— Mt. Bear Expedition —
- Elevation: 14,829′
- Expedition Length: 10 days climbing, 13 days in Alaska
- Total Mileage: 18mi
- Total Elevation Gain/Loss: 6,300’
- Max Group Size: 8
- Difficulty: Alaska Grade 2
- Private Solo – $31,675
- Private 2 Participants – $13,450/person
- Private 3-6 Participants – $9,280/person
- Group – $7,425/person
- Group Expedition Dates:
May 20-29, 2023
Private Trips with custom dates may be available.
- Trip Itinerary / Download PDF
- Equipment List
- Photo Gallery
Deep Wilderness Mountaineering in Alaska’s St. Elias Mountains
Nestled deep in the St. Elias Range and only 5 mi from the Canadian border, Mt. Bear (14,831′) rises above a landscape of snow and ice. Due to its extremely remote nature, this peak is rarely climbed with only a handful of attempts in the last few years so you could be one of less than 100 people to stand on the summit of this Alaskan majesty! The route does not require technical climbing making it an ideal first Alaskan expedition and also an epic ski-mountaineering objective!
- Perfect 1st Alaska big mountain
- Excellent ski-mountaineering objective
- Stunning views of remote snowy wilderness
- Spectacular views of the St. Elias Mountains
- Van transportation to and from Anchorage
- Lodging in our historic bunkrooms
- Two 45min scenic bush flights to and from the St. Elias Mountains
- An orientation day at headquarters and group packing
- Your professional guide(s)
- All the food on the expedition and in McCarthy
- Group gear (ropes, cookware, fuel, tents, etc)
We highly recommend you bring as much of your own technical equipment as possible so you can learn how to use it and become more familiar with it
What’s not Included?
- Personal camping and technical gear (see Equipment List)
- Trip Insurance
The more climbing experience you have prior to climbing Mt. Blackburn, the more comfortable and safe you will be, and the better chance you will have of summiting. This is an advanced climb that requires a dedicated training regime. The mountain is too severe to be learning some skills for the first time. The following is required of every climber:
- Excellent fitness, core strength, and endurance
- All climbers are required to submit a climbing resume
- Several mountaineering climbs that required roped glacier travel, winter snow camping, and the use of an ice axe and crampons
- Some examples include: Mt. Rainier, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood, Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Adams, Mt. Whitney or Pico de Orizaba
- Skiers and splitboarders must:
- be very comfortable with off-piste terrain and black diamond-level resort runs
- comfortably ski/ride down 30-degree slopes with a 40lb pack
- have a minimum of 30 days of backcountry skiing/splitboarding, but more is highly recommended
- Graduates of our Introduction to Alaska Mountaineering Course are perfectly set up for this expedition
Easy peasy! This trip is run as a Trip Package so logistics are included and taken care of! You’ll get picked up in Anchorage and brought to McCarthy where you can stay at our historic HQ bunkrooms, sleeping on the same bunks that held many of the first explorers of this Park! Food is included and provided by your guides while in McCarthy and out in the backcountry. Upon return, your guide will stoke up the sauna for you and tuck you into bed in the bunkrooms again, providing a ride back to Anchorage the next morning. Upgrades to more comfortable lodging or transport logistics are available.
The following is a sample itinerary for this trip. Due to individual abilities and goals, as well as the strong environment swings of Alaska, all of our trips are customized as they unfold. Your guide will fluidly make decisions based on weather, conditions, logistics, safety, and group dynamics to maximize each day’s experience. There can be quite a bit of variation, but we always strive to make every trip your best ever!
Wed, May 17th: Arrive in Anchorage and spend the night. (You will arrange this part)
Thurs, May 18th: Our van picks you up in Anchorage and drives you 8hrs East to McCarthy. Meet your guides and enjoy dinner together. Complimentary lodging in the rustic bunkrooms of our historic Powerhouse building. (Upgrades to flights or more comfortable accommodations may be available.)
Fri, May 19th: This day is devoted to packing, planning and training in our indoor facilities. This is the time to go over all your gear with your guide and do some last-minute training on crevasse rescue and other skills.
Sat, May 20th: Fly out to the south fork of the Klutlan Glacier and begin your approach to the magnificent Mt. Bear! Feast your eyes on the stunning sights of this remote and seldom-visited area. Landing at about 8,000′ you’ll start your ascent, wrapping around the massif to set up your base camp.
From here, you’ll progress up the massive mountain – long, steep slopes interrupted by vast plateaus making for obvious camping and phenomenal skiing opportunities. Navigating crevasse fields and icefalls, and shuttling gear will provide time for acclimatization as you gain serious elevation so you are ready for the big summit day push. After the summit bid is made, you’ll reverse your route and make your way back to the landing zone. If you’re on skis, we cannot emphasize enough the glory of this ~6,000′ descent!
Mon, May 29th: Ten days later, you’ll load back into a bush plane and fly away from the land of snow and ice and experience “green shock” as you approach McCarthy. Enjoy a hot sauna, a cold beverage, and warm bed up in the bunkroom. (Upgrades to more comfortable lodging may be available)
Tues, May 30th: Load into the van in the morning and begin the drive back to Anchorage. We recommend planning to spend this night in Anchorage before flying out the next morning – this gives you a buffer in your itinerary for any unexpected delays.
Get in Touch!
Want to book a Private Trip or not sure if this is the right trip for you? Schedule a call with our Expedition Coordinator – she’ll help you narrow down which trip is best for you and answer any questions you have about our trips, the local area, or surrounding logistics!
CLICK HERE to schedule a call at a time that works well for you.
“A fantastic experience — wild Alaska at its best!”
Click on the markers below to view important points along your trip. Check out that zoom feature!