Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wolverine Peak Climb

It is the beginning of summer and my travels and adventuring are revving up. I was in Anchorage for a week and got in six 2-4 hour hikes in seven days. Some I've done before and some I didn't take pictures of so you won't see a blog post for all of them. But I have a few new ones worth sharing. 

While leaves have popped out at the trailhead, up the trail no green is showing yet

One of my greatest discoveries is that there are 4 trailheads all accessing the same Chugach National Forest trails on the Hillside area of Anchorage:  Glen Alps/Flattop (the most popular, judging by the extensive, paved parking lot), Huffman, O'Malley and Prospect Heights. I'd only been to the Flattop trailhead before and now feel deprived of years of not knowing about lots of other great trails! The Flattop area starts nearly at or above treeline, so when it is windy, there is no protection. The other areas are more treed and offer protection on blustery days.

What would we do without the wonderful bridges that allow us access to the backcountry?!

I started the Wolverine Peak trail from the Prospect Heights trailhead, taking a left at the Powerline Trail and following it up on a gradual climb on a wide, hard packed trail. It was pleasant walking, till I came to the intersection with Near Point (straight) or Wolverine Peak (a right). I opted to try the peak trail and it began a steeper ascent, resulting in frequent short breaks as I caught my breath on my first climbing hike of the season.

A view of Anchorage (a clear day would also show us Denali in the distance) from the trail up Wolverine Peak

Only one section of snow remained, 50 feet or so, on my climb to the saddle, at which point I decided that for my fresh-to-hiking legs, that would be enough climbing for the day. I can see how it would be a pleasant hike, really not too difficult, once I'm back in hiking shape for the season.

When climbing, I thought Wolverine Peak was to the left after climbing this slope, but when I was driving the Seward Highway later and looking up, I saw that it was to the right up this section, a peak that's about 4200 feet

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