Ruth Gorge, Alaska

Alaska Mountaineering Seminar

The incredible scale of Alaska’s Ruth Gorge seems reminiscent of Patagonia, but with better weather. The vast glaciers and huge alpine rock faces offer breathtaking scenery and phenomenal mountaineering opportunities. The Ruth is a great place to improve your alpine climbing skills. Our Alaska Mountaineering Seminar is for climbers who want their first taste of Alaskan climbing. Designed for those with limited time off, we pack this nine-day trip full of climbing, skills training and expedition living. Participants will experience each aspect of Alaskan mountaineering – including, glacier travel and camping. This trip teaches and reinforces the skills required for climbing serious peaks around the world.

From Talkeetna, a small, historic and funky town that comes alive with climbers each summer, we board a ski plane and take a stunning flight into the Ruth Gorge. On the flight you will notice the enormous Alaskan rock faces that dominate every view. We establish base camp near the landing zone and begin training for the climbing to come. First we focus on honing our glacier travel and crevasse rescue systems, then we review and practice alpine ice techniques, route finding, avalanche assessment and rope ascension.

Alaska Mountaineering Seminar

Course Details


This is an intermediate level course. Participants should be familiar with snow climbing techniques, crampon use, self arrest, glacier travel, and rappelling. Completion of Mountaineering Series Level I and Mountaineering Series Level II or equivalent experience preferred.


9 days

Price includes & Excludes:

In-house AMGA Guide, breakfasts and dinners while on the glacier, air transport to/from the glacier, Denali National Park fees and group equipment.

Meeting location:

Talkeetna, Alaska



Unbelievable terrain, breathtaking views, nonstop learning, and amazing summits are what you'll experience on this expedition.

The major goal for this expedition is to have individuals walk away as more knowledgeable and skilled mountaineers.  This is the perfect expedition if you fall into any of the categories below:

  •  want to build your winter camping skill set
  •  want to experience the Alaskan wilderness
  •  want to become a more experienced mountaineer
  •  want to climb to a remarkable summit
  •  want to prepare for a large glaciated peak

Base camp on Alaska Mountaineering Seminar


Equipment List:

This expedition starts and ends in Talkeetna, AK. Direct flights are available daily to Anchorage. From Anchorage, you can get to Talkeetna by car, rail, air, or motor-coach. If you need help making your reservations, we are happy to help. For more information on logistics and planning your arrival in Talkeetna please contact the Expedition Manager.

Talkeetna, Alaska

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Talkeetna.  We’ll then head over to the NPS office to pick up our permits.  Afterwards we’ll head over to check in with the flight company, do an equipment check and introduction to the course.  Hopefully we’ll have clear weather and be able to fly onto the glacier and establish base camp.  This may sound like a lot but luckily we’ll have much longer daylight than down in the lower 48.

Day 2: Today we will work on various snow travel skills.  We’ll cover such topics as walking as a roped team, propering walking in crampons, properly using a mountaineering axe, self arresting a fall.

Day 3: Today we’ll cover different snow anchors as well as crevasse rescue.  During the crevasse rescue part of the day, we’ll cover how to pull someone else out of a crevasse as well as being able to rescue yourself out of a crevasse.

Day 4: On day four we’ll go and work on ice climbing techniques.

Day 5: Day five we’ll cover topics such as mountain navigation and sled rigging.  We’ll prep for the next days summit attempt.

Day 6: Today we’ll put all the skills we learned to summit a peak.  There are numerous peaks we can attempt in the area.  Which one we attempt will be based on the group’s skill level and weather considerations.

Day 7: Today we’ll fly back to Talkeetna.  Most individuals spend the evening there to catch the shuttle the next day.

Day 8: Built-in weather day.  Having a built in weather day is super important.  This day is there in case we need an extra day to get on or off the glacier.

Day 9: Travel back to Anchorage and fly home.

Note: This schedule is subject to change at the guide’s discretion due to unforeseen difficulties such as weather, illness, road conditions, etc.

Climbing the Japanese Couloir