Backcountry Skills Seminar Itinerary

Interested in joining us for a Backcountry Skills Seminar in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park? Here’s what you can expect when you join us!

What you’ll cover during your Backcountry Skills Seminar with your guide will vary depending on your needs. Since this is a private excursion, it is 100% customizable! Once you meet your guide, you’ll discuss expectations, and the day will get started! 

Typically, your day will start in McCarthy at our historic Motherlode Powerhouse. The first lesson will cover learning to read and safely cross the swift glacial rivers commonly found in Alaska. McCarthy Creek will be your training ground, where you can put the lessons into practice.

You’ll dry off, warm up, and then travel to the historic mining town of Kennecott. From here, you transition from lessons of water to ice. The Root Glacier provides a perfect “classroom” to learn about glaciers, glacier travel, crampon and ice ax techniques, and various improvisational techniques! Ideally, you’ll have your own crampons to practice with, but we can loan you a pair if needed. 

After mastering basic glacier travel, you and your guide will leave the ice to discuss bears. The black and grizzly bears that make their home in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park are magnificent, wild creatures. They demand respect and it is essential that backpackers and hikers practice responsible bear techniques when visiting the park. This will help ensure that the bears remain wild and are there for future generations to enjoy. Interpreting bear behavior, camp setup, food storage, and emergency techniques are all covered in this portion of the seminar. You’ll also have a chance to test-fire your bear spray and discuss the function of bear canisters.

The Backcountry Skills Seminar provides information and training essential for safe hiking and backpacking in Alaska. Although the day is long, the skills and techniques that you will learn are required knowledge for responsible backpackers and hikers enjoying the wilderness of WSENP. Remember when packing that there is no place to rent or buy gear in McCarthy, so please come prepared!

Ready to book this excursion? Go to our Backcountry Skills Seminar trip page!

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