The western Chugach – the mountains surrounding Anchorage and the Mat-su valley to the east, are a veritable playground for hikers and climbers. Although the rock is predominantly poor in quality, the peaks are striking, sometimes rising 5,000 from the valley floor, with a variety of snow and ice lines penetrating their faces. Historically, these peaks have been scaled by mountaineers of all skill levels. But in recent years, skiers have started exploring some of the larger objectives – and one of the most sought after lines, is the north couloir of Mount Rumble.
Resembling a lower-elevation K2, Mount Rumble rises nearly 5,000 out of the headwaters of Peter’s Creek Valley – it’s symmetrical walls forming an almost perfect pyramid. The North Couloir nakes it’s way up the mountain, and is consistently 40-50 degrees for almost 4,500’. Suffice to say – it’s an epic climbing or ski line – depending on conditions of course.
In April, local Anchorage skiers and endurance athletes, Brian Harder and Lars Flora, skied the line – but the did it incredible style – making the 26 mile round trip, with over 14,000’ of elevation gain, in 13 hours round trip.
I recently caught up with Brian to hear about the experience, what he learned along the way, and some future objectives that he might explore.