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“EXTREME ICE”

St. Elias Alpine Guides Day Adventures
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in McCarthy
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Explore Alaska's largest national park with the local experts, based in Wrangell-St. Elias since 1978. We offer half and full-day glacier hikes, ice-climbing, alpine hikes, fly-in hikes and rafting. We also feature wilderness adventures such as trekking, backpacking, rafting, skiing and mountaineering courses & expeditions. Our professional, personable guides love to share their in-depth knowledge of this magnificent wilderness!
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“EXTREME ICE”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2012

Our small group of three, traveled to McCarthy,AK in August 2012 where we retained the St. Elias Alpine guiding service to lead us into the backcountry of Wrangell/St.Elias NP. This tour was by far the most unique and varied trip we have had in recent memory. Under the capable direction of our guide, Lucas, we were fortunate to view incredible mountain scenery , experience.. wildlife, ice caves, kayaking among icebergs on Nizina Lake and multiple bush plane flights with aerial views of the Wrangell and St.Elias ranges. Following that, we traveled to Valdez where we sea kayaked with SEAG sister company Pangea and experienced the vast ice field of the Columbia Glacier in Prince William Sound.
I would recommend Lucas and SEAG for any activities in the park. Their knowledge and experience in such a remote and wild place is worth every penny you may pay for the service.
We visited two backcountry base camps.. Fan Glacier and Skolai Pass, each (4) days in length. These base camps allowed us to do day hiking as opposed to point to point backpacking.
In between those trips we did the day trek to Root Glacier and ice caves, and the kayaking on Nizina Lake .. again kayaking into ice caves within the actual Iceberg (a surreal experience).
The terrain is for the most part without trails and so is more difficult than the type you might encounter near home. Lucas made sure we managed to achieve our objective, always with a smile and encouragement for (3) middle aged baby boomers with compromised knees!!
I cannot say enough about his leadership and SEAG as a whole.
If you love mountain views, glaciers, and ICE, ICE, ICE go to Wrangell/St.Elias and experience the vast wilderness of Alaska!!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank TDOC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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San Francisco, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome (actualy definition of the word) St. Elias Lakina to Kennecott Lodge trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2012

You know those pictures you think have to be photo-shopped of backcountry wilderness? Well we have them on our camera phones, with no photo-shopping! For this trip we had wonderous and different views every day. Our guide was very professional and although I did more difficult terrain than I ever had previously, I trusted myself and the group to accomplish it based upon his experience and after proving ourselves on the first day. I also recommend the glacier hike and ice climbing with SEAG.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Cecilia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Glacier and Tundra Backcounty Trek”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2012

We went backpacking for 5 days with St. Elias Alpine Guides. The trip was absolutely stellar and I couldn't recommend them strongly enough. This park is stunning! Our guides (Lucas and Michael) did a great job helping us push our limits on the trek and providing good backcountry knowledge. We did not see anyone for the first 3 days of the trek and only one group in the distance on our 4th day. With the hiking on and near the glaciers, we only had one day with bugs.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Tom S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
290 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
“Great experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2012

I'm very comfortable in the outdoors doing many sports, but I am not confident around glaciers, so the day hike to the Root Glacier ice caves sounded fantastic. SEAG was very helpful in several ways. I was the only person signed up, but they still took me. And when my morning flightseeing was delayed, they were happy to wait for me.

My guide, Matt, was very friendly, and I enjoyed hanging out with him for a few hours. The caves were spectacular. I felt he took appropriate safety cautions without being over the top.

My only complaint (beyond wanting to be there longer) was the film crew that was in one of the caves. They acted as if they owned it - telling us "you must be silent" and generally being annoying. That has nothing to do with SEAG however.

In all, an enjoyable experience. I'd happily hire them for another trip at some point.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank kevin_from_AKandCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Amazing glacier experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2012

I was lucky enough to go ice climbing with St Elias Alpine Guides and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Our guides Nick and Mike were absolutely amazing, they really helped make the day. We started off with a nice hike to get the the glacier, then put the crampons on for a hike across the glacier to get to the climbing spot. Once there Mike and Nick set up the ropes, we had some lunch and they had bought a couple of thermos of hot water and tea/hot chocolate, which was really welcome. It was around 12:30pm before we started climbing and the ice climbing itself was fantastic - we did 3 climbs of various difficulty and every member of the group was catered to and helped through their climbs and fears.
Once finished up we asked Mike and Nick if we could go visit the ice caves, they willingly obliged and took us to an amazing cave, which was the icing on the cake of an already amazing day - I still can't believe the whole day was only $125, best value experience of my trip to Alaska!
Some tips:
1. Bring lunch
2. Wear layers and a windproof jacket. It was beautifully sunny for us and it did get a little steamy climbing in all those layers but when you're waiting your turn or the wind picks up it is freezing!
3. If you forget to bring gloves or sunglasses they have some extra pairs in the office you can borrow.
4. Bring and wear sunscreen, otherwise you'll get a lobster face!
5. Tip out the water you bring and refill with glacier water - best water ever!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Sail_far
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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