Type: Trad, Snow, Alpine, 6000 ft
FA: Rod Hancock and Stuart Parks
Page Views: 628 total · 16/month
Shared By: clint helander on Sep 28, 2015 with updates from Charlie Sassara
Admins: Jared LaVacque, L. Von Dommelheimer

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The West Ridge of Mount Yukla is a beautiful sight to behold from the Eagle River Valley. From base to summit, it gains more than 6,000 feet. With a fair amount of up and down between the bumps on the ridge, it is likely bigger in regards to total elevation gain. From the Nature Center, it just begs to be climbed. It looms above all else in the Eagle River Valley.
It is a tremendous outing that will force you to go light and fast, or pay the consequences.

This is not a scramble or a hike like so many of the other Chugach ridge lines. The West Ridge is a bastard's mother of a climb.

Three things to remember:
1: The rock is extremely chossy
2: Holy shit! The rock is extremely chossy
3: God DAMN, I say, SWEET JESUS...The rock is extremely chossy

This route was tried by Charlie Sassara sometime in early March of 1985 He and his partner, Marty Schmidt made it within 300-500ft of the summit in heavy snow when they turned around at final summit pyramid block before down climbing and rapping to the south.

The West Ridge is a very long endeavor, taking most teams around 24 hours car-to-car. It has been soloed at least twice, with faster times.

Remember when I said that the rock is quite chossy? Let me remind you again, just in case...The rock is choss! There are no fixed anchors. Most of the climbing is moderate, but the cruxes are steep with lots of loose rock (that choss stuff we've been talking about).

Much of the climbing is very exposed...and you're climbing on rattly choss above tremendous voids. Most of the route is climbed without the use of the rope, but when you need it, you are thankful to have it.

From the summit, question why you are so stupid to climb something so chossy. Then just remember that it beats being fat and playing video games. Put on the crampons that you have been lugging all the way up and descend down to the west on snow or ice until you see the endless ocean of scree that brings you toward Twincicle Pass.
Descend via Twincicle Pass and down the Twincicle Valley (plan on getting lost in the labyrinth of alders).

Bring crampons (you probably won't use them on the climb, but will be very very very thankful for them when you have to hike down the short, but incredibly steep Twincicle Glacier).

Don't get me wrong...this is a great route by Chugach standards. It's long, very exposed, beautiful and requires endurance and some route-finding skills early on. Go check it out. Yukla never disappoints.

Somebody needs to make the first winter ascent, but it ain't gonna be me.


A selection of nuts and cams (to #3)