Overview:

Ski mountaineers consider this a classic destination due to its accessibility via ski plane and abundance of diverse terrain right outside your front door.  Our base camp on the glacier will include roomy tents, great meals with fresh food, and the best view you could imagine!  Most consider this a steep skiing destination, but excellent, lower-angled glacier touring abounds and we can custom tailor this trip for any skill level. This is a true Alaskan ski mountaineering adventure that you won’t forget!

What sets this trip apart from other Alaska trips is the focus on true ski mountaineering. You’ll be introduced to and apply both uphill and downhill techniques in glaciated terrain. Steep couloirs cut between dramatic rock walls and wide-open glaciers with complex icefalls are some of the highlights that the Pika Glacier, aka “Little Switzerland” has to offer. We recommend taking an intro to ski mountaineering course, or have previous ski mountaineering experience before attending this trip.

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1:

AM meeting in Anchorage, grocery shop and van shuttle to Talkeetna. Pack food and gear in PM.

Day 2:

AM flight to Pika Glacier, set up camp and review rescue skills.

Day 3:

Ski

Day 4:

Ski

Day 5:

Ski

Day 6:

Ski

Day 7:

Ski, fly off glacier PM. Night in Talkeetna

Day 8:

Shuttle back to Anchorage for flights home

Meeting location:

Anchorage, AK

Notes:

Payment Schedule:

· 50% deposit due with an accepted application
· Balance due 90 days before Day 1 of trip

Expedition Cancellation Policy:

· A non-refundable $100 application fee will not be refunded from your initial deposit.
· 100% (minus application fee) will be refunded 120 days prior to trip start.
· 50% (minus application fee) will be refunded 91 to 119 days before trip start.
· 25% (minus application fee) will be refunded 46 to 90 days before trip start.
· 0% will be refunded 0 to 45 days before trip start.

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

    Prerequisites:

    Participants should be in good physical condition. Expect 6-8 hour tours with up to 5,000′ of climbing.  You should be comfortable with basic ski touring techniques such as skinning with kick turns, transitions, and skiing variable snow.  Comfort in non-groomed advanced/expert terrain at the ski area is a good benchmark.

    Preparation:

    CMS guides encourage participants to do a prep day before the trip. Intro to Ski Mountaineering or a private guiding day are recommended.

    Minimum Age:

    18

    Price Includes:

    • Shuttle from Anchorage to Talkeetna and back, glacier flight, food, camping equipment, guide fees

    Price Excludes:

    • Food and lodging while off glacier, ski equipment, gratuities
    Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
    Avalanche Beacon

    Modern, digital, three-antennae beacon with fresh batteries.

    1

    BCA Tracker 2 or 3

     

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Avalanche Probe

    Collapsable metal or carbon rod used to probe avalanche debris while attempting to strike a buried target.

    1

    BCA Stealth 300

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Avalanche Rescue Shovel

    Ski specific shovel used to dig pits and avalanche rescue. A metal blade is mandatory.

    1

    BCA B1 Ext

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Baselayer Bottoms

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

    1

    Men: Rab Forge Leggings
    Women: Rab Forge Leggings

    Rab

    Clothing
    Beanie or Fleece Hat

    Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

    1

    Rab Logo Beanie

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Belay and Rappel Device

    Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

    1

    CAMP Piu 2

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Bowl, mug, fork, and spoon

    Personal utensils

    1

    Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Climbing Harness

    UIAA or CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

    1

    CAMP Laser CR

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Equipment
    Climbing Skins

    Nylon or mohair. Trimmed and adjusted to fit your skis or splitboard ahead of time.

    1

    Dynafit Speedskin

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Compass

    Used for navigation and orientation. A compass with adjustable declination is preferrable.

    1

    Silva Ranger CLQ

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    First Aid Kit

    Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Food

    Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

    1

    Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Hardshell Pants

    These should be non-insulated pants with ankle cuffs wide enough to fit over your ski or ride boots.

    1

    Men: Rab Sharp Edge Pants
    Women: Rab Women's Sharp Edge Pants

    Rab Stores

    Clothing
    Headlamp

    Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Heavyweight Waterproof Glove

    This glove comes out when the winter going gets cold and wet or at higher altitudes.

    1

    RAB Storm Glove

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    HollowBlock2

    This is a small sewn loop to assist in rappelling. The #1 choice on the market is the Sterling Hollowblock, or the Sterling Autoblock.

    1

    Sterling Auto Block

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Hot Drinks

    Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it's cold outside.

