Get out in the remote backcountry of Alaska and learn how to conquer a new skill! Taking the Matanuska Glacier Ice Climbing Tour with MICA Guides is one of the best offered in Alaska. By the end of the day you’ll feel accomplished and eager to conquer more ice climbing!
We have been on a few glaciers since taking this tour, but this was the most incredible experience. It felt incredible to be surrounded by glacier on all sides and we were excited about our newfound knowledge. Now, we want to keep practicing ice climbing in new places!
I’ve tried to answer all the questions you may have about the Matanuska Glacier Ice Climbing Tour. So, when you get out on the glacier, you’ll be prepared for your journey.
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Table of Contents
Matanuska Glacier Ice Climbing Tour Details
Quick Tour Info
Tour Provider: MICA Guides
Length: 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate, you must be fit enough to complete the tour with 4 miles of hiking and a couple hours of ice climbing
Things Provided: Ice Climbing Gear and Drive to the Glacier
What to Bring: Warm clothing, sunscreen, water, snacks and lunch
What is the Ice Climbing Tour?
The Matanuska Glacier Ice Climbing Tour Consists of three parts:
- Hiking 2 miles to the backcountry of the glacier
- Learning the fundamentals of ice climbing
- Taking turns ice climbing up the Glacier!
They will give you all the gear and a brief safety discussion before you go out on the glacier. Then, you’ll walk over the Matanuska Glacier (with crampons) about two miles to the climbing destination. Once you’re there, the guide will help you put on your gear ⛑ for climbing.
Then, they will go through each skill ⛏ one by one and allow you to practice. Finally, you will get to try ice climbing! Each person goes one by one and you’ll get coaching along the way. The guide will choose an easier path to start with and you’ll progress to harder areas as the tour goes on. It’s a fantastic tour!
Where is it located?
Matanuska Glacier is located outside of Glacier View, Alaska, which is about a 90 minute drive 🚘 from Anchorage and an hour from Palmer.
In order to get here, you have two options:
- You can drive from your location and park at MICA guides.
- Book an all inclusive tour with Planet Earth Adventures who will provide transportation to and from Anchorage.
Do I need experience Ice Climbing?
No, you do not need to have any experience to try ice climbing!
Although, this tour does require a bit of athleticism 💪🏻, there is no need for prior knowledge or experience. My husband and I had never been on a glacier before and we had a fantastic time on the tour.
But, you will need to be in relatively good shape or fit enough to complete the tour. It requires 4 miles of hiking 🥾 in total (2 there and 2 back) and you will be using your arms and legs a lot to climb the glacier!
Should I bring my own gear?
All you need to bring is warm clothes that will make sure you’re comfortable for hours on the glacier. MICA Guides will provide all of the technical gear and safety equipment that you will need on the tour.
However, it’s important to know that you will have to carry your own gear out to the glacier. Which means that you need to be comfortable walking with a large pack 🎒 on your back, while hiking over a glacier. Don’t worry though they will provide crampons to walk with so you’ll have better traction!
What should I pack?
Even during the summer, areas surrounding glaciers can be very cold. First of all, you’ll be walking on ice and secondly wind 💨 can make the air feel chillier.
The most important thing you need is to pack waterproof layers and bring plenty of sunscreen 🧴! While you’re climbing, sun will reflect off the ice and can cause bad sunburns even on cloudy days.
Matanuska Ice Climbing Packing List:
- Comfortable Hiking Boots (But they will also provide a pair)
- Warm Socks
- Water Resistant Athletic Pants
- Base Layer
- Warm Hat
- Gloves – For hiking, they will provide durable ones for climbing
- 1 Liter of Water – You can refill water on the glacier
- Snacks and Food -Lunch is not provided
- First Aid Kit
- Rain jacket
- Light winter jacket
Trying out Ice climbing on Matanuska Glacier was the most incredible experience. If you are adventurous and athletic, then I highly recommend this tour! The regular tours walking around the glacier are fun, but they are not as unique. Plus, this tour is only $100 more and you leave it with a new skill✨. It was one of our favorite things we did in Alaska!
Let me know if you enjoyed this guide in the comments
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