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The Plunger

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The Plunger Rock Climbing 

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Location: 62.706, -151.18221 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Jared LaVacque, L. Von Dommelheimer, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard Shore on May 20, 2013
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View east towards Talkeetna, looking over the Gran...

Register with the NP Mountaineering Headquarters in Talkeetna, AK before climbing in the park!


A thin blade-like spire of granite, this peak is rather unimpressive-looking from the Pika Glacier. Fortunately, looks can be deceiving! The Plunger has a HUGE dropoff and bigtime exposure to the north, which will be discovered while climbing the second (summit) pitch of either route. From the summit, one is rewarded with an exceptional view over the Granite Glacier, which sits some 1,000' below to the north. If it is clear enough, you might also see Denali, 30 miles away. This spire is a good early season alternative when other larger formations are still covered in snow.

Two known routes exist on The Plunger, a 5.10a hand crack on the North Face and a 5.11 thin-hand crack on the West Face. As far as I can tell, both routes share a starting pitch and then diverge on the summit block. As snow melts out, other starts may be possible. Rappel to descend with a single rope from fixed sling anchors.

Getting There 

From the airstrip/basecamp, ski or snowshoe 20 minutes north, heading for the notch between The Throne and The Trolls. Stay close to the runout zone/bergschrund alongside North Troll to avoid crevasse fall danger. Depending on conditions, snow gear may be needed to access the base of the rock.

Climbing Season

For the Denali National Park area.

Weather station 50.8 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Plunger

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Plunger:
West Face   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 150'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Plunger

Featured Route For The Plunger
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Shore on P2 of the West Face of The Plunge...

West Face 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  Alaska : Denali National Park : ... : The Plunger
A short two-pitch route up the awesome Plunger pinnacle. The first ascent party severely overrated the crux pitch at 5.12a/b. From my experience (based on Indian Creek and Yosemite-style splitter cracks), this is no harder than about 5.11b.Climb moderate snow and cross a bergschrund to access the base of the rock. Many possible starts are available, I will describe the obvious one we took.P1) 5.6-5.7, ~80'. Up a low-angle left-facing dihedral to a belay in a notch from boulders with fixed rappel...[more]   Browse More Classics in Alaska

Photos of The Plunger Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Stolen from the interwebz
Stolen from the interwebz
Rock Climbing Photo: The Plunger is the small spire located in the notc...
The Plunger is the small spire located in the notc...

Comments on The Plunger Add Comment
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By Gunkswest
May 13, 2015
The Plunger might also be named "Fish Tail Spire," which is described as being immediately south of the southeast face of The Throne.

The 1997 AAJ lists a new route being done on the formation by Matt Walsh & Campbell Mercer on July 7 1996 (70 meters, 5.6 A2 or 5.10a), which is likely known as the North Face Route.

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