Peak 7270 (7270ft) - 29Aug2021

Peak 7270 from the glacier

          I was stoked to return to Valdez again for some peak goodness. So I hit the road at 4am to start the day at a decent hour. I parked between mile markers 33 and 34 and crossed the small bridge that gets you across the Tsina River.

     The dirt road lasts for a short time, and the shwack begins. Shwack is just a fun mental game at this point. I just shut my brain off and know it’s a part of the gig. I Was introduced to a new kind of shwack as three cliff bands went at class 4 in the middle of the Alaskan jungle. Which was kind of funny because this was the crux of the entire climb.

Cliffy bushwhack

     Though the first section was quite horrendous, getting to the alpine in this zone is epic. Across the valley, Mt. Diamond and Cracked Ice loom high in the sky. Once above the brush, I dropped camp near two alpine lakes and a small stream.


     Getting into the valley to access the glacier was quick work from camp, and travel down this valley was easy. There was an excellent feature halfway down the valley as the walls rose 15ft above the glacial stream, which provided a fun scramble to get back down to the valley floor.

      Arriving at the glacier, Peak 7270 was finally in sight with plenty of fresh snow. The glacier has plenty of crevasses along the middle of the glacier.

More peaks along the glacier

     At the base of the peak, I started up the SSW gully. Fresh unconsolidated snow on rocks made for tedious work. The gully was always easy climbing just required some route finding and weaving left and right. Exiting onto the ESE ridge was easy, and the first half of the ridge was in sight. The first few hundred feet were the crux of the ridge, having to slide across the ridge like riding a moose.

Heading up the gully

Looking down the ridge

     The ridge always stayed within class 3 and was very scenic and fun. Was super happy to have crampons as the snow became solid along the spine. You always know it’s a big day when you go from shwack to strapping on crampons and snow climbing. After strapping up, I made quick work of the ridge, and the views were unreal. Meteorite Mountain, some awesome 7kers, and glaciers were everywhere in sight.  

Spot I swapped to crampons

Overview of the ridge

      Summit stoke didn’t last long, as I still had a haul back to camp. I arrived at camp with just enough light to set up my tent without a headlamp. I cooked dinner and started to process driving from Eagle River and climbing a 7ker in Valdez on the same day. I passed out after supper and awoke to a beautiful alpine glow on Mt. Diamond in the morning.

Looking down from the summit

I made a cup of coffee and went down the cliffy shack. Heading down was worse than heading up. First, I was going through thick trees, then suddenly, I would arrive at a cliff trying to piece together ledges. Heading down the cliffs, I would use alders to lower myself where I could. This is what I like to call class tree climbing. Finally, two hours after leaving camp, I was back at my car, thankful I was done. 

Mount Diamond in the morning


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