A true anomaly in the mountains of AK, we would seek shelter in four tiny shelters on our 40-mile route from Hatcher Pass to the village of Eska. The hut allows experienced hikers or skiers to complete a 50-mile hut-hopping tour of dramatic, glacier-carved terrain in Hatcher Pass.

For more information, contact Ralph Baldwin, Cory Hinds, Jayme Mack, Cindi Squire or Harry Hunt at. The most outstanding features of the hut are the large windows facing the glacier and the striking Nunatak peak that rises out of the glacier in the south. Small shelters, cocooned in between peaks and glaciers, have served as base camps, safe havens and warm-up spots for adventurous climbers and skiers for decades. A group of four filed into the hut after a long trudge through the snow to get to us, and again Will and I enjoyed the camaraderie of staying another night in a public hut. His father, Pete Holden, a carpenter, was part of the volunteer work crew that arrived at the construction site in late June. The HPMHG was formed in response to a tremendous increase of snowmachine activity in the spring of 2013 on the Snowbird Glacier and other surrounding areas including the Snowbird Hut, Bomber Hut and Mint Hut. The club secured a 10-year lease from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for the property, with an annual fee of $530. The trail is fairly well marked, and the first day's walk is very easy for 90% of it. The Seth Holden Hut under construction in the Talkeetna Mountains (Katherine Cooper). September in Hatcher Pass delivered exactly as you might expect: pouring, soaking rain for the first two hours, and wet flurries of snow the rest of the way.

Follow the Glenn Highway north to mile 49.5. Waking up to sunshine and not a cloud in the sky we decided to continue on and do the Snowbird-Bomber Traverse, so here in this post, … "The friends you meet in the huts…it's an intense experience," Hinds said. The Gold Mint Trailhead, near the mouth of Hatcher Pass, served as the staging area for gear.

Others, not so respectful, had destroyed boundary markers and pushed the trail in. Photo: Naomi Stock. We started out on the bikes for the flat first mile or so to save time until we stashed the bikes in the woods, locking them to a tree for a little extra security. "It is startlingly beautiful," Hinds said. In general, the journey to the new hut is best attempted by experienced backcountry travelers or skiers who are familiar with glacier travel and avalanche terrain. What I didn’t expect to find was almost total isolation in a popular place like Hatcher Pass. After a hot meal, we happily began hiking our way through the valley that continues behind the hut to take in the amphitheater of mountains surrounding us. Tom Choate, who in 2013 became the oldest man to summit Denali at the age of 78, was there.

It is about 8 miles to the hut … After a show of pink and orange clouds, the sky eventually turned dark blue and cloudless, leaving us with a night full of stars and the looming shadows of peaks above. Related Article: Tips For Driving The Alcan Highway Camping in Hatcher Pass.

All rights reserved. The unaware just followed. Accessible from Archangel Valley near Hatcher’s Pass, the hut is a year round destination for backcountry skiers, climbers and adventurous hikers. So, on a rainy Thursday morning in Anchorage my friend Will and I found ourselves driving to Hatcher Pass with gear, food, fuel and supplies rattling around in the backseat and with bikes on the rack. Updated July 2020, The Snowbird-Bomber Hike In Hatcher Pass, Alaska was originally written in July 2019. The group had breakfast at 7 a.m., took a break for lunch, and sometimes worked up until an 8 p.m. dinner. Peaks were barely dusted with white termination dust, warning us of a cold night to come high up in the Talkeetna Mountains. Many of the violations centered around the Good Hope Creek boundary in the Reed Valley/Reed Lake drainage. The easiness of the first 7-8 miles was all made up for in the final mile of knee-to-chin steps and fingers clawing into loose dirt as we scrambled up the side of the last hill, which conveniently blocked the view of the hut until we were just a few hundred feet away. The hike from the Reed Lakes parking lot is four to five miles long, depending on who you ask, and can be technical at times. Two decades passed. The crew ranged from 10 to 13 members. Please email the completed report to the addresses listed on the form. The crew set up camp and settled in. With a little extra daylight and the hopes of good weather, we had every intention of experiencing as much of this edge season in Alaska when tourism is down and everyone is beginning to prepare for the long winter ahead. Alpine peak bagging (Higher Spire, Lower Spire). Turn onto Palmer-Fishhook Road and follow the signs to Hatcher Pass Road/Independence Mine State Historical Park. Once in the hut we met a fellow traveler who was there for his last night and enjoyed the camaraderie of sharing the hut with this stranger. Construction started June 26. With a large boost from the Holden family, the club raised about $45,000 to build the hut, a far larger budget than any other hut in the past, Hinds said. Take the Seward Highway south, past Girdwood and Turnagain Pass. Stay updated—follow the Snowbird Hut on Facebook! The effort fits into longstanding mountaineering traditions in Alaska. A mountain guide, David Staeheli, did some reconnaissance in the Hatcher Pass mountains.

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