Interested in joining us for ice climbing in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park? Here’s what you can expect when you join us for a day of Ice Climbing on the Root Glacier!
Your day of climbing on the Root Glacier begins at our office in the historic mill town of Kennecott, Alaska. Here you will check-in with our friendly office staff before meeting your guide and the rest of your group. Once introduced to your guide, they will make sure you get all the technical gear you need – crampons, climbing boots, harness, helmet, rope, and ice tools. Before you leave for the day, they will make sure you have all of the essential items needed for a day of climbing on the glacier – please reference our Equipment List for more specifics.
From our office, your guide will lead your group down the main street of Kennecott, passing the red and white buildings that stand as a reminder of the highly successful copper mining operation that boomed here in the early 1900s. The main street gradually turns into the 2-mile glacier trail that was originally built as a wagon road to resupply the Erie Mine, six miles up the Root Glacier. The moderate trail has a few steep sections with loose rock, so make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots/shoes and a backpack to carry your gear.
As the trail descends towards the Root Glacier, you’ll notice that the air becomes slightly cooler and the vegetation will change dramatically. Once at the edge of the glacier, you and your guide will take a break to gear up with your harness, boots, and crampons. They’ll give a brief safety chat about how to walk while wearing crampons before you touch the ice for the first time! Crampons are spikes that attach to the bottom of your boots and help you grip onto the ice. As you hike onto the glacier, you’ll take in views of the 6,696 ft Donoho Peak and the mile-high Stairway Icefall! Before you make it to your climbing spot, you’ll likely pass serene blue pools, rushing waterfalls, and deep canyons.
Once at the wall, you’ll take a break while your guide sets up the anchor for your first few laps of climbing. They’ll begin by teaching you the basics before moving on to more advanced terrain. To truly put your skills to the test, you can even try climbing out of a moulin – a vertical hole that goes deep into the ice! Each trip is tailored to the group’s ability levels and goals. No matter what you accomplish during your day of climbing, our guides’ focus is always to facilitate a safe, fun, and supportive environment for you to learn! Make your trip to Alaska one you’ll never forget by joining us for a day of Ice Climbing!
Ready to book this excursion? Go to our Ice Climbing page!