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Ice Climbs Near Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska is the last great wild wilderness of America. It also happens to be a great place to have a go at some ice climbs that will make your legs do the Elvis.

Alaska is one of the few places remaining that you can visit and realize you are pretty insignificant. The state is huge and the human population centers are pretty small. Frankly, it can give you new perspective on life and the planet.

While going to Alaska is a great idea for rock and ice climbing, there are a couple of problems. Getting around the state can be... well, a bear. This is particularly true in winter when Mother Nature does her thing. You and bush planes are no match for her, so you often have to compromise your plans. If ice climbing is your thing, the good news is there are a lot of interesting climbs around Anchorage. Here are a few worth your time.

Portage River is located in a valley of the same name about an hour south of Anchorage. There are over 10 solid ice climbs in the area. They range from fairly simple to multi-pitch climbs, which means there is a little something for everyone. Before heading off to the area, make sure you get the current ice conditions. They can fluctuate. To get to Portage River, take the Seward Highway south and look for the signs.

The best climbing near Anchorage is really to the north of the city. The terrain is not really the issue. The difference between climbs to the north and south of the city has to do with the weather. Climbs south of the city tend to be in area where warm air can come off the ocean and degrade the ice. This doesn't seem to be a problem in the north, but this also makes it a much more popular area. Yes, you may actually have to wait for some climbs.

Top climbs north of Anchorage include areas such as Eagle River Valley, Eklutna Canyon and the Knik River Valley. Of these, Knik River Valley is by far the most popular. There are lots of climbs and often lots of people. To explore the Knik River Valley, just head out from Anchorage to the town of Eklutna and ask for directions.

As you might imagine, Alaska offers some serious ice climbing opportunities. While getting around can be difficult in winter, flying into Anchorage should give you access to plenty of climbs nearby.
About the Author
Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - makers of travel journals to preserve your travel experiences.
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