Ice Climbing in Valdez
Valdez, Alaska is a spectacular alpine seacoast town surrounded by a natural mountain ring with an annual average snowfall of 360 inches; the most of any community at sea level in North America. Known as being the gateway to the “All American Route” of interior gold and copper fields at the turn of the 20th century as well as the location of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster, it’s located at the head of Port Valdez. A natural fjord that reaches inland 11 miles from Prince William Sound, the “ice free” saltwater port is the end of the 800 mile trans Alaska pipeline which carries oil from the North Slope. Valdez and the surrounding Chugach Mountains are home to hundreds of the world’s most amazing glaciers. If you’re an ice climber, the opportunity to climb the renowned Valdez ice is well known. Whether top-roping or multi-patch lead climbing, the dozens of routes around Valdez will become your pathway to adventure. Every February, the Ice Climbing Festival brings some of the world’s best ice climbers together to test their skills on the surrealistic falls of the Keystone Canyon. Our favorite place to stay is the Keystone Hotel due to its central location within easy walking distance to the ferry terminal, shops and restaurants. Don’t leave without getting a deep fried halibut sandwich from The Halibut House.