Girdwood: Meet at our Yurt at Noon- Returning 9pm
Anchorage: check in at Depot at 8:45am- Returning 10:15pm
- Up to 2 hours paddling. Total paddling distance is 3 miles.
- 2 hours ice climbing. Total hiking mileage: less than 1/2 mile of rugged terrain on and off glacier.
This is a strenuous activity; previous sea kayaking and rock climbing experience is preferred and guests ought to be prepared for several hours of
moderate activity. To get the most out this experience, we recommend that you can hike or walk a few miles a day, have previously rock climbed, even
in a gym is better than nothing. However, no experience is necessary. See our Pre-Trip Fitness recommendations.
- Trips operate in most weather conditions- travel insurance is recommended
- The lake water temperature is very cold: 34*-37*F, but there aren't tides and the icebergs are very reliable!
- Boxed Lunch contains: Turkey or Vegetarian sandwich, chips, cookie, fruit and water.
- Restroom facilities are located on trains and outhouses at Spencer Whistle Stop
- All guests are required to fill out our online Adventure Application and Waiver after booking
- After reserving your spot- you can easily login to our reservation system and make any changes or Add-Ons.
- Minimum weight: 90 lbs per person for crampons; Maximum weight: 250lbs per passenger, Max height is 6’7”; Max waist size is 44”; Crampon and mountaineering
boot sizes range from US Men's 4-14.
Upgrade your adventure with a chartered helicopter pick-up at 6pm from Spencer Glacier. The 3 person Robinson Ravin R44 flown by our friends at
Alpine Air Alaska will deliver you directly to the Heli-pad located at Hotel Alyeska.
While dinner is available on the train, upgrading to GoldStar Dinner Service on the returning Coastal Classic train is worth considering. Due to time and cost- this option is recommended for those traveling back to Anchorage.
Consider our ULTIMATE Overnight stay on the Glacier with
a morning Helicopter pick up!
A custom/private buy-out guarantees your own personal guide. Whether 1 person or a family of 5- the buy-out rate is the same. You
can reserve this exclusive, custom request here.
Morning Coastal Classic train options are now available on specific 2017 dates only:
May 30th, June: 5,6,7,13,19,20,21,27. July: 3,4,5,11,17,18,19,25,31. August: 1,2,8,14,15,16,22,28,29,30. Sept: 5,11,12,13.
Departing Anchorage at 6:30am or Girdwood at 7:20am. Returning to Portage at 5:15pm or Anchorage by 6:30pm via motorcoach. Get 2 hours more time for
ice cave exploration!
- Gratuities for your awesome ice climbing guide
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK THIS SUPER POPULAR TRIP?
Due to high demand and limited space available we recommend reservations be made 1 year to several months in advance. Bookings made 1 week in advance of
departure date may be cancelled and fully refunded if we cannot accommodate. Our senior guides' schedule fill fast, so book early.
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.
DO YOU MAKE EXCEPTIONS?
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. 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.
Can my travel partners just watch?
YES! Glacier Hikers are welcome to watch ice climbers.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Yes... just read our Trip Advisor Reviews! Tours include top of the line paddling, glacier and ice climbing gear, world-class glacier and kayaking guide,
round trip train ticket to Spencer Whistle Stop, small ratios: (min: 2:1 max: 4:1- client to guide) and interpretive natural history, ecology and glaciology
discussions. A deli boxed lunch, snack and water is provided. Guests visiting Spencer Whistle Stop come away with better respect and knowledge about
glaciers, icebergs, kayaking and history of Alaska, not to mention cool photographs!
WAIT... WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL GLACIER ACCESS LOGISTICS AGAIN?
There are two different trains involved on this trip. Due to glacier melt from global warming, we now only use kayaks or helicopters to access the ice.
After a cool train ride to the Spencer Whistle Stop, ice climbers load onto a shuttle for a 1 mile drive to AP’s kayak cove at the edge of Spencer
Lake. After a paddle talk/ kayak briefing, groups of 4 or less paddle their sea kayaks 1 hour and 1.5 miles across Spencer Lake, enjoying outstanding
up-close views of the Glacier and Icebergs floating in the lake.
Groups land the kayaks on shore for a short off trail (rugged terrain) walk to gain access onto the glacier. At the glaciers’ edge clients gear up
with helmets, harnesses and crampons. After safety lessons and crampon practice by skilled and experienced climbing guides, clients travel onto the
glacier and have about 2 hours to Ice Climb near blue ice, crevasses, caves and moulins. The 6 hours spent off the train, includes many photo and rest
stops to learn about interesting local wildlife, history and glaciology. AP maintains a weatherport shelter for safety and gear storage at Spencer.
We actually flag down the Coastal Classic train at 8pm- and usually enjoy a nice dinner on board.