At 15,300' and the highest point in British Columbia, Fairweather stands proudly just 10 miles from the Gulf of Alaska. This moderately technical Alaska expedition offers climbers a great initial step into high altitude Alaska mountaineering.
- Fairweather alpenglow from basecamp at 10,000'
- Descending from the summit with Mt. Watson in the background
- Climbers descending from the summit at about 13,800'
- On the summit ridge of Mt. Fairweather with the Pacific Ocean below
- Flying into basecamp of Fairweather
Mount Fairweather is located in the heart of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. It offers an outstanding initial big mountain climbing experience or an exciting new challenge for experienced climbers! The trip begins with a two-hour ski plane flight from Haines landing on the upper Grand Plateau Glacier.
In addition to climbing the Normal Route on the north side of the mountain, AMG also offers technical ascents of the Carpe Ridge, renowned as one of the fifty classic climbs of North America.
At just over 10 miles from the Gulf of Alaska, Fairweather is an Alaskan border peak, and the highest point in British Columbia. Fairweather is has one of the deepest snowpacks of anywhere on the planet. Our Fairweather expeditions take place between late April and early June to take advantage of typically clearer weather patterns and stable snow & glacier conditions.
We will fly onto the Grand Plateau Glacier and spend a couple of days acclimatizing before moving up higher on the mountain. The climbing on Mt Fairweather is moderate snow and ice climbing with some slope angles of 40-50 degrees and with challenging route finding and glacier travel. This Expedition lasts twelve days to allow for weather variability, and typically involves about 5-6 days of climbing.
HAINES: Haines will be the start and finish point for this trip. Haines is a beautiful town located where the mountains meet the sea in Southeast Alaska. A town of 2500 there are fun activities and places to visit before and after the climb. Haines can be accessed from Juneau via airplane or ferry.
GLACIER BAY: Mount Fairweather is located in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The 3.3 million acre park has snow-capped mountain ranges rising to over 15,000 feet, coastal beaches with protected coves, deep fjords, tidewater glaciers, coastal and estuarine waters, and freshwater lakes. Glacier Bay is one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the world.
THE NORMAL ROUTE: Depending on weather conditions we will fly to 8,000ft or 10,000ft above sea level on the Grand Plateau Glacier and spend a couple of days acclimatizing before moving up. The climbing on Mt Fairweather is moderate snow and ice climbing with challenging route finding and glacier travel. Typically there are pitches of 40-50 degrees on the upper ridge, with a some crevasse navigation requiring steeper technique. We typically establish a camp at 10,000′ initially, and then another camp at around 11,000′ from where we will make a bid for the summit. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your ability to participate in this expedition. This expedition lasts twelve days. The Carpe Ridge is a significantly more technical climb involving 5th class rock climbing, and ice climbing technique.
ITINERARIES & ALTITUDE: Our itineraries include ample time for rest and acclimatization days. They are designed to provide participants with a positive high altitude experience!
OUR GUIDES: Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School Inc. instructors and guides are professionals. They are special individuals who have a passion for being in the mountain environment. They bring a wealth of experience from guiding throughout Alaska, and the world, to every trip. Their skill and positive attitudes help our guests to have the best possible experience during their trip. All of our guides are also professional climbing instructors who genuinely enjoy sharing their knowledge. This is an important consideration for individuals who have not spent a lot of time at altitude and are interested in learning the safest, and most efficient ways to climb.
PULSE OXIMETERS: Pulse oximeters are small, precise, medical instruments that essentially give a digital readout of how you are acclimatizing. With this information we can make more informed decisions as to how we can best tailor the trip to meet your individual needs. We use them every step of the way, on every trip to altitude. In our opinion all high altitude guides should have one to help assure your safety!
The below itinerary is extremely flexible in order to accommodate different weather and route conditions. This trip is primarily an expedition summit climb and may be shorter or longer in length as weather and conditions permit.
Day 0: Arrive in Haines for pre-trip meeting at 6:00pm. We’ll go over your personal equipment and answer any questions that you might have.
Day 1: Flight into Mt. Fairweather. It is about a 1 hour flight from Haines. We’ll land at about 9,000ft on the north side of Mt. Fairweather and get camp set up. This is highly dependent on weather, so there might be same waiting involved until the weather is good enough to fly in.
Day 2: Acclimatization Day. We’ll spend the day acclimating and performing light exercise around camp to help us prepare for higher on the mountain.
Day 3: Move to High Camp. We’ll move closer to the mountain to a high camp at about 11,000 ft.
Day 4: Advance the route/acclimation hike. We’ll push up the route to about 13,000 feet on the ridge. Wanding the route, we’ll acclimate and prepare for the summit push.
Day 5: Rest day
Day 6: Summit day: From 13,000 feet to the 15,300 foot summit, we’ll navigate a series of seracs and crevasses. You’ll likely have stunning views of the Pacific Ocean along the west ridge. The normal route has moderate technical difficulties with steep snow and ice climbing.
Day 7: Descend to lower camp and prepare for departure.
Day 8, 9, 10, 11: Weather days. These extra days give us time to allow for weather on the mountain associated with flights or reaching the summit.
Day 12: Flight back to Haines.
- Trip Itinerary – Normal Route – Printable detailed trip itinerary.
- Trip Itinerary – Carpe Ridge – overview of more technical Carpe Ridge expedition
- Equipment List – Overview of personal clothing and equipment that you’ll need for this trip.
- Rental Gear List – Price and list of personal mountaineering clothing/equipment available for rent
- Registration Form – Outlines policies, and essential information. One required per participant.
- Health Form – This form enables our guides to have accurate health information in the event of an emergency.
- Acknowledgement of Risk Form – One required per participant over the age of 18.
- Travel Info – Helpful information on how to get to/from Haines, Alaska.
Price: $3900 (+ tax, in USD)
2018 Dates: May 20
2019 Dates: May 7, 24
What is included in the trip price:
- Climbing Equipment & group expedition gear – group camping equipment, tents, ropes, snow anchors, etc…
- Expedition food – all food while out in the field
- Transportation during trip – flights into Fairweather, van transportation in town
- Professional guides – Our guides have extensive knowledge of the area and a passion for climbing in wild places.
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 options
- 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.
To Book your adventure, follow the steps below:
- Please call to confirm availability at 1-800-766-3396 or fill out an online form to request more information via this link:
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!
Our guide Ben displayed great judgement, skill and fostered an enjoyable group dynamics on our 12 day expedition. Look forward to joining another climb in the near future.
- Al G.