Ice Climbing?

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#1
128 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
DH just told me he'd love to go ice climbing while on our cruise, more than anything else! We are going on the NCL Pearl 6/30-7/7/13, Juneau/Skagway/Ketchikan/Victoria. I didn't see any NCL excursions offering this and am not familiar w/all the other (good) tour operators. Can anyone recommend something for him? It can be something simple to even a bit more strenuous...DH is very physically fit (although no ice climbing experience ). Thanks!
#3
Omaha, Nebraska
144 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
I'm not sure how long you are in your ports and have no information or experience with this company, but I was able to google "Alaksa ice climbing excursions" and found Above and Beyond Alaska (www.beyondak.com) that offers a private Mendenhall Trek and Ice Climb. Hopefully this helps or at least gives you a place to start from.
#4
4,313 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Above and Beyond is a great company and they dont just do private tours. No flight needed - you get to the glacier by hiking to it. I thonk you need 5-7 hours for this hike.
#5
1,897 Posts
Joined May 2008
We actually did the glacier trek with Above and Beyond Alaska. You definitely need at least 7 hours. We departed the ship at 0830 and returned at 1629, with all aboard at 1630 for 1700 departure from Juneau. Our 12 year old did it much more easily than I did, but you'd need a private tour for your 8 year old. The youngest age for the group tour was 12.
#7
9,614 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by frugaltravel
Above and Beyond is a great company and they dont just do private tours. No flight needed - you get to the glacier by hiking to it. I thonk you need 5-7 hours for this hike.
From my email response from the company, the ice-climbing is only part of the private tour. I do believe I read where someone did get the chance on the regular tour, but it is not to be expected.

The standard hike needs 7.5 hours including travel times to and from port.
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#8
128 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Does anyone know of a company that runs tours like this out of Skagway? I have searched and searched but seem to only find trips out of Juneau, where our time is much shorter. Taking a helicopter flight to the glacier would be fine (and I assume the only option...prob no hiking to a glacier in Skagway?), as long as he gets to trek/ice climb on the glacier.

Thanks!
#9
Glendale, AZ
1,295 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by huskyguy
The good ice climbs are low-elevation waterfalls, so don't exist in the summer. You can do some short ones on the Level 3 glacier walks with Northstar Trekking in Juneau, though - http://www.northstartrekking.com/level_3.php
We have done the Level 2 with NorthStar and had a good time. Planning to do one out of Seward the next time with Exit Glacier Guides. http://www.exitglacierguides.com/hel...alaska_glacier
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#10
Syracuse, New York
50,125 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by jennyrivver
Does anyone know of a company that runs tours like this out of Skagway? I have searched and searched but seem to only find trips out of Juneau, where our time is much shorter. Taking a helicopter flight to the glacier would be fine (and I assume the only option...prob no hiking to a glacier in Skagway?), as long as he gets to trek/ice climb on the glacier.

Thanks!
The Laughton glacier is the only one with trekking, but it's a grueling hike, over boulders and the glacier is so so at best. My son went on this tour, in combination with the train. He did go privately which was the preference, but tours are offered.

Otherwise there aren't any fly in glacier trekking out of Skagway. Only recommendation is the level 3 with Northstar and that is a very limited portion of the tour.

Overall, the best option that I know of is to go private on Matanuska, which is loaded with climbing opportunities. Cheap and those without the climbing interest can easily just keep trekking in the vicinity.
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#11
1,714 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by huskyguy
The good ice climbs are low-elevation waterfalls, so don't exist in the summer. You can do some short ones on the Level 3 glacier walks with Northstar Trekking in Juneau, though - http://www.northstartrekking.com/level_3.php
I have requested pricing from northstartrekking twice now (for the level 1) and have had no response. Any idea on pricing?
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#12
128 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by Budget Queen
The Laughton glacier is the only one with trekking, but it's a grueling hike, over boulders and the glacier is so so at best. My son went on this tour, in combination with the train. He did go privately which was the preference, but tours are offered.

Otherwise there aren't any fly in glacier trekking out of Skagway. Only recommendation is the level 3 with Northstar and that is a very limited portion of the tour.

