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Thursday
Apr292004

Mt Thor of the Chugach

In April 2004, Dylan Taylor and I skied from Valdez to Caribou Creek by way of Mount Thor and the Matanuska Glacier. We left our car at the Valdez airport and slogged up the Valdez Glacier, over the steep Cashman Col, across the Tazlina and Science Glaciers to the intimidating precipitation vortex of the Columbia Glacier. A corridor between Mt. Elusive and Mt. Valhalla offered us a low angle route up the east shoulder of Mount Thor (12,251’), the second highest peak in the Chugach. Wearing crampons, we double carried our kit down the aesthetic north ridge of Mount Thor to the Sylvester Glacier. An easy 7,200 foot col linked us to the Powell Glacier and high glacial benches for 15 miles to the west branch of the Matanuska Glacier and out to the Glenn Highway at Caribou Creek. Our route gained about 19,000 feet over 98 miles.

Dylan sledging up the Valdez Glacier toward Cacheman Col on day two.


Kiting the Tazlina Glacier with a ten-square meter NASA-enhanced parawing kite.


Snowmachiners on the Tazlina Glacier. These guys rule the western Chugach. They'll ride five hours across glaciers from Valdez to have lunch in Eureka then ride back.


Disaster! Joe drinking strong Tang from a malodorous bottle. His regular water bottle cracked.


Dylan on the summit of Mount Thor (12,251'), the second highest summit in the Chugach Mountains.


Dylan at camp below the north ridge of Mount Thor. We down climbed this beautiful route twice to get our gear to the Sylvester Glacier.


Dylan at Turtle Flats.


Eli Helmuth, Mark Kelly and Dylan at the Scandinavian Peaks Hut.


Dylan hitching to Anchorage from Caribou Creek on Day 18.

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