North American Classic Climbs

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Keystone Greensteps

(Valdez, AK Area) One of the top 25 routes in this collection!

Beta Images Slide Show

Located only a few hundred feet from Bridalveil Falls, this might be considered its "big sister." Although about the same length at four full 60m pitches, the proportion of pillars to ramps on this falls approaches 80%/20% compared to Bridalveil at about 50/50. Like Bridalveil, the first ascent was a major accomplishment for the era. After Scott Etherington spent a day just negotiating and fixing the first pitch during the short days and cold temperatures of late December, Jeff Lowe and John Weiland completed the climb in two more days, spending New Years Eve in an ice cave bivouac rather than rappel to the ground again. With modern tools and technique, this is a routine but still exhilarating and aesthetic route featuring long pillars of thick, solid ice that almost seem to welcome intrusions by picks, crampons points, and ice screws.


Snow & Ice (frozen waterfall)




Keystone Canyon, near Valdez, AK



G31, W35




Route Descriptions & Maps:

Route diagram

First Ascent:

J. Lowe, J. Weiland, Dec 30 - Jan 1, 1976. First pitch led by S. Etherington.


Trip Reports:

Clark 2/02