Twin and O’Malley Peaks

June 22 – Let’s just say we didn’t get up at 5 AM this morning… Matt didn’t make it out of bed until 10 AM.  Remarkably, both of us could move all muscles and joints with ease.  We were pretty happy, considering we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to move.  So happy in fact, that we decided to go on another hike!  There are many, many hikes to choose from in Chugach State Park.  I was voting for an easy one… but there seemed to be a lack of 4 mile hikes.  So we settled on a 6 mile strenuous hike – Twin Peaks.  The walking surface was an easy one – an old road.  Unfortunately, it was a steep old road, and after the first hour or so, my legs were complaining.

A view of Eklutna Lake from the trail.

A view of Eklutna Lake from the trail.

Matt however, was fresh as a daisy of course…  But he waited patiently for me to trudge on, and we did reach the viewpoint of the twin peaks, had our snack, and headed back down.

Twin Peaks (you can't see them, but there were a couple dozen sheep on the hillside)

Twin Peaks (you can’t see them, but there were a couple dozen sheep on the hillside)

It was only mid-afternoon, but I was ready to just relax.  We already had reserved a hotel for the evening to shower and sleep in a bed!!  So we headed to the Eagle Hotel in Palmer, AK and did just that.  We went to bed fairly early because…

June 23, 4:30 AM
Rise and shine!  Matt and I were up early, heading to the parking lot for the hike up to O’Malley Peak – our last hike in Alaska for now.
A mama moose with her two calves along the road to O'Malley Peak trailhead

A mama moose with her two calves along the road to O’Malley Peak trailhead

O’Malley overlooks Anchorage, AK, on one side and part of the Chugach range on the other.  It is also a popular area to hike, hence the early start to ensure a parking space (it turns out we need not have worried, as the parking lot was quite large).  There are many routes to the top of O’Malley, and we had chosen to do a loop – ridge walk to the top, and then scree down and walk through the wide, flat valley on the way back.  There were still many snow banks left, and we had to walk through one to get onto the ridge.
Hiking over the snow bank to get on to the ridge.

Hiking over the snow bank to get on to the ridge.

Matt walking up a snow bank on the ridge leading to O'Malley Peak

Matt walking up a snow bank on the ridge leading to O’Malley Peak

The ridge was very rocky, much like pieces of Cantada Peak had been, but in a much milder fashion.  It was easy to skirt steep parts, or if we did climb, it was just a few feet in a sheltered area between rocks.  However, it took a long time.  The ridge is known for its many false peaks and with the rocky terrain, it was slow going.
Climbing our way through the rock on the ridge.

Climbing our way through the rock on the ridge.

Standing on a false peak along the ridge.

Standing on a false peak along the ridge.

Looking out over the surrounding area from the ridge.

Looking out over the surrounding area from the ridge.

Fortunately, we did eventually make it to the top, and had beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and city.   Ironically, our last day in Alaska turned out, in regards to the weather, exactly what we had expected from Alaska – cool and windy.  The sun had chosen not to make an appearance for our hike, so that had contributed considerably.  However, the clouds made for some cool pictures at the summit.
A view from the top of O'Malley Peak.

A view from the top of O’Malley Peak.

Looking out over Anchorage from the top of O'Malley Peak.

Looking out over Anchorage from the top of O’Malley Peak.

After a brief rest at the summit (it got cold!), we headed down the scree.  Now Matt is a huge fan of screeing, and is very comfortable with it.  However, in a particularly thin area (an area with little scree to slide down) he happened to take a very graceful fall, basically plopping down when his feet stopped skiing.  Being the slower of the two of us, I was behind him and laughed heartliy as he claimed he had just needed a break so he had sat down.  And so he sat while I made my way down to him… only to find that right as I came up behind him, I too fell on my butt!  We laughed pretty heartily at our twin falls.  We won’t mention how many more “rest breaks” Matt took on his way down.  We did make it down, and much more quickly than the ridge walking up had taken.  The valley we walked through on the way back is called the “ball field” because of its flat nature with hills rising on bath sides like bleachers.  It made for a nice walk back, and an end to our hiking in Alaska for now.
Published in: on June 27, 2013 at 9:19 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You two have had more life experiences already than many people do in their entire lifetimes! Ah, so much to see, so little time! 🙂

    Love,
    G’pa R.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to document your travel adventures with photos and script!

  3. I have loved reading your trip blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to share it with the rest of us.


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