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8-Day Mountaineering Course in the Alaska Range

Come with the IFMGA-certified guides of Alpine Ascents International to Denali National Park for eight days of mountaineering training in Alaska.

Mountain RangeAlaska Range
Duration8 days
Offer periodApr, May, Jun, Jul
Skill LevelBeginner
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripGroup

Highlights

  • Learn the foundation of mountaineering and in the exciting Denali National Park.

  • Feel the immense and remote beauty of the Alaska Range and its notorious peaks.

  • Have a blast on a sustained program taught by certified and passionate guides.

Description

Train for the expedition of your dreams by spending eight days in the wilds of Alaska! Under the tutelage of expert guides, you will take strides in your mountaineering career while traversing the Kahiltna Glacier and acquiring the essentials for alpine climbing!

Alaska is synonymous with wilderness. The mountains are tall and abundant. The plant and animal life are fascinating and vibrant. The terrain is rugged and beautiful almost beyond comprehension. The landscape is vast, unforgiving, and the ultimate thrill for adventurers looking for a unique and memorable mountaineering experience.

The Alaska Range of mountains is home to Denali (20,310 ft.), formerly Mt. McKinley and the tallest peak of North America. It has been featured in film and television and is sought after by climbers on their quest to bag the Seven Summits. The massive collection of mountain terrain and the obstacles it presents make this spot one of the best in the world to gain valuable mountaineering experience.

So why not take advantage of this mountain playground! Set in Denali National Park, your program will give you the necessary tools to build yourself into a true mountaineer. Our goal is to teach you practical alpine climbing practices that will make your future climbing dreams a reality. This includes glacier travel and crevasse rescue, rope and belay techniques, and so much more. You will gain knowledge on subjects from self-arrest and navigation to crampon use and rappelling.

Safety plays a huge role in our instruction. We want you to become a self-reliant climber, able to asses risks and exercise good judgement while mountaineering. This means evaluating equipment, terrain, and weather to make decisions on your feet that will ensure the safety of both you and your team.

We will aim for two or three summits, so you can put your newly-acquired skills to use. By learning and practicing mountaineering skills at the same time, the activities and information will become second nature. It will instill in you the fundamentals and get you ready to take on the world’s most daunting peaks – even Denali.

This program is designed for beginner and intermediate mountaineers who have loftier goals in mind and want to prepare themselves to reach them. A high level of fitness is required, as is the mental stamina to endure a sustained eight-day trip.

You will experience impressive glaciers, tall peaks, and everything in between on this trip. Sharing this epic scenery with you is our absolute pleasure, and we will guarantee you have an informative, safe, and all-around fulfilling experience while helping you progress as a climber. Above all else, we will make sure you are excited and having fun from the moment you book this trip.

Book this amazing eight-day mountaineering course IMMEDIATELY and enjoy an alpine experience that only the Alaska Range can provide!

If you wanted a longer experience, we can stick around for a few more days and take part in a 12-day course in Alaska! We also have a wonderful four-day mountaineering course on Mount Shuksan in the Pacific Northwest!

Accommodation

We will spend our nights camping for the duration of the trip. Hotels and lodging in Talkeetna are NOT included.

More info

Please purchase trip cancellation insurance within 21 days of your planned departure. The following is a list of the required equipment necessary for the program, unless stated as optional or recommended: - Accessory cord / pre-cut Prussiks - Ice axe - Crampons - Climbing harness with two (2) locking carabiners - Four (4) non-locking carabiners - Two (2) screw-locking carabiners - Trekking poles - Avalanche transceiver - Socks (3) - Gaiters - Double boots (mountaineering boots) - Camp booties (optional) - Snowshoes - Short underwear - Base-layer bottoms and top - Mid-layer top - Soft-shell pants and jacket - Hard-shell pants and jacket - Insulated hooded jacket or parka - Insulated pants - Liner gloves - Soft-shell gloves - Mittens - Climbing helmet - UV buff - Hat (sun protection) - 30+ SPF sunscreen - 30+ SPF lip balm - Ski hat - Glacier glasses - Ski goggles - Climbing backpack with 75- to 105-liter capacity - Sleeping bag - Foam pad - Inflatable sleeping pad (recommended) - Eating utensils (mug, bowl, spoon, knife) - Wide-mouth water bottles (two or three) - Pee bottle (and pee funnel, if necessary) - Lighters (MULTIPLE Bic brand highly recommended) - Liquid fuel stove and associated fuel - Cooking system / cooking pots - Tent - Compass - First aid kit with hand sanitizer - Toiletry bag with personal items (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, toilet paper, wet wipes) - Trash compactor bags - Expedition duffel bag - Second duffel bag (recommended) - Comfortable travel clothing - Camera (optional)

Meeting point

We will meet at 7:00am at the Talkeetna Denali View Lodge for a group meeting.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Talkeetna

We will start our journey with a 7:00am meeting at the Talkeetna Denali View Lodge, followed by a thorough discussion and gear check at the Alpine Ascents hangar. We will spend time going over prussiks, knots, rope tie-ins, and crevasse self-rescue, as we will apply these skills when we arrive at the glacier.

