Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve Sports & Outdoors

Most Recent Sports & Outdoors in Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve

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    Ice Climbing

    by raraavis Written Nov 18, 2005

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    Same drill as glacier climbing. In addition to crampoons, you are fitted with ski boots to provide additional foot support instead of your regular hiking boots. Be sure to wear thick socks for protection. The guides will also fit you with harness, helmet, and ice picking axes before you take a 45 minute hike to the glacier. Guide will also give you a quick lesson on climbing foot work, counter-intuitive, but you'll catch on quickly. Then the guide will take you to a vertical ice covered hill where the real climbing begins.

    I know ice climbing sounds a little scary. But it's a total rush. Once you get the hang of it. the guide will take you to a mulan and drop you in. You have to climb out of it. This is the best way to explore the mulans - you can only see so much standing on the edge. Once you are deep inside, you can get a much better view and hear the water gushing down the channels, eventually into the ocean.

    Equipment: Provided by guides:
    Harness
    Rope
    Ski boots
    Crampoons
    Ice axes

    Bring your own:
    Thick socks
    Ski gloves
    Hat
    Sunglasses, sun shining on white ice is blinding
    Energy snacks

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park

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    Glacier Walking

    by raraavis Written Nov 18, 2005

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    This is a relatively mild sport in a harsh, but exceptionally beautiful environment. The glacier mountain is Mt. Blackburn. From Kennicott, a 45 minute hike lead you to the edge of the glacier. Along the way, you might spot black bears. Crampoons are provided by the guiding company. Walking on crampoons is a learned skill, but you learn quickly. The guide will take you to explore the cravesses and mulans in the area. Those things are way cool!

    Don't forget to fill up your water bottle with melted glacier water. It's cold and delicious. Pee away from where you harvest water. :)

    I used St. Elias Alpine Guides based in McCarthy, the adjacent town. Owner Bob is an experienced guide who first summit Mt. Blackburn 20 some years ago. He's also one of the permanent residents in a town of 30. Trips range from day hikes to week-long ice climbing expeditions. Check out the website first.

    Equipment: Crampoons
    Wear thick hiking or ski socks
    Camera
    Wear ski gloves: they'll protect your hands if you fall on ice

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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