Denali Via the Muldrow Glacier

*** Due to the tremendous surge of the Muldrow Glacier over the spring and summer of 2021, we are not offering this expedition until conditions on the glacier improve.

Any climb of Denali is a tremendous undertaking; however in response to a growing number of requests, we also offer the added challenge of attempting the mountain from the North Side. We have run two North Side expeditions in the past couple of years and both were successful. Our early season Sourdough team was the first party to reach the summit of Denali in 2008.

On a private, custom basis, we offer Denali climbs via the Muldrow Glacier Route. This is the same line of ascent taken by the Sourdough Expedition of 1910, although we will not follow their lead of dragging a 14 foot spruce pole up with us.

The North Side of the mountain is a place reserved for the most fit and committed of climbers. This is a remote setting to undertake an arctic expedition and it lacks the “safety net” offered by the NPS and the number of climbers on the West Buttress. This is a longer, harder and more committing expedition than the West Buttress that is somewhat more technical as well. The rewards for your efforts will be beyond words as tremendous vistas unfold beyond your feet and you tangibly recognize that you are traveling where few have ever trodden.

We typically send teams in by bus in early June, as planning to go any earlier is difficult, due to the seasonal road closures in the Park. Please contact us for details and a complete itinerary. For the ultra-adventurous, we are also offering a climb of the North Side with a dog sled approach. You can read about our Sourdough Expedition HERE.

What to Expect

*** Thanks to MT guide Dave Ahrens for the detail in our itinerary!

DAY 1: We’ll check in with the Rangers in Talkeetna before driving to the Park headquarters and to catch the bus to Wonder Lake through the amazing Alaskan backcountry. This is a great opportunity to see the wildlife and get a sense of the scale of the Alaska Range. You typically will see caribou, grizzlies, arctic wolves, owls, beavers, moose and a wide variety of birds. The bus is often filled with photographers and frequent stops are taken for photo opportunities.

DAY 2: We’ll leave our camp at Wonder Lake and walk two miles downhill to the McKinley River Bar, a mile-wide, braided maze of silt filled, bitter cold water. After crossing several braids you can thaw your feet out before heading towards Turtle Hill on a horse-worn single track made by the first expedition that is often shared with caribou. After cresting Turtle Hill it’s all downhill and around the many lakes perched atop the ancient, now green, moraines of the Muldrow Glacier. Our camp at Cache Creek is often a nice riverside camp with crystal clear running water.

DAY 3: We’ll cross Cache Creek and head towards McGonagall Pass. (It was here that my last trip encountered a grizzly that mounted up on his back legs to better inspect us, while we made as much noise as possible. He sniffed and growled a bit before heading off in the opposite direction. I guess he wasn’t totally bored with us, as he then shadowed us for most of the day from across the valley. As we slowly transitioned to the alpine realm, we eventually left the grizzly to his lush tundra.) We climb into the narrowing high valley of McGonagall Pass and encounter a typically snow choked gully with a dog leg corner which leads you to your first view of the mighty Muldrow Glacier and Mount Brooks towering in the distance. It’s here that you may feel the brisk katabatic winds so commonly moving down from these large Alaskan glaciers. After exiting the Pass, we’ll work our way up the lateral moraine to the cache of supplies laid by our dog musher friends and our first night on the Muldrow.

DAY 4: This is our first “cache day” or “carry day,” as well our initial interaction with our new friend, “sled.” After sorting through the cache over coffee we will head up the massive Muldrow glacier. The goal is to reach a nice camp spot below the Lower Icefall. We need to transport roughly half of our supplies to this spot and then dig a deep cache hole in the snow to guard against the ubiquitous ravens that are notorious for digging into and tearing apart less protected caches. It’s then a nice light hike back to camp. There are few crevasses to deal with on this day, as we are below the firn line and therefore some raw blue-ice glacier may be encountered.

DAY 5: Move day! We’ll follow yesterday’s trail, which we marked with bamboo wands and hopefully have a nicely beaten-in track to our camp at the base of the Lower Icefall.

DAY 6: This is an exciting day as we head into our first icefall and it provides a great introduction to glacier travel. There is often a less threatening passage along the right side of the glacier which follows a short broken route along the lateral moraine in order to avoid the more broken upper part of the ice fall. Once back on the glacier a weaving path avoiding cracks takes us to a flat area below the Hill of Cracks.

