Alaskan climber Billy Finley alerted us to this serious threat to many of the Anchorage area's most popular crags.Attention Climbers: The May 2011 Draft Chugach State Park Draft Management Plan has recommended "permanent rock anchors" be prohibited in Chugach State Park (CSP). If the proposed ban is not stopped then all technical climbing within CSP will essentially be banned. Given the poor rock quality and lack of natural protection in Chugach rock, permanent anchors are a necessity for climbers’ safety. Likewise, permanent rappel anchors are needed on any technical mountaineering, ice, or rock route that lacks a walk off descent.
It is also likely that the ban would prohibit replacement of existing fixed anchors, thwarting efforts to upgrade old bolts and other fixed gear (some of which have been in place for over 60 years) and prohibit any new route development that requires fixed anchors.
Currently all of the rock and ice climbing areas along Turnagain Arm from Anchorage to Girdwood lie within CSP boundaries, and many of these climbs utilize permanent rock anchors. Other affected areas include Ptarmigan, The Wedge, O'Malley, Yukla, Dew Mound, Eklutna Canyon, Pioneer Peak, Hunter Creek, and any other CSP technical mountaineering route that requires a rappel.
The 10 minutes you take to make a comment is essential to the future of climbing in Chugach State Park. All comments are due by October 31.
Send comments to:
Alaska Department of Natural Resources Chugach State Park Planning 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1050 Anchorage, AK 99501
To learn more about the plan, click here.