Remote, high-altitude peak deep in Alaska’s
St. Elias Mountains
As the fifth-tallest peak in the US at 16,550ft (5040m), Mount 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, Mount Bona is an excellent objective for ski-mountaineers with the potential of several +2,000’ runs!
Total Elevation Gain/Loss
Max Group Size
Alaska Grade 2
Private 2 Participants
Private 3-4 Participants
Private Trips with custom dates may be available. Schedule a call with our Expedition Coordinator to plan your Private Trip today!
The following is a sample itinerary for our Mt. Bona 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!
Fly out to the Klutlan Glacier and feast your eyes on a landscape of snow and ice and the towering massif 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!!
GET IN TOUCH
WITH AN EXPEDITION
Consider what your goals are for this expedition:
Are they to learn as much as possible? If yes, we recommend a Course. A Course-style trip is completely focused on learning and solidifying your mountain skills to set you up for the next big adventure.
Is your goal just to have fun? Although fun is more of a state of mind that you can bring on any trip, our most fun-focused mountaineering trip is going to be our Chugach Backcountry Ski Basecamp. If you're not a backcountry skier or rider, consider signing up for a Private Custom trip and we can create the perfect fun-filled adventure for you!
If your goal is to conquor a major Alaska summit you should be looking at our objective-based expeditions, anything with "Mt. ...." in the title. Here the objective is to summit and descend safely. Each mountain requires something different so check out each trip and use the Alaska rating system to determine what level of difficulty or technicality you are ready for.
Remember that whatever your goals are, you can definitely have fun and learn on any trip - that part is up to you!
We pride ourselves on cooking healthy and delicious meals even under the most adverse conditions! Your exact menu will depend on the trip, your guide, and the dietary preferences/restrictions you list in your Trip Application. No matter what kind of cook your guide is at home, all our guides are well-trained backcountry chefs and use time-tested recipes from our proprietary cookbook for their trips. We carry a plentiful and varied stock of ingredients and most meals are prepared from scratch (allowing for easy substitutions, additions or subtractions of ingredients). We onlyt use pre-packed freeze-dried meals on summit pushes on our mountaineering expeditions.
On our backpacking and basecamp trips, you can expect 3 meals a day, plus snacks of your choice. Breakfasts and dinners are usually hot meals and lunches are served cold. On mountaineering trips lunches consist of a variety of snacks as it can be hard to organize group meals while on a rope team.
We use a combination of fresh, dehydrated, and freeze-dried ingredients to make our delicious meals, however on longer backpacking and mountaineering trips your guides will use more freeze-dried foods than fresh foods to keep pack weights as low as possible. On our rafting trips, we cook full multi-course meals with fresh ingredients and enjoy hot and cold breakfasts, cold lunches and hot dinners.
Meals for most trips start with Lunch on the first day and end with Lunch on the last day. *
*If you are signed up for a Custom Trip Package with us, it may include more meals. Check with us if you’re not sure. Mountaineering trips also include meals in McCarthy before and after the backcountry expedition.
Likely, at some point or another, at least a little bit, yes.
On a Rafting Trip, you can help the guides unload the boats, set up camp, and carry your dry bag(s) to your tent nearby. After breakfast, you can help take down camp and load up the boats.
On a Basecamp Hiking Trip, you will need to carry your gear about 5-20min from the backcountry airstrip to set up camp at the beginning of the trip and then pack up and carry it back to the airstrip at the end. Throughout the trip you will hike with a small day pack – this is usually 5-15lbs.
On a Basecamp mini-Backpacking Trip you will need to carry all your gear between the airstrip and your camp, which will be 1-3mi away. This means at least 2 one-way trips with the big backpack (usually 30-40lbs). After setting up camp you will enjoy day-hikes with a much lighter day pack (usually 5-15lbs).
On a Backpacking Trip, you will move camp almost every night and will need to carry everything you need with you. For a trip up to 4 days in length, you can expect packs in the 35-45lb range and for trips in the 6-8 day range, please be prepared for weights closer to 45-50lbs. The burly gear that is required for the Alaskan backcountry isn’t very light so forget “ultralite” and think heavy-duty!
For all Basecamping and Backpacking Trips, the pack weight will really depend on what you bring, so we do recommend having a minimalist mindset. In addition to your own gear, we will be giving you a bear canister full of food and supplies, potentially another item like a fuel canister or a stove, and maybe a part of a tent if you’re not bringing your own (we recommend sharing tents to save weight). Your guides are weight-conscious packers and will never burden you unnecessarily. It’s likely that over the course of the trip you’ll be able to start adding your own things into the bear canister and your pack should get lighter as you eat your food and use supplies.
If you would really like to do a Point-to-Point Backpacking Trip but are concerned about the pack weight, we also offer Porter services. Porters cannot take your entire pack for you, but they can help alleviate your pack weight significantly and offer other assistance as an assistant guide on the trip.
On our objective-based Mountaineering Expeditions, you will be required to carry all your own gear and some group gear between camps. Depending on the terrain, you may bring sleds with you for all or some of the route. Depending on the route, you may do stretches of the route multiple times, caching gear as you go, so you may not always have the full weight of all your equipment with you at all times. At maximum, you can expect weights of 80-160lbs to be split between a backpack and a sled and at minimum a 30lb bag for single-day excursions.