Cragies and Snackies

Alaska has climbing, lots of climbing!  So much climbing!  But most of it is totally untouched, and unknown.  Maybe it should stay that way, and so I won’t expose any secret or unknown crags here.  But there are plenty of climbing spots in Alaska that are easily accessible and widely known.

One such spot is Harriet Hunt.  The crag is small, there are only four routes, but the routes are pretty fun, especially the arete route aptly named The Aret.  There is a 5.7 crack route on a slab called The Crack, and a fun slab to vertical route between The Aret and The Crack called Center Route.  Definitely some of the more creative route names you’ll find.  I wonder if the person who named these routes was named Person Who Names Routes? Most of the rock in Ketchikan is very fragile, and so it’s nice to have access to a wall with bomber rock.

While the routes are limited, the drive and the scenery surrounding the wall are magnificent.  It’s not often that an opportunity to climb in a rain forest presents itself, and so if there are a few dry days, I think it is absolutely worth the trip.  As a bonus the wall is like 30 feet from the road, so your approach will be minimal, thus saving you the energy to crush all four routes several times!

Harriet Hunt Lake is just a few minutes away.  It’s the perfect detour after an active relaxing day on the wall.  It’s a beautiful mountain lake with sweeping views of the surrounding Tongass National Forest.  Perfect for paddle boarding, kayaking, or canoeing.  It’s great for fishing, hiking, and it’s even great for swimming if you don’t mind a clenched b-hole and some winter buttons.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time to drive into town and grab a bite to eat.

12 miles from the crag is a Ketchikan staple.  The walk-up restaurants known to the locals as “The Bitch”, or more appropriately named…Burger Queen.  This unassuming hovel is home to what most agree to be the best burgers in Ketchikan.  They offer beef burgers, halibut burgers, veggie burgers and chicken sandwiches.  Sides include fries, rings, garlic bread, chips and hot dogs (yep hot dogs are a side at the Burger Queen).  They also offer salads and chili, but who goes to a place called Burger Queen for something other than a burger?  To wash it all down, they have a huge variety of shakes and malts that you can mix and match to your hearts delight.

There are a few seats inside, but don’t.  Just across the street is the Arctic Bar.  The Arctic is ocean side with a patio view overlooking the water.  They allow outside food and The Queen is happy to deliver while you enjoy an Alaskan Ale as you keep a lookout for whales on the covered Artic patio.

I go with the veggie burger, fries and a banana, chocolate, peanut butter shake.  But the halibut burger and onion rings draws some pretty rave reviews as well.  Speaking of reviews, if you check out the google reviews, you’ll see a lot great ratings on the food, and an entertaining amount of critiques for slow service.  All the more reason to head over to the Arctic while you wait. Enjoy the views, recap the climbs, and shake out the pump.  Good things come to those who wait!

Location: Ketchikan, Alaska “North to the Future”

Crag: Harriet Hunt

Restaurant: Burger Queen and The Arctic Bar

Distance: 11.7 miles

17 Replies to “Cragies and Snackies”

  1. I loved Alaska. Lived off and on for a total of 7 years . Cross country skiing was my favorite climbing was in the list. Climbed Donnelly’s Dome just outside of Ft Greely . I agree to keeping it pristine but eventually it will become more populated ( unless) the climate keeps it from happening .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have you ever seen these cross country skates, they look really cool and kind of dumb at the same time, they are kind of pricey, but if enough people tell me they are legit, then I may need to bite the bullet.

      Alaska is a really easy place to miss, not too many places like it for sure!


  2. Great read and well written review as always. Hit your links. That Arctic Bar emblem though! Shows a great sense of humour. Sounds like both places work perfectly in harmony with each other. And all three experiences, with the climb, inclusion, make a great plan for definite re-visit/s. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This made my day…thank you! Their emblem is really funny for sure…I think it sits better with the locals over the tourists, which is an added bonus!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never been to Alaska, the way you described everything sounds interesting.

    I tried to picture the scenery.

    It is nice that you can order food from one place while eating and taking in the beautiful view of the ocean from another while sipping on a brew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Restaurants should encourage that more often for sure…and I think you would like Alaska very much. If you ever get a chance to go, feel free to hit me up for some recommendations!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be a nice adventure and travel for me. The only thing is I have never flown anywhere. I am leery of airplanes.

        When I travel long distance it is always by bus (Greyhound/Coach USA) or car.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is a drive, but if you go to Ketchikan the Ferry from Seattle is actually really nice. Nothing fancy at all, but the night sky is beautiful!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, wherever I can get to without flying is no problem for me! And I don’t mind taking a boat ride at all.


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