OverviewBellicose Peak is a challenging summit looming over the Peter's Creek valley and the Eklutna Glacier. It is way out there as Western Chugach peaks go and is fairly tough to get to. Additionally, Bellicose is the 3rd tallest peak in Chugach State Park behind only Bashful and Baleful peaks.
FA: August 1963, Brothers Bousman (John and William)via the South Ridge
Getting ThereThere are 4 equally viable options to approach this peak and none of them is easy.
1) Hike through Ram Valley through Bombardment Pass. Descend into Peter's Creek from Bombardment Pass into the upper Peter's Creek drainage. Then go around Mt. Rumble, up and through Rumble Pass and onto the Wall Street Glacier. Congrats! You have arrived at the base of Bellicose Peak.
2) Bike, hike, or take a 4-wheeler along the Eklutna Lakeside Trail 12 miles to the Serenity Falls Hut. Find a faint trail on the east side of the hut and follow it another 3 or so miles up and around a falls and to the toe of the Eklutna Glacier. From here, either travel up the Eklutna Glacier to access a route on Bellicose, or climb up the steep and loose Freer's Tears drainage to the right (west) at the toe of the Eklutna Glacier. (The Freer's Tears drainage is super duper nasty and highly not recommended.)
3) Hike 20-25+miles up the Peter's Creek drainage from the Peter's Creek trailhead. Either go right around Mt. Rumble meeting route 1 as it enters Peter's Creek. Or head left around Mt. Rumble onto the Wall Street Glacier. Travel to the head of the Wall Street Glacier to access Bellicose Peak.
4) Starting at the Eagle River Nature Center, hike about 10 miles to a little stream that makes up a small portion of the Twin Falls drainage. Find a hunter's/climber's/game trail that accesses the upper Twin Falls valley. Head over a 5000+ft pass and descend down to Blue Eyed Lake. Then, head up and over Inferno Pass and onto the upper East Branch Eklutna Glacier. Whew!
Red TapeThere are 2 red tape issues to consider. First, the Ram Valley access has been a local issue in hot dispute. Mainly the neighborhood where the trailhead can be found doesn't like all the cars parked along the roads. (There really isn't any parking.) Also, the trail travels through a little bit of private land. Usually, it's cool to travel through this area; however, I have heard of people being turned back. Things to keep in mind about this approach: 1)Don't park near the trailhead. Instead park either at the Eagle River Nature Center or at another parking area of the main road and hike up to the trailhead. And 2) respect all the landowners and their wishes when on private land.
The second issue has to do with 4-wheeling at Eklutna Lake. Four wheeling is allowed Sunday-Tuesday.
CampingAlaska's camping motto: Camp wherever you want! That said, Eklutna Lake has some campgrounds and a cabin to stay at. The cabin is the Serenity Falls Cabin and costs $10/night. Also, up on the Eklutna Glacier, there is a hut called Pichler's Perch for Mountaineering Club of Alaska members. Membership runs at $15/year. The proceeds help maintain the huts for users among other things.
External LinksAdd External Links text here.
This is the standard route. From Eklutna, hike into Freer's Tears drainage and up to the Benign/Bellicose Col. Turn left and scramble the ridge till you can descend onto the west side of the mountain. One 100foot rappel takes you down onto easier terrain. (It's advisable to leave a fixed line as the rock is very challenging, esp. if there is an overhanging cornice.) This is where the Peter's Creek route meets up with the other. (The Peter's Creek route simply ascends snow ramps through cliff bands on the west side of Bellicose. Traverse, traverse, and traverse some more around some cliff band, gendarmes, etc. making a upward traverse onto the Shroud Glacier, across some big cracks, and up to the ridgeline proper at 6800'(?). Ascend some steep snow (and possible ice up to 50+degrees) and go around a gendarme to a belay stance. Two pitches of rock climbing (P1:5.2, P2: exposed 4thclass) takes you to easier ground. A few hundred feet of rolling snow takes you to the summit.
NE Face-Freer's Cheers
From the hanging valley, climb up a pocket glacier to the NE Face. Then up some rocky mixed terrain and ice to the NW Ridge proper. The climbing reportedly goes at 5.8R WI3+. Tom Oswalt and Charlie Sassara
There is a bunch of steep gullies on Bellicose's East Face. I have heard that they can be climbed in snowy/icy conditions and offer some WI4 and lots of WI3 terrain. Expect about 4000 feet of climbing to reach the summit.
The south ridge was the first ascent route by the Brothers Bousman in 1963. It has since thwarted many other parties. Nasty rock and many gendarmes guard the summit from this side. Also, because of the aspect, when on route, this would be pretty much a rock climb the whole way up.