A late lunch leads to our fly-in, generally beginning at 4:00pm. We will begin an orientation on site once we land, which will cover our glacier travel to the campsite. Our first night is spent within the magnificent Kahilta Glacier.

Day 2: Mountaineering Foundation

Building on the basics of mountaineering, our initial focus will be on snow climbing, both with and without ice axe assistance. Safety measures like self-belays and self-arrests will be taught, moving on to snow anchors, belays, and rope climbing in the afternoon.

Building this foundation will allow a safe and secure program in the days to follow.

Day 3: Rope Team

We will practice roped team movement while traveling across the glacier with authentic hazards (crevasses, snow bridges). The in-depth coverage of safe, efficient travel will culminate in an evening at camp creating (and learning how to create) a climbing plan for the summit of our first objective the next day.

Day 4: First Summit Day

This is our chance to apply the skills we’ve learned and have fun doing it. The ascent offers fantastic views of the Kahiltna Glacier and the surrounding mountains. Upon descending to camp, we will continue our instruction on crevasse rescue and rope team skills.

Day 5: Glacier Travel

The day is based around moving our campsite across the glacier and using the safe and practical skills acquired in the first four days. The goal is to become more efficient in every way, from camp construction to glacier traversing. And, of course, appreciating the wonderful experience of mountaineering.

Day 6: Ice Climbing

Moving through new terrain, we will begin our training of ice climbing. This includes flat-footing, front-pointing, no-tool, one-tool, and two-tool climbing. Safety instruction continues as we work on ice screw placement, as well as belay anchors and climbing.

An evening of creating a climbing plan ensues, setting our goal for a second successful summit in the morning.

Day 7: Second Summit Day

There are different options for our climb, but the overall experience is paramount to understanding and applying mountaineering techniques. Our aim is give you ample opportunities for the practical application of mountaineering skills – this is the best way to learn and progress as a climber.

When we return to camp, we just might begin planning another summit on our final day…

Day 8: Return From Kahiltna

Should the weather remain agreeable, a third summit will be attempted. Our focus will be on safely returning to the glacier landing point at a reasonable time to get back to Talkeetna. You will leave the glacier as an improved mountaineer ready to take on your next adventure.


About the guide

guide profile img

We are one of the prime guiding agencies in the US and our mountaineering school is among the most reputed in the country. We are recognized as industry leaders all across North America.

All our expeditions are carefully planned as we believe that our work prior to the start of the trip is key to helping climbers achieve their goals. We provide a wealth of important information to help participants plan more effectively and our guides are always available to answer questions.

We believe putting together cohesive groups is key and we ask participants important details about their training and climbing or hiking experience. This is key to our safety record, which stands as the finest in the industry. Injury prevention is always our top priority.

We think of climbers as modern-day explorers. Whether attending a mountaineering course or climbing Everest, you can expect us to treat every trip as a unique exploration. We know you have joined us to embrace a challenge and to learn through experience.


For booking assistance

Have any doubts? Talk directly with an Explore Share assistant.
The Concierge service is a great tool for when you still haven't decided what kind of Adventure you're looking for and you're open to suggestions


Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 2990 each

Group of 2

USD 2990 each

Group of 3

USD 2990 each

Group of 4

USD 2990 each

Group of 5

USD 2990 each

Group of 6

USD 2990 each

Group of 7

USD 2990 each

Group of 8

USD 2990 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Transport during the trip

• Permit and entrance fees

Price details

• This is the price to join one of our group programs. A $500 USD deposit is due with the application. The remaining balance is due 120 days before program departure. The price includes the guiding fee, roundtrip flight to and from the course location, the curriculum, transfer from Talkeetna to the Alpine Ascents office, park fees, group equipment, liquid fuel for white gas stoves (though a fuel canister must be purchased), and an Alpine Ascents t-shirt. The price does NOT include a possible $25 wire transfer fee, meals and food, personal gear and equipment, transportation to/from Anchorage, AK, transportation to/from Talkeetna, early departure charges and expenses, insurance, and anything not explicitly mentioned as “included.”


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