Sunset and cool clouds on the way to Wiener Lake

Friday finally arrived and our plan was to run any last minute errands in and outside of Anchorage before the snow really pours out of the sky. We rolled out of 10 mile around 6:30PM and arrived at Wiener Lake shortly after 10PM. Along the way, we were greeted by an amazing sunset of oranges and blues, dark clouds, and brisk weather. Pulling over to snap a photo, we were caught off guard by three giant moose walking along the Glenn Highway. Milling and strolling about, they eventually jay-walked across the street, stopping us and oncoming traffic as they crossed. The craziest part, they didn’t even seem to notice the people watchers, cameras, and bright traffic lights!

Scoping out the climbing crag and views of Wiener Lake

So… One of our biggest errands on the ‘To-Do’ list was to scope out and climb new routes around Wiener lake. Prior to the trip, we checked out an online guide to sweet bouldering in the area and found a ton of radical sport routes to climb! It was awesome, but before testing our climbing hand at the routes, we drove into Anchorage for more serious running of errands.
In Anchorage, we purchased new snow tires for Trixie, bought CARRS Grocery out of butter and coffee, and rummaged through Bishop’s thrifty attic for lights, furniture, and general household supplies. That afternoon, we signed waivers at Alaska Rock Gym to run laps on their plastic features and boulder until our fingertips were raw and red. It felt sooooooo good! After freshening up, we toured Anchorage to find tasty microbrews at Midnight Sun Brewing Company, which nicely started the evening off with a Sockeye Red IPA and a Rhino Coffee Stout.

Cool route at Wiener Lake that Ethan climbed

Our date with Bear’s Tooth Theater and Pub, Reel Rock Film Tour, and our two friends, Katie and Zack, rounded the evening out beautifully. We enthusiastically watched Reel Rock, palms sweaty, and psych high! Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson, and Chris Sharma proved to be motivating, while Ueli Steck satisfied inspirational. It was absolutely incredible.

That night, as we drove the 90 minute trek back to Wiener Lake, we hashed out future climbing plans and goals. Our stoke carried us home, into our dreams, and woke us up early the next morning for some Wiener Lake climbing! YEAHHHHHH! We hiked the mountainside up and over boulders before finding this giant wall of sport routes. One after the other, it went on and on. It was going to be great! Suiting up in harnesses and shoes, Ethan took the first and last climb of the day. He climbed roughly 100 feet before finally clipping the anchors. By that time, I was freezing, my fingers were numb, my nose was runny, and my feet were frozen. We underestimated the temperatures and quickly realized that on this day, we would not climb anymore. Next weekend will have to do and until then, our psych and training will have to get us through. Next time, however, we will layer in gobs of warm clothing, warm shoes, and wool socks. We will have endless amounts of hot water for tea, hot cocoa, and coffee, and we will send! So STOKED!

We will also have to make a tradition out of stopping at the coziest coffee hut in Alaska! Just outside of Glennallen on the Glenn Highway,the Raven Wolf Espresso stand soothed our cold bellies with a very delicious Moose Mocha… yum.

Raven Wolf Coffee Hut