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Wednesday
Jul112012

Indianhouse Circuit

Indianhouse Mountain is 4,300 feet. It's not the tallest peak in the Chugach Front Range, but it is the craggiest. It even has some solid rock. That's why it's my favorite backyard peak.

Over the past couple summers I've been piecing together the complete Falls Creek ridgeline, which includes the summit of Indianhouse. 

This project began several years ago as running jaunts, with some scrambling. One October, Dave Bass showed me his super-sneaky routes to the ridge above Falls Creek. It has been said that Dave can't climb his way out of a wet paper bag. This photo proves that wrong and that Dave can dangle his ass out there.  


Dana-D and D-Bass running 3,000 feet back down to Turnagain Arm from Indianhouse. Mid-October means winter is coming. 


Falls Creek often has over 50 Dall sheep milling about on the tundra slopes. The sheep trails make easy routes through the mountains

 

On another Indianhouse excursion I joined a large entourage of Maddog's friends and family. On this trip we did two short rappels, similar to Billy Finley's trip, but we didn't make it all the way around the cirque ridge. Here is Maddog's Kid Brother thinking a smoke would ease the stress on his first rappel. Kid Brother didn't have any smokes, though. When we returned to Anchorage, Kid Brother embarked on a two-hour bicycle mission after smokes. 

 

"Joe! Again? Why always on the trail?" This summer I was so excited about finally ticking the entire Indianhouse circuit that I had an accident on the trail, right in front of Cathy. A year earlier I came up to this spot to collect lowbush cranberries for Cathy to make liquor. While busy filling my bucket, I ran into two massive grizz who were eating my berries. I fumbled to draw my Deep Woods Bear Off and hose down those jerks, but I just ended up loosing my bear spray holster while retreating down the mountain. It turns out the berries I collected were kinnikinnick bearberry, not lowbush cranberries. Kinnikinnick are not very tasty, unless you're a grizz. 

 

Jeff Conaway and Cathy on the final Indianhouse grand slam. Lots of foggy ridgeline. 

 

We brought 200 feet of 5.5mm rope for a single 95-foot rappel into the Indianhouse notch.

 

We scrambled the rest of the gendarmes.

 

Some of the gendarmes had exposed sheep trails around their sides.

 

 Do you see some fun things to ski? Falls Creek is an amazing playground. 

 

Cathy on a sheep trail high above Turnagain Arm just before dropping down to the car. 

 

Devils clubbing back to the Seward Highway.

 

We B-lined to BBQ at the Turnagain Armpit in Indian. Eight hours and 7,000 vertical feet of playing get the appetite going.