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Elevation: 3,773 ft
GPS: 61.81346, -149.25536
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 767,797 total · 4,007/month
Shared By: Luke to Zuke on Jul 17, 2008 · Updates
Admins: L. Von Dommelheimer

Description Suggest change

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.

Routes

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.

There is a climbing guide for Hatcher Pass that comes in both book and APP form. The guidebook is called Dghelaya - A Hatcher Pass Climbing Guide. Named to honor the Dena’ina tribe that has inhabited the area for thousands of years. The APP can be found on Rakkup and purchased or rented.

Several editions of a rock climbing guide covers the climbing in Hatcher Pass, by Kelsey Gray. They are "Alaska Rock Climbing Guide" The most recent edition is specific to Hatcher Pass and comes in both book and APP form. The guidebook is called Dghelaya - A Hatcher Pass Climbing Guide. Named to honor the Dena’ina tribe that has inhabited the area for thousands of years. The APP can be found on Rakkup and purchased or rented. Both can be found on climbak.com

The books are also available at local climbing shops, the rock gym and local book stores. 

 

Bolts in Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass was long known as an area with runout routes and bad bolts. There was little development that happened between the late 1990’s and 2010. Many of the older bolts were buttonheads or worse. Due to a nearly decade long rebolting effort by Chris Williams and Kelsey Gray as well as some others, many of the old relics have passed on to become keychains. The majority of the easily accessible routes in Hatcher Pass are now stainless steel bolts and big solid anchors with rap rings or clip-n-lowers. Gone are the days when you could count the routes with good bolts on one hand. Now, it feels a lot closer to cragging without the fear factor of someone's ancient webbing breaking. The effort is ongoing and bad hardware should be reported below, as well as posted on the Alaska Rock Climbing facebook page.

Bouldering

Hatcher Pass is fast becoming a hotspot for Alaskan boulderers. This is in big part due to a brand new bouldering guidebook that came out in the summer of 2023. The Hatcher Pass Bouldering Guide by David Funatake and Kelsey Gray includes over 1300 problems, showing just how expensive this excellent area is. The local developers have also spent countless hours creating new landings and cleaning problems. If you need crashpads they can be purchased at Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking, and Hoarding Marmot in Anchorage is planning on starting a crashpad rental section.

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, usually about a foot or so from the lip. An example of bad cleaning can be seen on the Muffin Man boulder where the entire top had the moss removed, and for many years one could see the orangish color from the road. Please be respectful of this beautiful resource. Without constant climbing and cleaning these boulders are quickly taken back by the lichen. 

Getting There Suggest change

From Anchorage drive north on the Glenn Highway, 30 minutes, to Palmer. Continue through several 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. 

Alternately, continue past the Palmer exit and take the next exit for Trunk Road. Take a right and follow this until the T intersection with Fishhook Rd. Turn left and follow fishhook. 

Drive parallel to the Little Susitna river up to Gold Mint and 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

Suggest change
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.

377 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Hatcher Pass

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2 5+
 12
Indian Head Arete
Boulder
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 16
Caustic Community Crack
Trad, Alpine
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 31
Physical Attraction
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 16
Snowflake
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 17
The Apology Foot Rub
Trad, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 16
Rise
Trad 3 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 21
Orangutan Overhang
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 18
Thin As Ice
Sport 2 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 67
Toto
Trad 6 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 17
Voodoo Child
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
 17
Zulu Warrior
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 14
Too Much Fun for You
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 15
Green lightning
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 14
My Pie
Trad
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 15
Tunnel Vision
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Indian Head Arete Archangel Valle… > Archangel Bould… > Indian Head Boulder
 12
V2 5+ Boulder
Caustic Community Crack Reed Lakes Boul… > Crack Garden > Crack Garden
 16
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
Physical Attraction Archangel Valle… > Zulu Wall
 31
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Snowflake Reed Lakes Boul… > SnowBird Slab/Corners…
 16
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
The Apology Foot Rub Reed Lakes Boul… > Crack Garden > Crack Garden
 17
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine
Rise Reed Lakes Boul… > High Dive
 16
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Orangutan Overhang Archangel Valle… > Monolith
 21
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Thin As Ice Reed Lakes Boul… > SnowBird Slab/Corners…
 18
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 2 pitches
Toto Archangel Valle… > Diamond
 67
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 6 pitches
Voodoo Child Archangel Valle… > Zulu Wall
 17
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Sport
Zulu Warrior Archangel Valle… > Zulu Wall
 17
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R Sport
Too Much Fun for You Archangel Valle… > Monolith
 14
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Sport
Green lightning Archangel Valle… > Green Gully
 15
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
My Pie Archangel Valle… > Green Gully
 14
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Tunnel Vision Archangel Valle… > Fairangel Gap &… > Tunnel Vision Wall
 15
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad
More Classic Climbs in Hatcher Pass »

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