Ice Guide : Southcentral : South Anchorage : Portage River : Hands Across the Water

Hands Across the Water

Rating: WI4
Length: 230 meters

From the lake climb a moderate pitch up a left facing ramp. At the top of the ramp climb a full pitch of somewhat steeper ice to a headwall. From the headwall climb another pitch of even steeper ice. At the top of the headwall follow moderate ice to the top.

FA: Charlie Sassara & David McGivern, 1983

Anchor/descent: Alders exists, but v-thread material is necessary.

View Portage River Ice Climbs in a larger map


From the Seward Highway take the Portage Valley Road as if going to Whittier. Drive approximately 5 miles to the turnoff for the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center or go through the Portage Tunnel after the visitor center (past Jam Session & Gangs All Here) until you reach a large pullout on the right-hand side of the road. Hands Across the Water is easily visible across Portage Lake from the visitor's center.

If parking at the visitor center, one will need to cross Portage Lake to get to the base of the climb. Make sure the lake is frozen if your walking or use a boat to access the ice on the other side! If parking alongside the road (after the tunnel), hike the edge of Portage Lake to the bottom of the ice.