Alaska Ice Climbing - Juneau

Alaska Ice Climbing - Juneau

Page Type: Area/Range
Activities: Ice Climbing
Season: Winter


Chop Gully WI 3+
Beginning Knuckle Busters second pitch
Working up Knuckle Buster's second pitch

Juneau ice climbing comprises five main areas of interest. Downtown Juneau has two, three pitch local classics; Chop Gully(WI III) and Green Weenie(WI V)amongst other fine frozen trickles. Twin Lakes sports five or six WI III+ routes that run two to four pitches each including Knuckle Buster and The Fang(WI V), which seldom touches down and gets climbed even less. The Mendenhall Glacier offers a variety of entry level single pitch test pieces from WI II to III+ and in a good year, offers a few more challenging routes. Access to Lemon Creek climbs may be considered off limits by road, but there is a dozen multi pitch virgins waiting to be ticked off in this semi-unexplored valley. Davies Creek at the north end of the road is where ice climbing gets serious. A feast of 800 foot wet dreams and nightmares loom untouched, awaiting territorial pissings and first ascents.

Getting There

Fly into Juneau first. Downtown climbs begin at the gate up the Gold Creek Rd, while Twin Lakes climbs are accessed by the Wire Street subdivision across from the park near the Blackerby Ridge trail head. The glacier's climbs are mostly obvious except a fine 25 meter pitch on the west side of the peninsula. Davies Creek requires some 3-4 hours of approach by snowshoes or skis over low angled terrain and with short winter days, expect a weekend outing, minimal. There is enough back there for an expedition. Expect similar approaches from Lemon Creek if your serious about knocking out the big ones in this area as well. Approaches average two to six miles from town with the doozie at the base of the old hanging glacier six hours of work away. This puppy may take even longer to climb, who knows? 
Twin Lakes test piece
Finishing 2nd Pitch on Chop Gully

Red Tape

The Lemon Creek drainage road is considered private property and is posted with no trespassing signs BUT a forest service trail parallels the road, which is technically the only thing that is off limits. The trail starts before the parking lot at Home Depot.

External Links

Get good local beta from these sites or check out the Juneau Ice Climbing Facebook group for partners and guides to local climbs. Here in Juneau, we are nice people who love to get out and climb.

If in need of a guide or an extra climber, zip the author an email at this site.


Chop Gully
D.Neal taking off on Chop's 2nd pitch crux
The Fang and friends

There are three campgrounds in Juneau and lots of other places to kick it like the Juneau International Hostel, or any number of nooks for temporary residence if need be.