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Ice Climbing

No experience needed!

Guest plus glacier access fee

Matanuska Glacier Ice Climbing

We’ve been teaching beginners since 1999. Here’s your chance to try out ice climbing on the Matanuska Glacier! A variety of climbing walls for most abilities, professional instruction.

A day of Ice Climbing with MICA Guides consists of a progression catered to the skills and endurance of the group.  Our professional guides will teach you the basic skills needed to climb on moderate ice slopes, and then help you refine your climbing techniques to move towards more challenging and spectacular terrain throughout the day. No previous climbing experience is necessary, although a strong level of physical fitness is required. This trip is best suited for people looking for the most challenging and technical glacial experience.

To reach the best climbing on the Matanuska Glacier you will need to hike over an hour on uneven terrain to reach the climbing sites. See details about the hike below.

All trip times are approximate and include travel time to and from the glacier. You’ll need lunch for this adventure!

*Our Ice Climbing fee does not include the Glacier Park Access Fee, which must be paid upon Check In at the MICA Base. The current fee is $35 per person but is subject to change; we have no control over this access fee.*

  • Minimum age: 12 years
  • 2-person minimum.

You are welcome to sign up as a solo climber but we reserve the right to cancel the tour if no other guests sign up.  Should this be the case we would give you 5 days notice and a full refund.  This rarely happens but you should understand that it is a possibility.

What to Expect

A full day on the Matanuska Glacier. This includes a demanding 2 mile one-way hike to the best climbing terrain, and 3-4 hours of ice climbing in which you can expect 3-4 climbs per person depending on group ability and pace. Your time climbing vs. moraine hiking depends on group ability and pace. The best way to maximize climbing time is to book a custom trip.

Some down time during which your guide will be building anchors and other group members will be climbing.

An introduction to climbing gear and proper climbing techniques (climbing boots, crampons, helmets and ice tools provided by MICA Guides)

Progression of climbing throughout the day, from beginner bouldering to more challenging and physically demanding walls.

The majority of climbing terrain requires lowering into glacial features such as a moulins (deep shafts in the ice) or glacial canyons. Guests on this trip should not be afraid of height exposure.

About the Hike

We’ve learned that climbing and any technical exploring using rope systems in “the backcountry” offers a superior experience for our guests.

Access to the backcountry requires a demanding 2 mile hike over uneven glacial moraine to the best climbing terrain the Matanuska has to offer.

Depending on your group’s ability and pace, this hike takes approximately an hour to an hour and a half and involves walking over loose rocks, muddy ice, and steep slopes.

While strenuous, this hike allows our groups to escape the larger crowds on the lower glacier and access some of the most dramatic terrain the Matanuska has to offer.

Of course safety is our top priority so if your Guide determines that you or your group may not make it to the backcountry and return in a reasonable time the trip will be adjusted and will not include climbing, rapelling or any use of ropes.

We’ll do our best to provide an enjoyable glacier experience but no refunds or price adjustments will be made.

What to Bring

For Ice Climbing we require you to have:

  • A small backpack with room for gear. If you don’t have one, we have some available for you to use!
  • Long Pants
  • Sunglasses
  • Long sleeve shirt, preferably not cotton
  • Long synthetic or wool socks

Plastic mountaineering boots are provided from mens sizes 4-14. Please advise us in advance of your trek if you need a size at the large or small end of this range. Please bring your own hiking boots that cover your ankles if you have them, as they are needed for the approach to the climbing areas.

Our recommendations on clothing and gear:

  • Quick dry clothing (not cotton). Usually a good pair of hiking pants works great. Ski pants and jackets are not necessary
  • Tall socks
  • Rain gear, even if it isn’t raining
  • Liner gloves
  • Extra warm layers
  • Lunch, snacks, and water or a packed lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera

What NOT to bring

  • Bear Spray
  • Fire Arms
  • Alcohol

Book today and receive a coupon for 35% off our Extreme Zip Adventure after purchase!