Overall, the best option that I know of is to go private on Matanuska, which is loaded with climbing opportunities. Cheap and those without the climbing interest can easily just keep trekking in the vicinity.
Looks like we won't be anywhere Matanuska
#13
128 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by tulsacubfan
I have requested pricing from northstartrekking twice now (for the level 1) and have had no response. Any idea on pricing?
At least for NCL, these are listed as shore excursions. They don't list them as 1, 2 & 3 but from reading the descriptions, it looks to me like level 1 is $399
#14
Syracuse, New York
50,125 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by jennyrivver
At least for NCL, these are listed as shore excursions. They don't list them as 1, 2 & 3 but from reading the descriptions, it looks to me like level 1 is $399
Level 1 would be the cheapest of the three. This is that pricing? Nothing I would recommend, hardly more than an independent "regular" landing, since that "hour" also includes the prep time.
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#15
Syracuse, New York
50,125 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by tulsacubfan
I have requested pricing from northstartrekking twice now (for the level 1) and have had no response. Any idea on pricing?
I never recommend this tour. Significant problem, it isn't enough time- IF your priority is trekking. You will barely get out, before you will be turning back. This tour also is taken by "everybody", including less fit, which means it is only going to move as fast as the slowest person. It is grossly superior to up the level, which does some weeding out. This is a costly tour that, hopefully you want a challenging experience. IF you just want a short trek, then just book the regular landing. They are a very nice option and with independent bookings, they have always been a little more generous in the time, compared to the tightly scheduled ship tours.
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#16
1,714 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by Budget Queen
I never recommend this tour. Significant problem, it isn't enough time- IF your priority is trekking. You will barely get out, before you will be turning back. This tour also is taken by "everybody", including less fit, which means it is only going to move as fast as the slowest person. It is grossly superior to up the level, which does some weeding out. This is a costly tour that, hopefully you want a challenging experience. IF you just want a short trek, then just book the regular landing. They are a very nice option and with independent bookings, they have always been a little more generous in the time, compared to the tightly scheduled ship tours.
Thank you so much!
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#17
128 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
While NCL doesn't specify their tours as the Northstar 1, 2 or 3, their descriptions match(and you can see a Northstar helicopter in some of the pics). And yes, that is the lowest priced of the 3! I also tried to contact Northstar without any response. I was wondering if they only operate through the cruise lines since they do have excursions listed on the cruise line web sites and are not responding to emails.
#18
128 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by Budget Queen
I never recommend this tour. Significant problem, it isn't enough time- IF your priority is trekking. You will barely get out, before you will be turning back. This tour also is taken by "everybody", including less fit, which means it is only going to move as fast as the slowest person. It is grossly superior to up the level, which does some weeding out. This is a costly tour that, hopefully you want a challenging experience. IF you just want a short trek, then just book the regular landing. They are a very nice option and with independent bookings, they have always been a little more generous in the time, compared to the tightly scheduled ship tours.


I don't know that Tulsacubsfan was looking for trekking? I was (the OP) for my DH and no, Level 1 would not be for him. I will say, I would enjoy some glacier time if we could fit ut in, while DH went more strenuous and I wonder if they could accomodate us both on the same trip (independtly, I asuume?) but with no response, I can't seem to find out.
#19
Syracuse, New York
50,125 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by jennyrivver
While NCL doesn't specify their tours as the Northstar 1, 2 or 3, their descriptions match(and you can see a Northstar helicopter in some of the pics). And yes, that is the lowest priced of the 3! I also tried to contact Northstar without any response. I was wondering if they only operate through the cruise lines since they do have excursions listed on the cruise line web sites and are not responding to emails.
Northstar is the ONLY trekking contractor, and yes they do book direct. Certainly you need to be aware that they may have certain contracts that prevent them from direct booking, if you outright mention you are arriving by cruiseship. However- you DO need to be accurate on your time in port, and go with their recommendation for scheduling.
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#20
Syracuse, New York
50,125 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by jennyrivver
I don't know that Tulsacubsfan was looking for trekking? I was (the OP) for my DH and no, Level 1 would not be for him. I will say, I would enjoy some glacier time if we could fit ut in, while DH went more strenuous and I wonder if they could accomodate us both on the same trip (independtly, I asuume?) but with no response, I can't seem to find out.
Look at the post, I was responding to the claim they were looking for the level 1 pricing. This reference is only for Northstar.

I would not recommend anything other than the level 3. Time out is too short as it is. Are you now considering a private trek? But they certainly could accommodate you both on a level 3. If you don't want to climb you can watch or do more nearby trekking.
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