, the ethics in Hatcher are strictly against adding bolts to climbs. In very rare occasions this can be done , but you must have the express permission of the FA party. Any discussion of adding new bolts should be done only after that permission has been garnered.

If you are indeed interested in replacement of bolts, feel free to contact one of the admins, they can direct you to climbs that are in dire need of TLC, and may even be willing to give you hardware for that.

When bolting, please do not mix metals, and use only stainless gear. Climbs only a few years old in Hatcher with mixed metal (different hanger than bolt) show signs of serious galvanic corrosion and will soon need to be replaced.

Climbing Season

Weather station 15.6 miles from here

157 Total Routes

['4 Stars',32],['3 Stars',72],['2 Stars',35],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',2]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Hatcher Pass:
Dr. Horrible   V2 5+     Boulder, Alpine, 15'   Independence Mine Boulderin... : Captain Kaboom Boulders
The Slot   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : The Monolith
Snowflake   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   Reed Lakes Bouldering and C... : SnowBird Slab/Cornerstone
Physical Attraction   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : Zulu Wall
Orangutan Overhang   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : The Monolith
Randys roof   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 100'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : The Jungle Gym
New School   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 70'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : The Jungle Gym
Rise   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 350'   Reed Lakes Bouldering and C... : The High Dive
As good as it gets   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 20'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : The Jungle Gym
The RP boys   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 70'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : The Jungle Gym
Thin As Ice   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 130'   Reed Lakes Bouldering and C... : SnowBird Slab/Cornerstone
Festoon   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : The Diamond
Zulu Warrior   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : Zulu Wall
Voodoo Child   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : Zulu Wall
Toto   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 6 pitches   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : The Diamond
African Dreams    5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 50'   Fairangel Gap and Valley : Tin Can Rock
Blue Berry Crack   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 50'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : Green Gully
Epidemic    5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Sport, 50'   Fairangel Gap and Valley : Tin Can Rock
The Brown Spot   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 120'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : Green Gully
3rd Generation   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 75'   Archangel Valley Sport and ... : 3rd Generation Wall
Browse More Classics in Hatcher Pass

Featured Route For Hatcher Pass
The typical Hatcher Pass rain doesn't ruin any of ...

Physical Attraction 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  AK : Anchorage & South Central A... : ... : Zulu Wall
Start either on a shelf above your belayer at the base of an obvious left-facing corner, or work a couple simple face moves directly below said shelf to add a few unnecessary feet to your climb. Climb in the dihedral with great cracks for pro, then move out to the arete as the dihedral deteriorates. There is no walkoff, so be prepared to rappel. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in AK

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