Glacier and Tundra Backpacking!

alaska glacier hiking

We’d like to take a minute to share some excitement about our Glacier and Tundra backpacking trip. Combining a bush plane flight, travel over glaciers and tundra (hence the name), and stunning views of the Kennicott Valley, this trip epitomizes Alaska backpacking. The route is extremely flexible, so you and your guide can discuss your goals for the trip, and choose a route to maximize your experience. Want lots of glacier travel? No problem. Like to bag a peak? Can do!

Another great aspect of this trip is that it only requires one bush plane flight – you can hike right back into town! The beauty of spending the last night on a “peninsula” of land surrounded by glaciers, as you look across the valley to the lights of the Kennecott “ghost town,” is a great way to cap off your trip. Check out the itinerary here, and contact us for more details!

Posted in Spotlight on Adventure

Tech Tip – Packing Food for your Expedition

In the backcountry, how you pack your food is just as important as how you cook it! Our guides put their heads together to create this list of recommendations for packing food. Try these pro-tips on your next outing for easy cooking and cleanup!

  • Use the “meal-in-a-bag” approach, and have all ingredients for a meal in the same gallon-sized Ziploc bag so you can just grab that bag at dinner time, and not be searching for that missing spice or ingredient you need. The gallon-sized Ziploc bag can then be used to store the trash from that meal.

  • Package different ingredients in smaller Ziploc baggies, all inside that one larger bag.

  • Repackaging your food (taking it out of the boxes and cartons) reduces the amount of waste you need to haul out of the backcountry. Don’t forget to include any recipe instructions that were on the original packaging so you know what to do.

  • Label things with a permanent marker so it’s easy to find (Day 1 Dinner, Day 3 Breakfast, etc.) Also label quantities so you know how much water to use.

  • Have each person carry a bag of their personal snacks. Keep it easy to access for when you get hungry on the trail.

  • Since food will be one of the heavier items in your pack, place it around shoulder-height and close to the body, for better balance while hiking.

Now get out there and get cookin’! Everything seems to taste better when you’re out in the mountains!

alaska backpacking dinner

Posted in Tech Tips

White River: Grizzly-dodging into Canada…

Guides Cody and Kelly are on a personal “guide dream trip” adventure. They were dropped off at Skolai Pass yesterday and this morning called in from the Yukon border as the packraft to the Alcan Highway and attempt to hitchhike back home. Sounds like they had some fun with a grizzly bear too! Maybe it wondered what those strange brightly colored floating objects were in the river!!

White River Grizzlies and Headed into Canada!

alaska backpacking and packrafting trip

Posted in Trip Dispatches

Tuna-Apple Curry Salad Wraps

camping on tundra

This is a great gluten free option for those of us with dietary restrictions. They are also a great “on-the-go” meal for hiking, rafting, or climbing┬ábecause they’re tasty, healthy, and chock full of energy!


  • Cans of Tuna
  • Apple
  • Curry paste or powder
  • Corn or Flour Tortillas
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onions, chopped (optional)
  • Craisins (optional)
  • Cream cheese (optional)
  • Hummus (optional)


Open and drain tuna. Add mayo and curry paste to desired texture/flavor. Cut apple into small pieces and add to tuna. Add salt, pepper, and optional items to taste. When serving, it’s great to have cream cheese and hummus to wrap up with the tuna salad. Yum!

Bon Appetit!

Posted in Wilderness Cookin'

The Three Types of Fun

backpacking in the wrangells

Who doesn’t like to have fun? If you polled the general population, I bet you’d get 99.9% of people agreeing that they like to have fun. But I also bet you’d get a wide range of answers if you followed up with the question “What is fun?” Here at St. Elias Alpine Guides, we like to think we work in the “having fun” industry, so we decided to research it a bit further. Here’s what we found…

Did you know that there are three types of fun? Well, here’s an overview of each – give them a read, and keep them in mind the next time you’re having Type 2 or Type 3 Fun!

Type 1 Fun:

Examples: Going to a party, amusement park, or taking a pleasant hike
This is the “typical” type of fun, and what you think of when someone mentions the word. You’re having a good time in the moment and are enjoying what you’re doing. Most likely, you don’t want the powder day or good fishing to come to an end.

Type 2 Fun:

Examples: Running a marathon, or a long backpacking trip in inclement weather
This type of fun could be classified as “enjoyment in retrospect.” During the actual event, you were tired, achy, or sopping wet, but looking back (it might take a week or two), you have fond memories of your suffering. You might even have a few good stories too! So next time the weather unleashes on your backpacking trip, keep Type 2 Fun in mind.

Type 3 Fun:

Example: Earnest Shackleton crossing the Antarctic
We wouldn’t want to wish this type of fun on anyone, however we know it’s inevitable. The failed expeditions, and larger injuries are hard to think of as “fun,” but looking back, these are the learning experiences that allow us to appreciate the times things do go well. So strive for Type 2 fun on your expeditions, but remember that the occasional Type 3 Fun can provide for some interesting stories when you can (finally) look back on the situation and crack a smile.

May your days be filled with Type 1, your memories full of Type 2, and your judgement based on Type 3 Fun!

Posted in Tech Tips