Bigger than Switzerland and three times the size of Yellowstone, this U.S. National Park is part of the largest internationally protected ecosystem. Read more →
Kites enable skilled ski mountaineers to cover long, flat distances with relative ease. We use them on multi-day expeditions customized to your skills and goals. Let your human-powered journey to go deeper into the dream of entirely untracked terrain.
- On Request
- Custom Multi Day
- Begins In
- Anchorage or McCarthy
- Ends In
- Anchorage or McCarthy
- Contact Us
- Shuttle and Bush Plane
- Advanced, Expert
- Priced From
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“…I pull in on the right side of my control bar and look up to see my 12-meter kite bank hard in an upward arc. As it crosses into the power zone, I anticipate its pull and lean onto my ski edges. Centering my weight at an incredibly low angle to the snow, I lay down a large powerful turn. I revel in the delicate tension between the kite and gravity. Each wants to win the tug of war, but I am in control. The truce I dictate equals forward motion; a lot of it, sometimes exceeding 30-miles-per-hour. As the kite reaches the right side of the power zone, I pull left and repeat the orchestration in a perfect mirror image. Miles disappear behind me as we begin our 20-day crossing of this expansive ice-field…”
- Excerpt from Evolution of a Revolution by Eli Potter and Karen Hilton. Published in Snow Kiting Magazine, Fall 2008.
As with all Wild Alpine adventures, the itinerary for your next snow kiting adventure is entirely unique and customized to your goals. Go deep into the mountains for multiple days traversing glaciated landscape or stick to road-accessible terrain for a single day out.
Recommended Single Day Schedule
9:00 am: Meet your guide in Anchorage or Girdwood.
10:00 am – 10:30 am: Arrive at touring terrain and suit up.
10:30 am – 1:00 pm: Morning session skills review and custom clinics.
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Afternoon session, custom clinics and free skiing.
6:00 pm: Return to Anchorage or Girdwood.
About the Area
Active and dormant volcanoes, historic settlements, and abundant wildlife characterize this great region. Read more →
One of the world's great ranges, on par with the Andes and Himalaya. Read more →
What is the difference between National Park and Preserve?
A National Park is an area of unusual scenic or historic interest owned by the federal government and administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conserve the scenery, the flora and fauna, and any natural and historical objects within its boundaries for public enjoyment in perpetuity. A national park usually has more than one type of national significance.
A National Preserve is similar to a National Park, but allows other human activities to occur, such as sport hunting. ANILCA directed that preserves be administered “in the same manner as a national park…except that the taking of fish and wildlife for sport purposes and subsistence uses, and trapping shall be allowed.” Future access to Dall sheep for sport hunting and protection of certain visitor corridors from hunting were some of the controversial issues involved in drawing the boundaries between Park and Preserve
Where did the park get its name?
Wrangell-St. Elias is named for two of the mountain ranges that form its rugged backbone. The Wrangell Mountains were named after Baron Ferdinand Petrovich von Wrangel (1796-1870), who was a Russian Naval officer, arctic explorer, and government administrator. He was a governor of the Russian colonies in Alaska (1829-35), director of the Russian American company (1840-49), and minister of the navy (1855-57).
The St. Elias Mountains were named by explorer Vitus Bering (1681-1741). Bering was a Danish explorer in Russian employ that was selected in 1725 by Peter I to explore far NE Siberia. In 1728 Bering oversaw the exploration and mapping of the far reaches of Siberia and headed an expedition across the sea (which later was to bear his name) to Alaska. Bering sighted massive coastal mountains on July 16. The lofty summit of Mt. St. Elias was the first piece of Alaska mainland to catch Vitus Bering’s eye. That day was the feast day of the Saint Elias. The area where they made landfall was named for Elias. Eventually the mountain too came to be calledMount St. Elias.
How long has this been a Park?
Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument (10,950,000 acres) was established along with 16 other national monuments on November 16, 1978. The Alaska Native Interests Land Conservation Act (ANILCA) of November 12, 1980 established Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve (WRST) and nine other national parks, and designated 56,000,000 acres of wilderness, effectively more than doubling the acreage in the NPS and Wilderness Preservation System.
When did Mt. Wrangell last erupt?
Eruptive activity has been noted in Mt. Wrangell in 1784, 1884-5, and 1900. On clear, cold, and calm days, steam plumes are often visible.
What does it mean to be a World Heritage Site?
World Heritage Sites are “such outstanding universally recognized natural and cultural features that they attract the admiration and merit the protection of all people worldwide.” Wrangell-St. Elias and Glacier Bay National Parks, along with Kluane National Park and Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in Canada, form a World Heritage Site containing 24.3 million acres, the largest internationally protected terrestrial area on the planet!
When is the mountaineering season in Wrangell-St. Elias?
Typically, April through June is the optimal mountaineering season. Mt. Bona (16,421’), Mt. Blackburn (16,390’), Mt. Sanford (16,237’), and Mt. St. Elias (18,008’) are good candidates for your adventure. Local guide services are available.
What types of wildlife might I see in the Park?
While there is a vast amount of wildlife in Wrangell-St. Elias, opportunities to view it from your vehicle are limited due to dense brush and forest along the roads. Therefore, the best spots for viewing wildlife will be from alpine areas above tree line. Wrangell-St. Elias contains one of the largest concentrations of Dall sheep in North America. Look for them along rocky ridges and mountainsides. Moose are often seen near willow bogs and lakes. In the fall, bears and other animals may be sighted near salmon spawning streams. Other species of large mammals include mountain goats, caribou, moose, brown/grizzly bear, black bear, and even two herds of transplanted bison. Smaller mammals found here include lynx, wolverine, beaver, marten, porcupine, fox, wolves, marmots, river otters, and many small rodents. The coastal areas of the park are habitat for abundant marine mammals, including sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, porpoises and even whales.
Where does the Copper River begin and end?
The Copper River begins on Mount Wrangell at the terminus of the Copper Glacier and flows approximately 280 miles to its mouth at the Copper River Delta near Cordova.
Among Bona, Blackburn and Wrangell, which is most difficult to climb?
Of these three popular peaks, Blackburn presents the most challenging climb. It is the tallest of the Wrangell Volcanic Field and often goes years without seeing any visitors.
Read more at http://www.nps.gov/wrst/faqs.htm
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