Ice Guide : Southcentral : Kenai Peninsula : Tunnel Section : Eatin' Crow

Eatin' Crow

Rating: WI5
Length: 75 meters

Climb a lower section of moderate ice up to a comfy belay position. From there climb a pumpy, overhanging pillar to the top.

FA: Steve Garvey, Jim Sweeney, & Dave Nyman, 1987

Anchor: Trees and/or alder brush exist at top for anchors. Bring v-thread material just in case.

ALERT: Understand that if you walk on the train tracks you are trespassing on Alaksa Railroad property.

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Ski, snowmachine, or hike 10 miles on or near the railroad tracks from the Seward Highway to access the tunnels. Sunday School is located to the left just after the first tunnel.

Ice Climbing At The Tunnel Section, Alaska from Ephay on Vimeo.

Ah, the Tunnel Section. One of my most favorable established ice climbing destinations to be reached via snow machine. This video shows an accent of the area gem called Eatin’ Crow. It’s given a WI 5 in the guide but on this particular day its certainly grade 6. The day was cold, around 0-5 degrees and the ice was brittle, Alaskan style. The pillar that makes up the crux of the climb was far too hollow, brittle, and thin to hold weight if one was to try directly climbing it. So I stemmed off the rock wall as I made my way up. Protecting the ice when possible. I also took a whipper, so the accent has a bitter sweet feel to it. It’s funny how much we see when we film ourselves, every little inefficient moment. Right before the fall I actually unset my left tool, choke up on both tools and then high step – pulling out both tools from the ice. Since the fall was clean and safe, I honestly deserved to fall by doing something so stupid. Anyhow, not my best climbing, but a good day of adventure. The video also matches some names to some other climbs, making it somewhat of a help for future travelers.

Photo: Jon Cobb