Mini AK

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Mini AK

Submitted By: Y.C. on August 19, 2011

Administrator: Y.C.

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Featured Descent

Colorado » Rocky Mountain National Park

Ptarmigan Glacier

The first section is the steepest and then the line mellows out.  Follow the glacier all the way to the toe.  Once done follow a faint climbers trail to the lake below.  At the lake a a good trail is on the North side, follow this trail by Helene lake and back to the car.

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Details

This area is a steep bowl off the SE face of Knobtop in Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was believed to be first skiied in April 2011, due to perfect conditions and timing.  There are 9 potential routes in the Mini AK cirque.  Some of these lines can go at 60degrees and the easiest goes just above 50 degree angle.  This area has huge avalanche potential combined with mandatory airs and questionable safety zones.

How to Get There

Enter Rocky Mountain National Park from the East side and make a Left towards Bear Lake.  Follow this road until it dead ends at the Bear Lake parking area and Park.  Here one can go two ways to hike to Mini AK.  The route that was taken by the first decent party was to the top of Flattop and then around the Ptarmagin glacier past Notchtop approaching Mini AK from the top.  You can approach from the bottom and climb the ski route or maybe the east ridge of Knobtop could access the top.  This may require some smart winter climbing skills.

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