Elevation: 3,773 ft
GPS: 61.81346, -149.25536
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Shared By: Luke to Zuke on Jul 17, 2008
Admins: L. Von Dommelheimer


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 three 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.

http://www.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

http://www.akclimber.com/guidebook-ordering/ 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, wwww.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. vimeo.com/101216080
Relic on Toto (5.7)

Getting There

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

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.

372 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+
Indian Head Arete
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
The Slot
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Physical Attraction
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Apology Foot Rub
Trad, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Straight Eight
Trad, Alpine
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Thin As Ice
Sport 2 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Trad 6 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Voodoo Child
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Zulu Warrior
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Green lightning
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
White Spot Roofs
Trad 3 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Child Support
Trad 2 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Tunnel Vision
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Riptide Arete
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Indian Head Arete Archangel Valle… > Archangel Bould… > Indian Head Boulder
V2 5+ Boulder
The Slot Archangel Valle… > Monolith
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Physical Attraction Archangel Valle… > Zulu Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
The Apology Foot Rub Reed Lakes Boul… > Crack Garden > Crack Garden
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine
Straight Eight Archangel Valle… > Lane Prospect Area > Bear's Den
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine
Thin As Ice Reed Lakes Boul… > SnowBird Slab/Corners…
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 2 pitches
Toto Archangel Valle… > Diamond
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 6 pitches
Voodoo Child Archangel Valle… > Zulu Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Sport
Zulu Warrior Archangel Valle… > Zulu Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R Sport
Green lightning Archangel Valle… > Green Gully
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
White Spot Roofs Archangel Valle… > Green Gully
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 3 pitches
Child Support Archangel Valle… > White Spot
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 2 pitches
Rebirth Archangel Valle… > Catch The Wave
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Tunnel Vision Archangel Valle… > Fairangel Gap &… > Tunnel Vision Wall
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad
Riptide Arete Archangel Valle… > Catch The Wave
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
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