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, August 24, 2009

8/24 Rabbit Lakes Anchorage Day Hike

On my full day Anchorage Day Hike to Rabbit Lakes we saw 17 Dall Sheep in the cirque and we walked up onto a family of 8 or so ptarmagin in changing plummage. they were amazing in color. the Alpine Bear Berries were glowing red and the lichen around Rabbit Lakes was vibrant orange! Great day out to a new guiding location. I'll get my photos up soon! Heather

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ermine on the Byron Glacier

I love Ermine and once we get the video up of this cute little guy so will you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tons of wildlife on 10 am Anchorage Day Hike

My clients and I saw 7 Moose of which there were huge Bulls with large racks, 1 Dall Sheep with a coiler for horns, and an arctic ground squirrel with the hugest goiter from packing his jowls with berries for his winter food cache!!! We hiked up to the saddle of little O'Malley Peak and had a great time! It was a bit of a hike for one of the teenagers. But she was really impressed with her accomplishment after the fact--I knew she could do it with coaxing and a comfortable pace!!! We had a great hike-Heather

Great Guest Comment from Ice Climber

Hi Matt,

I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for such a wonderful day of ice climbing! Ryan was a fantastic guide, high energy despite all the rain and my freak out when I first got on the ice. He was patient and kind, but more over very motivational. He didn't allow me to give up on myself, which made him a great guide for me. Thank you for a truely great introduction to ice climbing and I consider myself a new recruit to this amazing sport. All the best to you and your staff!

Annie Passarello


A Beginner Ice climber with upper ice fins in the background. Do you think she planned to wear the same color as the glacier? Color coordinated!!! At least she will not be in People magazine for a fashion faux paus here. She just makes the ice look bluer (if that is a word?). Coiling the wet climbing rope with the upper Byron Seracs in the background! Awesome blue.
Ryan Davis Soloing to setp up the ice anchors on the Byron. Another day in the office for Ryan. He has single handedly ran the most ice trips on the Byron for us. He rocks!!!
A Better image of the ice fins and the waterfalls that spill from the glacier and hills surrounding the Byron! Very picturesque.
Can you ICE CAVE BABY? This has Vanilla Ice's tune all over over it....ICE ICE BABY.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Changing Byron Glacier: Inside the Ice

Ryan Davis took these pictures yesterday, August 12th. The Byron glacier is definitely changing appearance quickly!

The glacier and sculpted rock.

The small black hole in the picture above is the ice cave shown below!

The Carnivorous Sundew, Chicken of the Woods, and other recently spotted flora

These are some flowers, plants, and berries, and 'shrooms I have photographed around Girdwood and the Winner Creek Trail in the last week. . . .
I found this carnivorous Sundew, covered in rain dew, in Moose Meadows.
Black Currents aka Gooseberries
Dwarf Dogwood, aka Bunchberries

Star Gentian

Devils Club
Moss Berries, aka Crowberries

"Chicken of the Woods", a gloriously colored shelf mushroom

Alyeska Glacier Hike 9am 8/13

Ryan & Beth's trip on the Alyeska glacier. The Moulin is getting deeper ~50 ft deep! Who knew this little glacier was so deep with crevasses.....We run our Glacier Hikes in crampons & helmets these days. And, if you sign up for a private half day trip we can explore more of the glacier and lower you into the crevasses! Matt just guided 2 private clients for a half day on the Alyeska Glacier who were from LAPD and had a blast getting lowered into the crevasses. There's always fun to be had :)

Chalice Cup Lichen!!! One of my favorite lichen found in Girdwood :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Anchorage 1/2 Day hike 6pm 8/11/09

Tundra Rose or Shrubby Cinquefoil.
There is always a silver lining in life :)

Fireweed in its fall colors.

White puffy clouds on the south-eastern flank of O'Malley peak.

Moose on Willawaw Trail 8/11/09

The momma moose is checking us out. Wondering if we are a threat or if her and her calf can continue nibbling on the grass. Who is looking at who here? Peek-a-boo.

Not a very good picture of water fowl and ducks.

Power line pass and Ptarmagin Peak lit up in the amazing light.

Anchorage 1/2 Day Hike 8/11/09 6pm

The Sunlight is absolutly amazing this time of year. I found myself toting my large SLR and lenses around on a few trips this time of year for the first time. My clients were kind enough to let me photograph them. I was discreet but couldn't help myself wanting to capture the light. I am not a photographer but thought of my time in Alaska since 1991; I don't have many pictures of the summers as I am always working them. Thus, I needed to capture the beauty that I surround myself when sharing alaska to summer clients to help jog my memory in the dark depths of winter :) Heather Szundy We watched this moose calf and cow for about 45 minutes....funny thing is my clients had not seen moose on their trip to Denali and Seward. i had them for their last hours in Alaska and not even 15 minustes from the car we spotted 2 about 20 feet from the trail. I am the moose whisperer :) not really but I just know where to find them. I love moose even after seeing hundreds over the years. The sight of them still makes me get excited like a school child!
Lisa & Hanna entertaining me for a photo.

The Wedge & Powerline pass, Glen Alps.

Ptarmagin Peak, Glen Alps.