Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

Rainbow Ridge
Rainbow Ridge parallels the Richardson Highway and lies about 50 miles south of Delta Junction, Alaska. From the highway, it is about 4,000 feet to the top but the climb is made more interesting by more than a thousand vertical feet of talus (small boulders) and scree (gravel sized rocks) near the bottom. Most of it was scree – take 3 steps up, slide down one.
My first trip was on a bus from Fort Greely with some other soldiers. We did not climb very high because we had limited time.
Shortly after I kicked those steps in the snow, I hit an icy patch and fell. I was in an ice chute and accelerated down the icy snow. If I went to the left I would have sped up and been spit out onto the talus slope, most likely getting broken bones. I used my feet and hands to slide to the right so that I hit a rock outcropping where I could stop my descent. That was a little scary. No injuries except scraped hands.

My second trip was with Jeff Weih. We wanted to make it to the top. There was no technical climbing until the last 30 feet, which required being roped up for safety.


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