Chugach Front Linkup

Cosmic Integration in the Chugach Mountains

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 small subrange 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. 

While many Anchorage runners are physically capable of the Chugach Front Linkup, the real crux is piecing together a logical route. Finding a fast and safe line between these rugged and complicated summits takes years of research. Venturing on these endless research runs is a mountain runners dream. Ticking off the linkup is just the graduation party. To maximize everyone's fun, it would be cool to keep the online route details to a minimum. 

Linkup Stats

19–21,000 vertical feet, 36-44 miles

History

1990 27:30 hours, Shawn Lyons, Walk About Guide to Alaska, Vol 2

2006 July 9, 23:13 hours, Trond Jensen and Joe Stock, Trail Runner Jan 2007

2008 34 hours, Rob Develice and Charlie Thomas. 

2008 22:40 hours, JT Lindholm. 

2010 22:42 hours, Harlow Robinson. 

2012 29 hours, Abby and Stephen Rideout. 

2016 22:10 hours, Harlow Robinson and Matias Saari, Alaska Dispatch News.

2016 June 25, 27:22 hours, Aaron Thrasher. 

2016 July 9, 24:13 hours, Marlo Karjala. 

2017 July 22, 18:10 hours, Peter Mamrol and Lars Arneson, Alaska Dispatch News

2018 July 20, 17:43 hours, Adam Jensen and Matt Shryock. 

2018 July, 23 hours, Joe Nyholm and Miles Knotek. 

The 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’

 Matt Shryrock on South Suicide at 5:30 am. Photo by Adam Jensen. 

Matt Shryrock on South Suicide at 5:30 am. Photo by Adam Jensen. 

 Some of the route is on open ridgelines, perfect for running.  

Some of the route is on open ridgelines, perfect for running.  

 Other portions of the ridge have exposed scrambling. A difficulty of the linkup is learning if each section of the ridge is better traversed or avoided. Fog can help, making exposed portions less fearsome by hiding the abyss. 

Other portions of the ridge have exposed scrambling. A difficulty of the linkup is learning if each section of the ridge is better traversed or avoided. Fog can help, making exposed portions less fearsome by hiding the abyss. 

 Sheep trails are a luxury.

Sheep trails are a luxury.

 Snow can make the linkup easier by smoothing out the scree and turning descents into glissades. 

Snow can make the linkup easier by smoothing out the scree and turning descents into glissades. 

 Finishing in the twilight in the grass and brush. This is a popular time to run into large hairy and toothy critters. 

Finishing in the twilight in the grass and brush. This is a popular time to run into large hairy and toothy critters.