Portage Triple Crown

There are a few places in Alaska that hold special value for me, and Portage Lake (an hour south of Anchorage) is one of them. My first glacier travel was on Burns Glacier, and I’ve gone to Portage to hike, rock climb, kayak, packraft, ice-skate, skate-ski, and ski.

There is typically a high-pressure window in April when snow bridges are thick and slopes haven’t started to shed. The three prominent peaks are Bard (aka Baird, 3,698 ft.), Byron (4,551 ft.), and Carpathian (5,686 ft.). The views are incredible; the familiar peaks of Turnagain Pass to the west, and Prince William Sound to the east. Byron is my all-time-favorite ski run (thanks to Louis Sass for showing me the route!). You can also make a nice loop into Whittier and grab burgers!

I had been scheming about a Portage Triple Crown for years: Bard-Carpathian-Byron in one push. Conditions were right in April 2011; I did the PTC in 10 hours, 15 minutes. My route was ~23 miles, 11,500 ft. vert.



Byron Peak



Carpathian Peak


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