Ice Climbing & Glacier Trekking

Explore and climb on one or more unique glaciers outside Haines, Alaska. Deep blue ice walls and seracs offer a once-in-a-lifetime glacier ice climbing experience and glacier trekking.

Trip Photos

  • Glacier Trekking on the Davidson Glacier near Haines Glacier Trekking on the Davidson Glacier near Haines
  • Climbing out of a crevasse on Flower Mountain Climbing out of a crevasse on Flower Mountain
  • The walls and seracs change every year with a variety to choose from and varying heights and steepness The walls and seracs change every year with a variety to choose from and varying heights and steepness
  • Trekking higher up onto the Davidson Glacier Trekking higher up onto the Davidson Glacier

Trip Notes

Location: Alaska/Yukon
Meeting Point: Haines, AK
Destination: Davidson Glacier
Duration: 3, 5 days
Price: $720, $1050 (+ tax, in USD)
Activity Type: Rock/Ice
Season: May, June, July, August, September
Guide to Guest Ratio: 1 to 3
Difficulty Level: 3 out of 5
Paperwork Required: Registration, Health Form, Risk Acknowledgment
Related Trips:

Trip Description

Explore incredible ice climbing access on the Davidson Glacier

With its close proximity to town, the Davidson Glacier offers ice climbing throughout the spring and summer season in Alaska. Our experienced climbing guides will help you explore the amazing features of the glacier with climbs for all ability levels.

HAINES: Haines is a small community at the northern end of the Inside Passage. Regular flights are available from Juneau daily, ferry service is also available to get you here.

DAVIDSON GLACIER: Unlike waterfall ice, glaciers offer a consolidated ice that climbers find easy to sink their tools into. The climbing found on the Davidson Glacier offers several walls for different ability levels. From lowering into a moulin to climbing a steep, slightly overhanging wall of ice, our guides will ensure you are having fun and being challenged at the same time.

OUR GUIDES: Alaska Mountain Guides instructors and guides are professionals. They bring a wealth of experience from guiding throughout Alaska, and the world, to every trip. All of our guides are also climbing instructors who genuinely enjoy sharing their knowledge. Their skill and experience ensure our guests the best possible experience during their trip. Your safety and enjoyment are their primary goals.

Trip Itinerary (in a printable PDF format)

Below is a sample itinerary based of a 5 day trip:

Day 0: Arrive in Haines for a pre-trip orientation in the evening (typically 6:00PM). Lodging and meals on your own.

Day 1: We’ll launch along the Chilkat Peninsula and take a boat over to Glacier Point. From there we’ll hike in along mostly lowland rolling terrain about two miles towards the glacier. After setting up camp it may be possible to head up to the glacier in the afternoon (depending on time)

Days 2-4: We’ll spend each day exploring various features on the glacier and getting as much time climbing as possible. Guides will be available to offer instruction and work on your climbing technique.

Day 5:  We’ll break camp and make the most of the time remaining up at the glacier. The boat will pick us up in the late afternoon and return us to town.

What is the weather like in Southeast Alaska? What are the best months to go?
Weather in Southeast Alaska, is often associated cool temperatures and frequent rain fall. May and June offer the least average rain fall of any months, with July and August precipitation steadily increasing up to the rather wet September and October. Day time temps are in the 50’s and 60’s more often than not with cooler temps when we’re around the glacier. Guests are encouraged to bring extra warm layers, hats, and gloves – even in the summer it can be very cold on the glacier!

What is the Camping like? Are there any facilities?
We’ll establish a base camp close to the glacier, from there it will be a 30-45 min hike each day to access the ice. In an effort to preserve the pristine environment we’ll pack out our solid waste.

How much climbing will we do each day?
The desires of the group largely control how much climbing is done. We will typically set out in the morning and stay up at the glacier all day, taking our lunch with us. In between climbing, optional glacial trekking to explore other parts of the glacier and unique formations in the ice may be possible.

What type of food will we eat on the trip? Can you handle special dietary needs?
Although we use NO freeze-dried or pre-prepared meals, you can expect to each eat meals with bases such as rice, pasta, and other grains on a nightly basis. Fresh vegetables are served on most days, and canned and smoked meats and fish add a great source of protein. Meals will be very similar to what you would cook at home, and we definitely aim to please with interested and varied menus and good presentation. We are also happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions and preferences.

Do I need previous climbing experience for this trip?
No previous climbing experience is required, but some basic conditioning and training is strongly recommended. We can suggest a training plan and conditioning tips to help make a successful and rewarding trip. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns over fitness levels needed for our trips.

How difficult will this trip be? What physical fitness level do I need for this trip?
Physical conditioning before your trip will increase your enjoyment. You must be prepared to help carry personal and group gear during the hike in and on our way out from the glacier. The terrain leading up to the ice is rocky, uneven and may be slippery – footwear with high ankle support is required. If you don’t normally follow a fitness or exercise regime, we recommend beginning one now. Incorporate activities that build up arm and core strength and flexibility. In climbing, it is more important to be have good overall stamina and be flexible rather than a strong upper body.

Trip Documents:

Price: $720, $1050(+ tax, in USD)
2018 Dates: Weekly from May 1 - Sept 30
2019 Dates: Weekly from May 1 - Sept 30

What is included in the trip price:
  • Climbing & camping gear – group camping equipment, tents, technical tools, rope, ice protection, etc…
  • Expedition food – all meals while out in the field
  • Transportation during trip – travel to our launch area, boat transfers
  • Professional guides – Our guides have extensive knowledge of the area and a passion for sharing their love of climbing.
Guests are responsible for the following:
  • Personal clothing & equipment – review the equipment list included under “Documents”
  • Food & Lodging in town – Haines has a variety of great hotels & restaurants
  • Trip insurance – we highly recommend trip insurance for all of our programs
  • Airfare – review the “Travel Information” under “Documents” for more details
  • Reviewing trip policies – please reference our policies page for policies regarding payment, cancellations, refunds and guest responsibilities.
  • Gratuities
To Book your adventure, follow the steps below:
  1. Please call to confirm availability at 1-800-766-3396 or fill out an online form to request more information via this link:
  2. Place a $250 deposit to reserve your spot: this can be place over the phone by credit card, check in the mail, or through our payment gateway.
  3. Once you’ve reserved your spot, you’ll receive a welcome packet with all the necessary registration forms and trip information.
  4. We kindly ask that you submit all of the necessary trip registration information at least 45 days prior to your trip.

Feel free to call or email anytime if you have questions about your upcoming trip. Our team is excited to help you prepare for your adventure!

Guest Comments:

The guides and climbing on the Davidson Glacier were great! I always felt safe, even travelling through the rocky, uneven terrain leading up to the ice. Alex was a natural leader, his calm and friendly demeanor were a joy to be around. Highly recommend this experience!
– Jay F.