Denali: Unit 13 Eielson Loop

June 17, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

Corrie and I started dating officially, and this trip was technically our first date. She had done the route a few times, but everything is new to me. We left the Eielson Visitor Center later morning and headed down to the Thorofare River bar. Once we crossed what seemed like a hundred braided stream channels, we made it along the edge of the Muldrow Glacier and began our climb up Glacier Creek and Intermittent Creek.

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At the pass we had a great view of the drainage and the glacier below. The toe of the Muldrow is covered in debris and even tundra in place. This glacier is also a surging glacier, and when it surges it can move up to dozen of feet in a single day. You can actually see and hear it moving in real time.

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That night the weather came in and it snowed on us. We had a low cloud ceiling so the views were gone, but it was still fun to hike through the colorful hills.

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From the pass on the backside of Mt. Eielson, we hooked up with Contact Creek and made out way to Sunset Valley, where we saw a grizzly laying down in the distance. We found a way around without having to get close and the bear didn't even seem to notice us. Win-win!

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Trip notes: this was a quick and dirty trip. We hiked around 14 miles with 2700' of elevation gain in two days. With the weather, bus shuttles, and our work schedules we didn't have a ton of time to explore. Sunset Glacier looks like it would be really cool to explore, also the toe of the Muldrow Glacier.

Disclaimer: Denali is a trail-less Wilderness. These maps are approximations of our routes. Please don't take this blog and map to the Denali Backcountry Information Center and say, "I wan't to do this exact trip." They will take good care of you like they did for us. Thanks!

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