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Routes in Keystone Canyon

Description

20 miles east of Valdez, Alaska is the Keystone Canyon. also known as Mecca to ice climbers.
while skiing seems to be the major winter draw to this area, the big multi-pitch ice routes have been drawing climbers since the mid-70's. Ice climbing festivals started here in 1983 and much of the activity was fueled by the late Andy Embick.

Many notable names have ventured their way up the majestic 800ft falls in the canyon, and there seems to be good ice for just about everyone from test ice pieces like Wowie Zowie, WI6 FA Embick & Tobin in 1981, to mixed adventures like Sans Ami, a serious mixed climb which has seen but a few ascents to moderates like Fang Gully (WI2). 

Getting There

Most people fly to Anchorage and drive down to Valdez, but you can catch a flight on RAVN Aviation from Anchorage for about $250. Hundreds of ice routes abound; some to the west in Mineral Canyon are walking distance from downtown.

Valdez has long hosted an ice climbing festival, in the day these were parties of climbers doing their thing and it was a spectacular way to build community, unfortunately these events have been commercialized over the last couple years and focus less on building community and more on making money. 

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Classic Climbing Routes at Keystone Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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