I thought that it would be tough to beat the trail run 2 weeks ago, Mt Roberts to Mt Juneau … well I just topped that one. Four of us hiked from Annex Creek in the Taku Inlet, about 20 miles south of town, back to town and coming out on Perseverance Trail 12 hours and 45 minutes later. Geoff Rose, Glenn Frick, Matt Callahan and myself left Auke Bay at 0500 via a boat that Glenn arranged. We had coffee with the caretakers of the Annex Powerhouse, then took off up Annex Mtn at 0645. We bushwacked through blueberry bushes for about an hour then hit tree line. After that it was all ridge … mostly. The ridges were unlike anything I had been across yet. It was a clear sunny day and we could see all the way to the Juneau Ridge where we would eventually come to in order to get to Mt Juneau and out. It was amazing to me that we could see for 20 miles and see the route that we were working through … it was also amazing the miles beyond that that we could see into the icefields and into Canada! The ridges were solid bands of granite and granite boulders that were rough enough that I could walk up the steep inclines without slipping. The hiking was a lot of up and downs as we connected Annex Mtn and Annex Ridge to the Thoroughfare Ridge to Observation Mtn (the highest peak at 5000 ft) and then to the Juneau Ridge. We totaled 12,500 feet of elevation gain/loss in about 20 miles. Crazy. A once in a lifetime trip!
Gettin’ started: me, Matt, Geoff, Glenn
From the treeline of Annex Mtn we started seeing views up and down Taku Inlet, this is Turner Lake where Lee and I camped out with Mom and Dad.
A view out of the Inlet to Gastineau.
A lot of the elevation total consisted of dropping from one 3500 ft peak to 1700 ft and climbing right back up to 3500 ft again. You realize just how small you are in the immense scenery around you … find 3 people in the rocky background below:
No words needed.
Self-portraits. I had to prove I was actually here!
I always try to look back to appreciate where we just came from …
When one drops down, one has to head back up!
Destination is that flat slopped ridge in the center of the photo, then on to the two peaks behind and to the right.
Annex Peak is way back in the right of the picture, where we started.
The granite ridge that you just walk up without slipping. It was also fun rudimentary bouldering to get up some of these rock faces.
Is this real?
No words to describe. No camera lens to appropriately capture the full picture.
Split Thumb, I have been at the base once upon a time.
Glenn “Mountain Goat” Frick. The one to blame for my insatiable desire for the mountains!
A whole lotta snow!
Annex Ridge that we have now crossed over, another snapshot looking backwards. Holy Moley!
Split Thumb and hanging glaciers.
Sketchy snow patches that we had to cross.
Large chunks of snow that are starting to break off from the mountain side.
Observation Peak! I had excited about reaching this point in our trip … this is now territory that I have been on and it was here that I knew that ultimately we were going to be okay and sleeping in our own beds tonight!
Remember this picture from several posts and trail runs ago?
Observation on a cloudy day vs clear day!
Glenn almost to the top of Observation … check out where we came from! Thoroughfare Ridge baby!
“Lunch break” number … I lost count!
Who needs fancy runny packs and camelbacks?? Not Glenn, he fashioned 3 fanny backs to support himself on this adventure! 🙂
This is the last photo I took …. from here it was onto the Salmon Ridge and up again to the Juneau Ridge. We came across the Juneau Ridge and down Mt Juneau. Lee and Neka met us on Perseverance trail, hiked out with us and kindly took us back to Auke Bay to our cars. Incredible day! It was definitely trippy knowing that we were completely unsupported and had no way short of a helicopter ride out if something went wrong. We did everything right: we did not get lost, we did not need to back track once and no one even so much as turned an ankle! Praise God! It was a long day but one I am thankful to have been blessed to partake in!