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Helicopter Ice Climbing & Caves

In partnership with Alpine Air Alaska, AP offers Heli access guided glacier hikes and ice climbs. We operate outside of the Chugach National Forest or land within NFS permitted areas.

Alpine Air's Robinson R44 Helicopters have an excellent safety record, are affordable, quiet and fuel efficient. We use the A-Star for larger groups or bigger mountain trips. Rates listed are per person for 1 R44 for 3 clients and 1 guide meeting on the ICE or 2 R44's with 5 or 6 clients total with 1 guide. If you are a party of 2, we need to add a 3rd paying client (or you pay for a 3rd seat) to make the trip go.

From the lobby of the magnificent Hotel Alyeska, we walk a short distance to Alyeska's private Heli Pad for a hot-load onto our ship. A memorable scenic flight of about 20 minutes gets us to several glacier options. After landing on glacier ice, we gear-up with helmets, harness and crampons. Once the heli leaves, and after a safety talk and crampon practice with your skilled and experienced guide, we explore the glacier ice itself. We typically schedule several hours to discover amazing Ice features like: blue ice, crevasses, caves, rushing surface rivers, tubes, moulins, etc. Your guide will lead you to ice walls where a top rope anchor will be set up to experience vertical ice climbing. You will finally feel the rush of what it's like to be Spiderman when scaling ice walls. And then there's the ice caves....!


  • Round trip helicopter flight from Hotel Alyeska to Spencer Glacier
  • World-class mountain/glacier ice instructor
  • Small ratios (min: 2:1 max: 5:1)
  • Real time satellite tracking and communication device
  • Deli boxed lunch, bottled waters, granola bars/snacks
  • Crampons, harness, helmets and rain gear, if needed
  • Interpretative glaciology, ecology and natural history discussions 
  • Ice Climbers are provided: ice climbing axes, plastic mountaineering boots, ropes and hardware for top roped climbing.
  • Top roped glacier ice climbing experience on ice walls. 
starting at $579/person

Multi-Sport Day Adventure

Season: Year Around Ages: 13-70


Departs: Girdwood

Group Size

Min: 2 People, Max: 5 People Ratio: 5/1

Activity Level

No Experience Necessary Strenuous
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9:45am-1:00pm or 11:30am-3:00pm

or Custom Charter upon request (Fall/Winter/Spring)


Morning departure timeline:

  • 9:45am: Clients meet AP guide in Girdwood at the LOBBY of Alyeska Hotel
  • 10:30am: Heli departs from Alyeska Helicopter Pad
  • 10:30am – 10:50am: flight from Girdwood to Spencer Glacier
  • 10:50am - 12:35pm: on Spencer Glacier
  • 12:35pm: Heli p/u from Spencer Glacier
  • 12:35pm – 12:55pm: flight from Spencer Glacier to Girdwood
  • 1:00pm: back to Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood

Afternoon departure timeline:

  • 11:30am: Clients meet AP guide in Girdwood at the LOBBY of Alyeska Hotel
  • 12:15pm: Heli departs from Alyeska Helicopter Pad
  • 12:15pm – 12:35pm: flight from Girdwood to Glacier
  • 12:35pm - 2:30pm: on Glacier
  • 2:30pm: Heli p/u from Glacier
  • 2:30pm–3:00pm: flight from Glacier to Girdwood
  • 3:00pm: back to Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood


50 miles of flying! Less than 1 mile walking on Ice


No experience is necessary. This trip should be considered a "moderate activity". We recommend that you are capable of a few hours of cardio and/or strength training exercise each day. Previous rock climbing expereince is reccomended.


  • Ages: 13-70
  • Seat weight limit is 250lbs per passenger
  • Trips are weather dependent
  • 3.5 hours spent on the glacier
  • If you are a party of 2, we need to add a 3rd paying client (or you pay for a 3rd seat)
  • Trips start and finish at the LOBBY of the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood.
  • Boxed Lunch contains: Turkey or Vegetarian sandwich, chips, cookie, fruit and water
  • All guests are required to fill out our online Adventure Application and Waiver when booking
  • After reserving your spot- you can easily login to our reservation system and make any changes or Add-Ons
  • Shoe sizes range from US Men's 4-14 for crampons and mountaineering boots.


 Call us to ask about overnight and ice cave options. Why not sleep on a Glacier!


  • Gratuities for your super cool pilot and climbing guide

Where trips MEET

Trips start and finish at the LOBBY of the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood.

LOBBY of the Hotel Alyeska: 1000 Arlberg Ave




Due to high demand and limited space available we recommend reservations be made 1 year to several months in advance. Call our office to discuss last minute options. Only AP's senior guides can guide these super cool trips and their schedules fill up fast! 


Cotton clothes are not recommended. Wear comfortable warm synthetic clothes dressing in layers (long sleeved shirt, long pants, fleece jacket, rain jacket, rain pants, gloves, wool/fleece hat, sunglasses, ball cap) hiking boots or trail shoes. Bring a small backpack for layers, water bottle and binoculars, don't forget your camera! For specific advice on what to wear, read our Be Prepared Document.


Seat weight limit is 250lbs per passenger. If you weigh more than 250lbs please inquire for pricing about buying an extra seat.


On a case-by-case basis we consider exceptions, usually we recommend buying out a trip as a private with your own guide. This is only available with advanced reservations and as space and staffing is available. Please email or call to make your request, we are more than happy to think of solutions- just to make it happen for you.


Yes... just read our Trip Advisor Reviews! Tours include top of the line glacier and ice climbing gear, world-class glacier and climbing guide, round trip helicopter transportation from the Hotel Alyeska, small ratios: (min: 2:1 max: 5:1- client to guide) and interpretive natural history, ecology and glaciology discussions. A catered deli boxed lunch, snack and water is provided. Guests visiting Spencer Glacier come away with better respect and knowledge about glaciers, icebergs and history of Alaska, not to mention cool photographs!

If you have questions about the physical requirements of this trip, please read our Essential Eligibility Criteria on our FAQ's page, email or call us and we would be happy to talk with you and determine if this trip matches your abilities.