Ascending Path Blog

Ascending Path is an Alaskan climbing and eco-tourism guide service operating since 1995 world-wide and since 2002 in Alaska. We are AMGA accredited, providing technical climbing instruction and guiding and naturalist guiding in the beautiful mountains of South Central Alaska.
This Blog contains some older adventure stories, news and guides musings... for more current news and trip stories, visit our Facebook page- Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Midnight Sun Glacier Hiking

June 27th, 7:30pm. Ryan and I sat in the yurt listening to the pounding rain on the yurt canvas and watching sheets of water come down the plastic windows and tried to remain optimistic about our upcoming 8pm glacier hike. Half hour later, though, just before the Van Duren party arrived for the trip, the rain stopped and the clouds started moving out. The rest of the evening in the midnight sun was sun-streaked and gorgeous.

Ryan points out the various types of glaciers surrounding the Girdwood valley to Matt and Mark Van Duren.

Approaching the Alyeska glacier.

Carefully treading toward the open blue ice at the top of the glacier.
Looking down into a moulin and crack in the glacier.

The Van Duren party and guide Ryan Davis.

Coming off the glacier at 11:30pm, the sunset on Turnagain arm is breathtaking.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rafting 6-mile with Nova

The employees of the Ascending Path were offered a raft trip down 6-mile Creek with Nova, a rafting guide service based out of Hope, Alaska. Five of our crew took Nova up on their offer, and we had a really exciting run down the class 5 rapids on a spectacular sunny day.
Along the way we got to see a fresh eagle-slain king salmon, an owl, and tons of white water!

Matt, Heather, Herbie (our guide), Aubrey, Jeff, Heather

Taking the rapids!

Herbie decides to take this rapid backward - wheeee!!

Glacier Training on Alyeska Glacier: NEW crevasses!

Matt shows Lisa the importance of angles

Lisa, Beth, Matt: setting up the EARNEST anchor

3:1 anchor

Aubrey gets to hang out in the crevasse and wait for a rescue
looking down into the crevasse

beautiful scenery inside the crevasse

Lisa pulls

extraction successful

Alyeska glacier, June 24, 2009. We practiced on the lower lookers-left side of the open glacier.

walking off the glacier, looking down at Turnagain arm

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

AP in Nat. Geographic

Just published: a Short blurb in National Geographic Adventure about our ice climbing trips on the Byron Glacier.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Midnight Sun Glacier Hike on Solstice

Midnight Sun Marathoners on a Midnight Sun Glacier Hike on Summer Solstice!!!!

1" of new snow on Solstice!

Wow..... last night's midnight sun glacier hike included a snowstorm!
my 4 midnight sun marathon runners did great as we climbed through the wind and rain to enjoy magical snow falling up high in the glacier bowl.
Also- a new moulin has opened and is probably 50' deep!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Bear on Byron, New Flowers Arriving on Trails!

Black bear on Byron Glacier, spotted June 17

Ryan with black bear in the background - upper left corner

Ice Climbing on Byron Glacier


Hiking off of Alyeska Glacier - looking down at Turnagain Arm

One-flowered Cinquefoil , Potentilla Uniflora (Max's ridgeline)

Cut-Leaf Anemone, Anemone multifida (Crow Pass)

Moss Campion, Silene Acaulis (Mt Alyeska)

(glacier and animal pics by Ryan, flowers by Aubrey)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

'09 Season Underway!!

It is (kind of) raining today! And the fact that this is notable is a clue to the amazing weather we've seen here in Girdwood this spring: lots of blue-bird days, and lots of sun! Which made for several great days of guides training on the Byron Glacier, Winner Creek Trail, and Alyeska Glacier.

Here are some shots of guides training on the Byron:

Portage, June 2, and it is a gorgeous day!

Ryan points out a family of goats which, as we watch, actually glissade down a steep snow bank off the mountain and onto the glacier below us.

Karen Hilton

New to the team this season: Lisa Portune, Aubrey Smith, and Karen Hilton

Ryan shows how its done
Aubrey gets her first shot at ice climbing
Matt: our fearless leader

practicing crevasse rescue: Karen, Beth, Bobby
Beth checks out the blues