Alaska is big, really big. Sometimes it’s a little windy and wet up here; sometimes is a bit cold too. Lately, it’s even been hotter than usual during the summer and fall months! All in all, Alaska is predictably unpredictable. And we want you to be prepared.
All participants on Wild Alpine adventures and trainings – regardless of length – are required to read and understand a few things, first. We invite you to read through our protocol and policies found here and on your Registration Form. Still have questions? Ask away, we’re happy to explain.
Wild Alpine strives to create a comfortable learning environment. We will never challenge you beyond your reach and we encourage you to use your personal discretion at all times. It is up to you to communicate your level of comfort with your guide. Guides will manage hazards such as route navigation and where appropriate, avalanche avoidance. Everyone is expected to respect the safety protocol and follow guide instructions during their adventure. You can expect to travel over glaciated terrain with a climbing harness on at all times. On adventures that require bush plane travel, we insist on your full attention to flight protocol.
Wild Alpine guides are fully equipped with wilderness medical training and emergency first aid appropriate to the environments in which they travel. All guides carry a SPOT GPS Messenger and/or a satellite phone.
Wild Alpine endorses the Leave No Trace ethic and adheres to bear safety protocol outlined by the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Travel over delicate tundra and wilderness campsites are managed to minimize impact.
Above all else: a safe adventure is a successful adventure.
Trip registrants are responsible for their own well-being. This includes good health and strong physical condition. Registrants joining any adventure, training or other expedition may be required to obtain a physician’s release prior to departure. Wild Alpine LLC’s acceptance of a Registrant, whether or not a physician’s release was required, in no way implies that Wild Alpine, LLC has determined that the Registrant is fit for a particular adventure, training, or other expedition. It is the Registrant’s sole responsibility to determine whether he/she is fit for the particular adventure, training or other expedition. Registrants are responsible for: knowing all pre-departure information, preparing proper equipment and clothing, conforming to basic standards of personal hygiene (to minimize the risk of travelers diseases) and acting in a considerate manner toward all group members and with respect for local customs. Registrants also agree to follow the appropriate Leave No Trace practices. Registrants are prohibited from using illegal drugs and alcohol while on Wild Alpine adventures, training and other expeditions. Registrant gives their consent for Wild Alpine, LLC to use their photograph, likeness and/or voice to be used in its publications, including its website.
The air carrier will not be held responsible for any act, omission or event while the passenger is not on-board the designated aircraft or terminal conveyance. Passenger/Airline contracts stand in effect while the passenger is on-board each particular aircraft. This applies to all carriers.
Loading / Unloading Bush Plane Protocol
Be on time. Be attentive. Follow instructions. Clients on plane-access skiing day trips: keep climbing skins off in the morning. You will have time to put them on once you are in the mountains. Have your personal food and water ready and stored in your backpack. Pack only what you need for a day tour. Leave extras behind. Strap skis and poles together. We recommend using a Voile strap for easy handling and to avoid losing gear. Backpackers and day hikers: keep your gear organized, no loose straps hanging off your backpack. Follow specific instructions from your guide and pilot pertaining to Bear Proof Food Containers, fuel, and other items as you load and unload the aircraft.
Combat Motion Sickness
Clients on plane-access adventures or training should anticipate some air turbulence. If you are concerned, we suggest consulting your physician about medications and their possible side effects. There will be limited over the counter motion sickness medication available from your guide. Some people find that ginger pills, tea or candies can help alleviate nausea.
Weather, Snowfall, Storm Days on Skiing / Climbing Adventures Above the Firn Line
Our staff of professional guides are trained avalanche forecasters certified by the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education. Their job is to keep a close eye on weather and conditions so you don’t have to. Temperatures fluctuate and snowfall changes dramatically throughout Alaska and even between valleys in the same mountain range or sub range. While history tells us early April temperatures range from a high of 50F with bluebird skies in the day to as low as 0F at night in the Wrangells, we cannot guarantee such good fortune. Aided by fixed-wing aircraft, it’s easier to find good snow and skiing conditions on our wilderness lodge or plane-access ski touring trips. High alpine zones receive snowfall year-round.
On Andrew McLean’s Wilderness Ski Week and other adventures based at Ultima Thule Lodge, we can generally find good wilderness touring conditions in any direction. From time to time, the airplanes will be grounded due to weather. “No-Go” calls are made after breakfast. In the case of a no-go, you are welcome to spend the day as you like: reading, hiking, taking photographs, cross-country skiing or curling on the Chitina River. Rest assured that bad weather brings fresh powder to the surrounding mountains for the next big lines!
It’s not uncommon that adventures or training involving travel by bush plane will experience some form of delay. Reasons for delay can include but are not limited to weather, aircraft or pilot schedules or other events out of the control of Wild Alpine, LLC. Sometimes these delays last only a few minutes, sometimes they stretch over the course of a few days. While Wild Alpine, LLC and our air taxi partners do our best to maximize your time in the mountains, it’s imperative that our clients approach Alaska with a respect for wilderness, the truly unpredictable nature of remote operations.
Note: Wild Alpine, LLC is not responsible for additional fees incurred during delays into and out of the mountains. These include hotels, food, transportation fees incurred on commercial carriers operating in and out of Alaska.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Wild Alpine highly recommends purchasing trip cancellation insurance immediately after booking with us. This type of insurance may cover costs if you are unable to participate due to personal emergency, personal or family medical reasons, or if you are forced to cancel or to be evacuated. Wild Alpine is not responsible for costs associated if you require evacuations for medical or non-medical reasons. Examples of these costs are: non-refundable airplane tickets, air evacuations, and reservation costs. We also recommend checking that your medical insurance covers air evacuations. If you are traveling internationally, confirm that your medical insurance will cover you overseas. Wild Alpine is not responsible for the insurance policy that you may choose or not choose to purchase. Please feel free to check with your travel agent or insurance provider for additional options. We recommend Travel Guard, Travelex, and InsureMyTrip.com.
Payment, Cancellation & Refund Policy
Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Wild Alpine, LLC (“Wild Alpine”) must adhere to a stringent refund policy. Specific program cancellation and refund policies may supersede those enumerated below.
• Deposit: 50% deposit is required to guarantee a reservation if the trip is more than 30 days away, full payment if less than 30 days away
• Each deposit, regardless of amount, includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee.
• Balance: Remaining balance must be paid 30 days before the start of the adventure or training unless otherwise specified
• Full refunds, less registration fee, will be provided 90 days prior to departure date.
• 50% refunds will be provided 60-89 days prior departure date.
• No refunds will be provided 59 days prior to departure date.
• Clients whose balances are not received by the 90-day deadline as stated above risk forfeiture of their reservation and are subject to late payment fees.
• All refund requests must be made in writing and be received in our office within the 90-day period, as stated above.
• Personal information including credit card is never shared. Our payment systems are secure.
• Please check back for policy updates.