End of Summer.. or getting that way. Mchugh Peak

Well the end of summer is nearing... which means paving season in Alaska. Which means working long and weird hours and being tired a lot. Which means an unfortunate lack of hiking and blog posting.... 

 Shiro, stoked out of his mind for mountains per usual. 

Shiro, stoked out of his mind for mountains per usual. 

Last weekend I worked Friday night and Saturday night. I got home early Sunday morning, slept as much as I could and then met up with my friend Olivia for a hike. Lindsay had told me about the route she took up McHugh Peak earlier this summer. I decided to try the three mile trail to the peak.

McHugh Peak is the next ridge line over when you are on the Flattop Ridge; Flattop is the most hiked mountain in Alaska. I personally used to hike it upwards of once a week. I have spent years meaning to hike McHugh. McHugh is a sprawling mountain with several ridgelines leading to its summit. The summit is a rock tor. It's weird, miles of ridge line and then this large rock formation that you climb to reach the top. I have always thought of it as the "Stonehenge" peak. Looking at it from afar it just looks like a random rock dropped on the not-quite-high spot of the ridge. The rock is large enough to make it the prominent point on the ridge. 

 View of the Ptarmagin Peak  and the Suicide Peaks from the trail. All on my need to hike list. 

View of the Ptarmagin Peak  and the Suicide Peaks from the trail. All on my need to hike list. 

We set off around 1 in the afternoon. We followed some mostly easy directions to the "honey bear" trail head. Shiro of course was stoked out of his mind for another hike. August tends to be the "rainy season" in Alaska. However, Summer was making one final go of things and it was a beautiful, sunny, almost cloudless day. 

 Dammit guys... I can't get up there. I have no hands. 

Dammit guys... I can't get up there. I have no hands. 

We set off the short and sweet uphill push to gain the ridge. In probably less than a mile, we reached the ridge. The "ridge" is rather deceiving. There are some steep bumps and dips to go up and under. We followed the obvious trail to the end. The tor was in our sights off to the right and we set a straight path towards it. Up we went to the base of the rocks. I picked my own kind of sketchy path up it. Olivia picked a path that didn't require hands to walk up until the very last part. Shiro bounded up as far as he could. He made it to about 10 feet of the summit. Wow, this is the first time I have seen him turn back on a rock scramble. Shiro has finally met his match in a mountain. 

 Summit Selfie!

Summit Selfie!

We spent some time on the summit and enjoyed the glorious view of Anchorage, the Chugach Mountains, and the Cook Inlet before heading back the way we came. 6 miles and a few hours after we set out, we found ourselves back at the truck headed to Smashburger for a post-hike cheeseburger with a tired pup in the back. 

 View from the top

View from the top

Lindsay gets back tonight. We are then immediately catching a plane to go relax and chill for a bit. With no internet. So there will be no posting for the next week. So I hope you enjoyed this one! Maybe there will be kayaking lake photos when I get back. Like the one on the top of the blog page. Maybe.