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Photo by Gary Minish

Ice Climbing

The area’s numerous waterfalls and glaciers are pathways to adventure for ice climbers and hikers during the cold winter months. Whatever challenge visitors are looking for, including top-roping or multi-pitch lead climbing, there are dozens of routes around Valdez that will suit their needs. From beginner to expert, there is something for every winter sport enthusiast in the Valdez area.

Valdez boasts more than 180 climbing routes ranging in difficulty from I to VI. There are several routes in the 600-foot range, and plenty of short routes in Keystone Canyon, giving climbers of any experience level almost unlimited options.

From mid November to late April, a variety of ice conditions can be found in Valdez. The moderate temperatures allow water trickles in the canyon to constantly produce ice climbs throughout the winter.

Valdez is also home to the annual Valdez Ice Climbing Festival, held in Valdez and Keystone Canyon every winter. 

Unsure if ice climbing is for you? Check out our primer on ice climbing