The mountains above Anchorage, separated by Ship Creek and Indian Creek, are called the Chugach Front Range. These are the tippy western end of the Chugach Mountains. This mini-chain has 35 named summits (Imus Geographics Chugach State Park map) and 12 that rise above 5,000 feet. Connecting these 12 highest summits in a single push is an attractive and lofty goal for Anchorage mountain runners. This Chugach Front Linkup has also become knows as Cosmic Integration. For young runners, who know the route, sub-20 hours should be possible. Once that's done, the Western Chugach 7,000-footers in a single push is a logical progression.
19-20,000 vertical feet, 36-38 miles
1990 27:30 hrs, Shawn Lyons, Walk About Guide to Alaska, Vol 2
2006 23:13 hrs, Trond Jensen and Joe Stock, Trail Runner Jan 2007
2008 34 hrs, Rob Develice and Charlie Thomas
2008 22:40 hrs, JT Lindholm
2010 22:42 hrs, Harlow Robinson.
2012 29 hrs, Abby and Stephen Rideout
2016 22:10 hrs, Harlow Robinson and Matias Saari, Alaska Dispatch News.
2016 June 25, 27:22 hrs, Aaron Thrasher
2016 July 9, 24:13 hrs, Marlo Karjala
The Twelve Chugach Front 5,000-Foot Peaks
Mount Williwaw 5,445’
Temptation Peak 5,383’
Tanaina Peak 5,358’
The Ramp 5,240’
Tikishla Peak 5,230’
West Tanaina Peak 5,200’
O'Malley Peak 5,150'
Koktoya Peak 5,148’
Hidden Peak 5,105’
North Suicide Peak 5,065’
Avalanche Mountain 5,050'
Suicide Peak 5,005’
The difficulty of the linkup is learning if each section of ridge is better traversed or avoided. Fog can help, making exposed traverses less fearsome by hiding the abyss.
Fog, low visibility and precip can also complicate the linkup. Here is Trond on the summit of South Suicide looking toward O'Malley and Hidden Peak before diving back into the fog.
Sheep trails are a rare luxury.
Regular snacking will keep your energy levels up.