Take off in a helicopter for the thrilling experience of aerial flightseeing through the Chugach Mountain range. Then land on a glacier, donning crampons and a helmet, and safely explore the blue ice. It’s an exciting, educational half-day trip that you won’t forget!
This awe-inspiring excursion begins in Girdwood. You’ll take off in the helicopter and fly over areas inaccessible to anything but aircraft offering incredible views of mountains and surrounding glaciers out every window. You’ll then land on Spencer Glacier where an Ascending Path guide will take your small group (6 people or less per guide) to witness breathtaking ice features. Discover blue ice, hidden ice caves, crevasses and vivid deep blue pools of water. Learn how glaciers carved the landscape and how they’re affected by climate change. It’s an experience that’s simply not possible without a helicopter!
For even more adventure, add-on the unique experience of ice climbing. Get expert instruction from your guide, grab your ice-climbing ax, mountaineering boots, ropes and hardware for this top-rope climbing experience. Then start scaling the wall of ice like a Rockstar!
Both trips include a deli boxed lunch, bottled water and snacks.
About Ascending Path
The owners of Ascending Path, Matt and Heather Szundy, live the business. (In fact, they met on an ascent of Denali!) Matt and Heather have spent their adult lives exploring, from Nepal and New Zealand to Antarctica and Alaska. Matt has guided for Hollywood film crews, acted as a stunt double for ice climbing films – and was even called on by the White House to guide President Obama on a 2015 trip to Exit Glacier.
Here are some of the reasons Ascending Path is the go-to guiding company for so many:
Ascending Path is one of three permitted operators at Spencer Whistle Stop in the Chugach National Forest. Ride the train to the Spencer Whistle Stop and then travel by van for closer access to the Spencer Glacier. Ascending Path nurtures relationships with clients and local partners – such as the Alyeska Resort, Alaska Railroad and Alpine Air – so that visitors can have convenient access to Alaska’s wilderness areas.
Accomplished and enthusiastic mountaineer guides
Ascending Path is the rare guiding company that employs expedition guides for day trips. Your adventure may be led by a guide who has summited Denali, kayaked on month-long ocean expeditions and/or climbed in the Himalaya mountains. Enthusiasm and love of the outdoors is something the Szundys look for in every guide they hire. So, when you opt for an Ascending Path guided trip, you’re guaranteed a fascinating adventure filled with tons of interesting facts (and maybe a corny joke or two).
Each hike offers a small group to guide ratio. Small groups have less impact on the environment and allow for maximum interaction between guests and guides. Having a fun, friendly and attentive guide can make a regular outing a spectacular day. Learn about glacier formation while kayaking or walking beside an iceberg-strewn lake. Discuss the uplift of coastal mountains and then identify wildflowers. Strap into a harness and crampons to learn about glacier hiking firsthand while viewing crevasses as you explore an ancient ice field. The pros here not only guide, but they teach and inspire - and with very small ratios, you won’t be lost in a crowd. Each trip is customized to your skills and interests. No previous experience is necessary!