Tours are offered by two local companies, St. Elias Alpine Guides and Kennecott Wilderness Guides. The rest of your day can be spent exploring the rivers, blue pools, canyons, and waterfalls of the Root Glacier. Your Alaska ice climbing adventure begins at our office in the historic copper mining town of Kennecott. Ice climbing and mountaineering are popular in addition to mountaineers and hikers training for future endeavors. It has a point of origination, like a river’s headwaters. Crampons are strongly recommended. Bartholomaus says he'd like to go back to Root Glacier again and do a good, long hunt for the moss balls that were tagged over a decade ago. Most Alaskan visitors will see a glacier, but here in Kennicott, you can actually hike onto the Root Glacier and explore the fascinating world of moulons, pressure ridges, fathomless blue water pools, and exquisite and mysterious ice formations. A hike up the Root Glacier and beyond toward the Erie Mine in Alaska's Wrangell St Elias NP and Kennecott country took us as close as we could get to the Stairway Ice Fall, which is the second largest ice fall in the world, and remains un-climbed. The Root Glacier can be very slippery and dangerous. A short, steep descent brings you right to an apron of grit-covered ice. Bears are present along the entire route. … Alaska Ice Climbing Itinerary. The Root’s source is the great ice fields of the Wrangell peaks. From there, it’s a 1.8 mile hike to the white ice of the glacier. (The trail continues up the valley, roughly paralleling the glacier.) According to a report from NPR, each ball resembles a soft, wet and squishy pillow of moss.The study’s authors believe that they develop from impurities on ice surfaces and represent a relatively rare phenomenon. The hike is entirely within the Wrangell-St Elias National Park, the largest National Park in the US, and one of the least visited. The Root Glacier hike is a rare opportunity to hike on a large, active glacier that is easily accessible by car. Notes: What to Pack for the Root Glacier Trail The ice pours out of the fields and then, like a waterfall, cascades over the steep … Hike to Root Glacier and Explore the Ice Caves. Posted by Brandon Sturm on December 05, 2018. For maximum safety, travel in groups, be noisy when you are walking, and never give any food to a bear. From the deck of our office, don’t miss breathtaking views of 16,390’ Mt. The Root, like all glaciers, is like a river. In 2006, while hiking around the Root Glacier in Alaska, glaciologist Tim Bartholomaus encountered something strange and unexpected on the ice … Words and photos by Coalatree Ambassador John Rosano. Glacier Hiking and Ice Climbing. Definitely the best glacier … Blackburn and the Kennicott Glacier as your guide fits you for a … Root Glacier is great for further adventures if you’re up for the challenge. On a map it’s easy to trace your finger straight from where I started in the town of Kennicott up Root Glacier to the base of the Stairway Icefall, but in reality you have to continually navigate around ice walls, fins, and crevasses, always searching for the nearest most gradual route available. The glacier moss balls are commonly referred to as “glacier mice,” and were the subject of a recent study published online in Polar Biology this month. In search of adventure, we started the drive from Anchorage, Alaska to McCarthy & Kennecott. Avoid walking along the edge of Root Glacier as rotting ice and swift, cold water are potentially dangerous. Because early melt usually leaves the Root snow free by the end of May, this access may offer one of Alaska’s best spring and early summer opportunities to explore a remote, wilderness glacier on foot. Reminds me of riding in Glamis . The deck of our office in the historic copper mining town of root glacier ice fall … Hiking! 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