— Mt. Bona Expedition —

The Details

  • Elevation: 16,550′
  • Expedition Length: 10 days climbing, 13 days in Alaska
  • Total Mileage: 23mi
  • Total Elevation Gain/Loss: 8,500’
  • Max Group Size: 8
  • Difficulty: Alaska Grade 2
  • Rates:
    • Private Solo – $21,675
    • Private 2 Participants – $13,450/person
    • Private 3-6 Participants – $9,280/person
    • Group – $7,425/person
  • Private Trips with custom dates may be available.
  • Trip Itinerary / Download PDF
  • Equipment List 
  • Photo Gallery

In a mountaineering trip the journey is more important then the destination - choose the St. Elias Guides for leadership through service.

Yuri L Mountaineering

Classic big-mountain ski or climb in the Wrangells

silhouetted climbers on mt bona

As the fifth-tallest peak in the US at 16,550ft (5040m), Mt Bona delivers an unbeatable experience for a uniquely challenging, remote Alaskan, high-altitude climb! Navigating gaping crevasses that can swallow you whole and battling unpredictable and notoriously nasty weather, this climb is not for the faint of heart. Climbing this remote giant requires strong mental fortitude and great physical ability, rewarding each climber with the inexpressible satisfaction of having tested their metal and achieving something so few have ever done before. As a non-technical climb, Mt. Bona is an excellent objective for ski-mountaineers with the potential of several +2,000’ runs! 

Trip Highlights:

  • Non-technical high-altitude peak
  • Wilderness climbing style
  • Excellent ski-mountaineering objective
  • Stunning views of the University Range
  • Opportunities to learn and practice new skills
  • 4th tallest peak in the US!

 

What’s Included?

  • Customized trip planning
  • Van transportation to and from Anchorage*
  • Lodging in our historic  bunkrooms*
  • Two 45min scenic bush flights to and from the backcountry
  • An orientation day at headquarters and group packing
  • Your professional guide(s)
  • All the food on the expedition and in McCarthy
  • Group gear (ropes, sleds, cookware, fuel, tents, etc)

*Upgrades to more comfortable lodging or bush plane transport may be available.
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?

  • Gratuities
  • Personal camping and technical gear (see Equipment List)
  • Lodging and logistics in Anchorage
  • Trip insurance (required)

Requirements

The more climbing experience you have prior to climbing Mt. Bona, 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 ungroomed 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

Logistics

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 may be available.

Itinerary

The “Alaska Factor”

There is a reason Alaska has such a rugged allure for the lower 48 and beyond: it is still wild! This raw and untamed landscape offers our clients the opportunity to authentically pioneer new territory and have real adventures. Part of embracing the “Alaska Factor” is understanding that things may not always go as planned and expecting the unexpected. Water levels might rise, snow might fall, and glaciers may shift and move – the landscape is dynamic and unpredictable is what makes Alaska, Alaska!

All of our trips are customized as they unfold and your guide will fluidly make decisions based on weather, logistics, and group dynamics to maximize each day’s experience. There can be quite a bit of variation, but on each trip we promise a big slice of the real Alaska and authentic adventure!

Day 0: Arrive in Anchorage and spend the night. (You will arrange this part)

Day 1: 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.)

Day 2: 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.

Day 3: Fly out to the Klutlan Glacier and feast your eyes on a landscape of snow and ice and the towering bmassif of Mt. Bona! Landing at about 8,000′ you’ll begin your approach, setting up your Base camp at the foot of the giant slope above.

From here, you’ll progress up the massive mountain, caching gear as you go and acclimatizing along the way. Long, steep slopes are interrupted by crevasse fields and icefalls make for technical navigation and up-close views of these incredible features. Shuttling gear up higher and sleeping lower will provide time for acclimatization as you gain serious elevation so you are ready for the big summit day push. From your high camp you’ll have access to both the summits of Mt. Bona herself and her neighbor Mt. Churchill, so if the stars align you might get 2 major summits in 1 trip! 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!!

Day 12: 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)Day 13: Load into the van in the morning and begin the drive back to Anchorage. We highly 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!”

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