Cosmic Integration

Chugach Front Linkup

Cosmic Integration in the Chugach Mountains

The mountains above Anchorage are called the Chugach Front Range. These are the tippy western end of the Chugach Mountains, separated by Ship Creek and Indian Creek. This small subrange has 35 named summits (Imus Geographics Chugach State Park map) and 12 summits 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 less dangerous 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.

Cosmic Rules

  1. Start and finish from a car parking lot.

  2. Don’t record or share your route track. Your word and your reputation is your evidence. Following a track removes the adventure component. Also, sharing your track is akin to leaving cairns. Let other people have as much fun and adventure as you did.

Linkup Stats

18–21,000 vertical feet, 36-45 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, ADN.

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, ADN

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

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

2019 June 22, 26 hours, Sophia Tidler.

2019 July 13, 23:50 hours, Julianne Dickerson, April McAnly, Abby Jahn. ADN.

2019 July 18, 14:41 hours, Lars Arneson. ADN.

2019 July 19, 27:36 hours, Keegan Crow and Annie Connellly.

2019 August 24 15:46 hours, Sam Volk

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’

Julianne, Abby and April on Williwaw at 4am. “Finally clearing!”

Julianne, Abby and April on Williwaw at 4am. “Finally clearing!”

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.

Matias Saari traversing between Avalanche Mountain and The Ramp

Matias Saari traversing between Avalanche Mountain and The Ramp

Harlow Robinson and Matias Saari atop South Suicide, their first summit of their tour.

Harlow Robinson and Matias Saari atop South Suicide, their first summit of their tour.

Some of the route is on open ridgelines, perfect for running. Andrew McCarthy on a route finding run in June.

Some of the route is on open ridgelines, perfect for running. Andrew McCarthy on a route finding run in June.

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 for Trond Jensen.

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 for Trond Jensen.

Sheep trails are a luxury for Trond Jensen.

Sheep trails are a luxury for Trond Jensen.

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. Good thing Norwegians taste better than Americans.

Finishing in the twilight in the grass and brush. This is a popular time to run into large hairy and toothy critters. Good thing Norwegians taste better than Americans.