All about Ptarmigan

As Ptarmigan has seen a bit of a renaissance this year, and loads of people have been getting up there, here’s the lowdown on the area as a whole.

The Ptarmigan area bouldering is spread out around the base of the north side of Ptarmigan Peak in Powerline Pass.  The bouldering is on generally solid compact sedimentary rock with just enough features to make the climbing interesting.

Tanya Ptarmigan  1 08-04

The Approach:

To get to Ptarmigan, drive to the Flattop/Glen Alps parking lot to park.  There is a $5 day use fee for parking, or you can get an annual Alaska State Park pass, which is $40 for one or $60 for two.   From the parking lot, take the powerline pass trail up the valley on the north side of Flattop.  It’s about 4 miles of beautiful mountain vista’s, wildflowers, and wildlife along a well maintained wide gravel trail. It’s quite common to see moose in the valley along the way.  Mountain biking is by far the fastest way, and while the way to the boulders is almost all uphill, the way out is a fun coast downhill.

The Boulders:

The main concentration of boulders sits in the bowl below the north face of Ptarmigan peak.  The boulders along the rim and east side of the bowl have generally good landings and are easily managed with 1-2 pads.  As you go East into the talus, the rock quality tends to get worse as do the landings, becoming a mess of talus jumbles.  Outside of the bowl, there are three large ones within a stones throw of the trail and many more scattered boulders throughout the valley.

The Triple Crown

  1. Sheep Farmer-v7
  2. Epiphany-v9
  3. Traffic-v10

The “Best Of” Circuit

Start off at the two boulders (Forgotten and Man Slap Boulders)  furthest up the trail.

  1. Forgotten Bliss v2sd
  2. Chris’ Arete v1
  3. Twisted Sister v4
  4. 3 spot v2
  5. TNT (stand) v4
  6. Tomfoolery v5sd
  7. Slip Slop Slope v5sd
  8. Skinhead v5sd
  9. Another Fine Yarn v4sd
  10. Unnamed v4sd (Found Boulder)