Matanuska Glacier Ice Climbing

Alaska Valley Glacier

Looking over the ice mounds of a valley glacier, the Matanuska

Glacier hiking is a “bucket list” item for many. Stepping foot onto a glacier for the first time is something that few are lucky enough to experience. The Matanuska is one of the few glaciers that can be easily accessed by foot. If you want the full experience, you should consider taking a Matanuska Glacier ice climbing trip!

The Matanuska Glacier is an active glacier that advances about a foot each day. Most Alaskan glaciers are smaller alpine glaciers that hang from mountain slopes. The Matanuska is a valley glacier. Therefore, it is naturally more accessible as well as quite large. It’s 24 miles long and 2 miles wide, on average. At the terminus, it reaches 4 miles in width. This means plenty of room to explore!

So Much to See, so Much to Do

Glacier Climbing Alaska

A guide belays a climber onto a huge ice wall

This glacier is full of interesting crevasses (large cracks in the ice), moulins (wide vertical shafts), and seracs (large blocks of ice). The Matanuska also offers a variety of climbing walls, ranging in difficulty. Your guide will give you professional instruction and then choose the best walls for you, depending on your abilities.

There is no previous ice climbing experience necessary, but you must have a decent level of physical fitness. Not only are you climbing ice walls, but you’ll also be hiking over bumpy terrain for over an hour to reach your climbing spot.

Normally, you’ll start on moderate ice slopes, so you can practice the basics. As the day progresses, your guides will help you hone your skills and move onto more challenging terrain. Matanuska Glacier ice climbing is a full day activity and can take around 8 hours. Lunch and snacks will be provided to keep you fueled throughout the day. So, if climbing over edges of ice walls sounds like an incredible adventure, get out there and try it! Is one day just not enough? That’s okay, click here to check out an overnight glacier camping experience. It takes you out by helicopter, drops you at a luxury camp setting right on the glacier, provides gourmet meals, and epic ice climbing!