An Alpinist’s Graduation
Ham & Eggs an fantastic Alpine Climb in the Alaska Range offers great 3,000 foot ice and mixed climbing at moderate difficulty. The base camp is easy to access via a 45-minute scenic flight from Talkeetna to the Root Canal Glacier, right at the foot of the mountain. With Skyward, we believe the summit still matters. While others are often content with stopping at the top of the main Ham & Eggs Couloir, we make the extra effort to continue on the elegant snow ridge to reach the actual summit of the Mooses Tooth.
May 5: Sort equipment get supplies, drive to Talkeetna and prepare for flight to Root Canal Glacier.
May 6: Fly into Root Canal, establish base camp and recon route conditions.
May 7-9: Climb Ham & Eggs (12-16 hours on the go) and weather days.
May 10: Fly out to Talkeetna.
May 11: Return to Anchorage and fly home.
Transportation from Anchorage to Talkeetna, Glacier flight to Root Canal, guiding fee, on mountain food, park permits and associated fees.
ALASKA/RUTH GORGE GEAR LIST
This list may be adjusted by your guide based on the venue and time of season.
PERSONAL GEAR YOU NEED TO BRING:
• Climbing harness with belay/rappel and gear loops.
• Climbing helmet.
• Belay device.
• Two locking carabiners.
• Crampons for technical climbing.
• Technical ice tools, with hammers. An adze on a tool creates a significant risk to you. If you don’t have a hammer, you may cover the adze with tape and foam so it can’t cut your face if it pops out.
• Ice Tool tethers. This is a long elasticized leash that prevents you from dropping an ice tool.
• Climbing boots. These must be very warm mountaineering boots. The Scarpa Guide 6,000 or the La Sportiva Spantiks are the two most popular choices.
• Base Camp Boots. This can either be overboots with a pair of foam ski or double-boot liners inserted; this is the lightest option. Or you can bring a pair of winter snow boots, like the classic Sorel boots.
• Hooded shell jacket. A waterproof/breathable (hard shell) jacket is desirable when climbing water ice. If you use a soft shell jacket make sure it is freshly washed and dried as the drying helps to restore the water repellent finish. If we climb in a soft shell we often carry a light waterproof/non-breathable shell such as the Alpine Houdini jacket made by Patagonia.
• Technical climbing pants. Soft or hard shell. Should fit closely around the tops of your boots.
• Gaitors. Nice if your pants are baggy and/or don’t have integrated gaitors to keep the snow out. (optional)
• Synthetic long underwear top and bottoms. Two different weights for different temperature conditions.
• Synthetic mid-weight top. Slightly heavier than the above layer. The Patagonia R1 Hoody is a popular example.
• Warm fleece or sweater top.
• Very warm insulating down or synthetic parka that can be worn over all other layers. We use and recommend the Patagonia DAS Parka
• Warm insulated pants. Down or Synthetic fill. We use and recommend the Patagonia DAS Pant.
• A warm hat which can be worn under your helmet.
• Neck gaiter. Optional, but highly recommended.
• Two to three pairs of good fitting, non-bulky, warm climbing gloves and mittens. Gloves/mittens usually get wet or damp when climbing. We recommend having a back-up pair with you at all times. Personally we bring two pairs of gloves and one pair of mittens for a route like Ham and Eggs. One thin pair of gloves that are protective but not very warm; these get the most use. One medium pair of gloves that are warmer, but we can still climb with. And one pair of mittens for belaying and for extra cold days. Ski gloves usually have too much material in the palms for climbing.
• Thin synthetic or wool liner gloves. (optional, mostly useful around base camp.)
• Wool or warm synthetic socks to wear in climbing boots. A second thin pair of liner socks is optional for those who tend to get cold feet. We usually bring three sets total. One for base camp use and two for climbing use.
• Sunglasses. Important!
• A 40-50 liter backpack. This route may be climbed in one to three days depending on your experience. It’s best to discuss this with your guide.
• Small headlamp. It’s light most of the time in Alaska, so this is mostly useful for reading in the tent at dusk.
• A small personal first aid kit containing bandages and a blister kit.
• Water bottle with an insulated cover and a thermos: You should have at least two quart/liter capacity.
• Lunch/snack food. When climbing in the Ice Park, it is possible to go into town for lunch.
• A pee bottle is useful for base camp.
• Skis or snowshoes. Discuss with your guide.
• Collapsible ski poles.
• A sleeping bag for base camp. Should be rated to -20 degrees fahrenheit or colder.
• A sleeping pad for base camp. Ideally a wide and comfortable inflatable mattress by Thermarest or a similar outdoor brand.
• We have standard “Ridge Rest” style foam pads in our Talkeetna cache available for your use.
• (optional) A lightweight sleeping bag to use on the route. Typcially we use a down or synthetic bag rated to about 30 degrees fahrenheit and we sleep wearing our clothes plus DAS Parka plus DAS pants.
• (optional) A lightweight bivouac sack. You should discuss this with your guide.
Let us know what you DO NOT have. We may have it.
EQUIPMENT WE PROVIDE:
Ropes, protection, slings, tents, stoves, pots, and other team technical equipment.
We will fly into Anchorage, Alaska. The price of your trip includes a rental car and your guide will pick you up at the airport. We will have completed the shopping in Anchorage and typically drive straight to Talkeetna which is the staging ground for all Alaska climbing expeditions.