    1

    Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Lightweight Baselayer Top

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

    2

    Men: Rab Forge LS Tee
    Women: Rab Force LS Tee

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Lightweight Gloves

    Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

    1

    RAB Power Stretch Pro

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

    Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

    1

    Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Midweight Baselayer Top

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

    1

    Men: Rab Nucleus Hoody
    Women: Rab Nucleus Hoody

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Midweight Softshell Glove

    This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

    1

    RAB Guide2 GTX Glove

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Mountaineering Axe

    Utilized in ascending or descending snow slopes. Ideal length is variable based on terrain and height of person.

    1

    CAMP Alpina

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Mountaineering Crampons

    Steel crampons with horizontal front points are ideal. Must be semi-rigid and compatible with your boots.

    1

    CAMP Alpinist Universal

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Neck Gaiter

    "Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

    1

    CMS Neck Gaiter

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Pajamas

    It can be nice to have something clean to change into each night for sleeping in your sleeping bag.

    1 Clothing
    Personal Care Items

    Medications, glasses or contacts, feminine products, etc.

    1 Optional
    Personal Toilet Kit

    At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a "Rest Stop." The Rest Stop, known as "Blue Bags" in the Pacific Northwest, or the "Wag Bag" in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Rock Climbing Helmet

    UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

    1

    CAMP Titan

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Equipment
    Ski Crampons

    Each binding style has ski crampons that fit them specifically.

    1

    Dynafit Ski Crampons

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Ski Helmet

    This item is recommended but not required. We will be skiing in the trees, and in snow conditions where rocks, stumps, and downded logs are present.

    1

    Camp Speed Comp

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Ski or Snowboard Boots

    Footwear should be appropriate to mode of travel i.e. ski, snowboard, or insulated winter boots for snowshoes. For snowshoers, a boot such as the Scarpa Mont Blanc is the minimum level of boot required. Ski Boots should have a walk mode.

    1

    Scarpa Maestrale RS

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Ski or Trekking Poles

    Two poles, with powder baskets, are required for all skiers, splitboarders, and snowshoers. It is ideal if poles are ski-specific and collapse small enough to fit onto a pack when climbing.

    1

    BCA Scepter

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Ski Straps

    18" Rubber or velcro straps to connect skis when attaching them to a pack. Also useful for a variety of in-the-field equipment repairs.

    2

    BCA Ski Strap

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Skis or Snowboard

    Skis should have touring bindings; lightweight tech bindings are ideal. Splitboards are ideal for snowboarders. Snowboarders using resort snowboards will need to have snowshoes and poles.

    1

    Dynafit Beast 98; Dynafit ST Radical 100

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Sleeping Bag (0° to -30°)

    Down or synthetic sleeping bag is acceptible.

    1

    Rab Ascent 1100

    Rab Store

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Sleeping pad

    Insulated air mattresses or foam are ideal. Uninsulated air mattresses are not recommended.

    1

    Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Smartphone

    Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

    1 Optional
    Snow Saw

    For cutting columns during snowpack analysis

    1

    BCA 35cm Snow  Saw

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Softshell and Fleece Jacket

    Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

    1

    Men: Rab Salvo Jacket
    Women: Rab Salvo Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Softshell Pants

    Softshell material is stretchy, wind-proof, water-resistant, and resists abrasion. Mid-weight is recommended and light-weight pants can work for warm days. Typical thin, nylon "hiking pants" are generally not tough enough.

    1

    Men: Rab Vapour Rise
    Women: Rab Upslope

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Sports Bra

    Provides support and allows for full range of motion

    1

    North Face Beyond the Wall

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sun Hat

    A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sunglasses

    "Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

    1

    Julbo Shield

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

    Travel size.

    1

    Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

    Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

    1

    Men: Rab Electron Jacket
    Women: Rab Electron Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Synthetic or Merino Wool Socks

    Wool and synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

    2

    Point 6 Hiking Light Crew

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Thermos

    Many ice climbers prefer to bring a thermos of hot water or soup instead of one of their water bottles.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Toe Warmers and Hand Heaters

    Help keep you warm on particularly cold days.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Toiletries

    Bring enough for the trip. Toothpaste & brush, floss, deoderant, lotion, eye drops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.

    1 Optional
    Watch with Altimiter

    An altimeter is very useful in gauging progression of altitude gain or loss when climbing, and especially when visibility is decreased due to weather. Many Altimeter watches have compasses or GPS tracking functions.

    1

    Suunto Vector; Suunto Core

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Water Bottles

    1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

    2

    Nalgene, Hydro Flask

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Waterproof Shell Jacket

    Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

    1

    Men: RAB Ladakh GTX Jacket
    Women: RAB Women's Kangri GRX Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing

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