DAY 7: Move day…

DAY 8: Today we will establish a route to our last camp on the Muldrow. This day will test all the glacier travel skills you have honed over the past week. Our first challenge is to make our way through the, “Hill of Cracks”. This is a dynamic and ever-changing section of the Muldrow where the glacier flows over a large convex role, creating a maze of crisscrossing crevasses. Locating the path of least resistance that is completely dependent on snow conditions can make for an arduous passage through this tedious section.

Once through the Hill of Cracks, the Great Icefall towers above you. There is often a fairly direct route up via an obvious trough that weaves in and out of crevasses while huge seracs obscure much of your view. After a good amount of route finding, end running and some wide steps or jumps, we will arrive above the main mass of the icefall. Above this point we will travel up a gentle slope that works its way through some of the largest crevasses in the world and eventually leads to some compression zones below the Flat Iron, a large rock face coming of the prominent Pioneer Ridge. From this area, we will have our first view of the Harper Icefall which often is active. The large debris field stretching down glacier from its base is reason enough to stay away from this powerful formation. It is amongst these compression zones where we will establish our last camp on the Muldrow before heading up and onto Karstens Ridge.

DAY 9: Move camp through the slots and ice towers…

DAY 10: This day and the ones that follow offer some of the most amazing views of the expedition. Our first objective is to find a route onto Karsens Ridge. This can be a formidable challenge depending on glacier and avalanche conditions, and some steep snow climbing may be involved to reach the ridge proper. Once on the ridge you get your first glance of the Traleika Glacier some 2500ft below on the opposite side of the crest. We will work our way up the corniced ridge to a small camp. This ridge has changed more than any other part of this route in the past 10 years. There once was a shelf called the “Corral Camp” that offered ample camping, yet it has dwindled to a narrow exposed spot and no longer offers the once spatial and protected feel it once had. We will make a cache at the most protected compression offered that season and head back down to the Muldrow for one more night.

DAY 11: Move camp…

DAY 12: The amazing views continue as we work our way up the ridge with some running belays, leading to the bottom of the “Coxcomb,” a steep and avalanche prone section that leads to the top of Karstens Ridge. We often need to employ the use of fixed lines to get through this stretch. After reaching the top of Karstens Ridge we find ourselves at the 14,000ft Browne’s Tower camp overlooking the great Harper ice fall. This icefall is a stunning work of nature which at one point was nonexistent. Centuries ago, the Muldrow once continuously flowed all the way down from the 18,000′ Denali Pass. A glacial surge occurred, that separated the Muldrow from its upper reaches, which in turn became the Harper Glacier and separated the two by the aforementioned Harper Icefall. Here we will make a small cache and then head back down the Coxcomb with Mt Carpe and Mt Koven in the distance.

DAY 13: Move camp up and along the Coxcomb…

DAY 14: Today our goal will be to single carry onto the Harper glacier via a traverse across a steep and exposed slope. Once on the Harper we will continue to the climbers’ right side to avoid the large seracs of the first of two ice falls on the Harper. Once we make our way through the first ice fall we will establish camp below the second.

DAY 15: Move to High Camp! We will pass the second ice fall on right and head towards the 18,000′ Denali Pass separating the north and south summits of Denali. This is the camp from which we will make our summit attempt. It is a cold, exposed place and at 17,400ft putting in camp can be exhausting. With wind hammered firm snow it is often necessary to chisel platforms as opposed to digging them.

DAY 16: Rest and acclimatize before summit day.

DAY 17: Summit Day! Weather pending we will work our way towards Denali Pass where we will join the West Buttress route to the summit. While we have had numerous serious days before this point, this one is especially so. We need to have a good, clear day with low wind in order to mount a summit bid.

DAYS 18-19: Descend the West Buttress Route and fly out to Talkeetna!

***We have the possibility of descending the Muldrow Glacier route, which will add another 2-3 days to our descent.

Days 20-28: Contingency days

The following is a general list of required gear for climbing the North Side of Denali with Mountain Trip. Climbers joining us on an expedition will receive an updated, comprehensive equipment list that may supersede this list.

Many of the items on the list need to fit you well in order for you to fully enjoy your experience on the mountain. Please plan ahead with equipment purchased for your trip so you can be certain that your gear fits you well. Cresting McGonnagal Pass is not the place to discover that your pack is too small for your torso, or that your boots give you blisters. Recommended items reflect the opinions of our guides. We have used and have faith in all of our recommendations, but they may not necessarily fit or work for you.

Call or email us with any gear questions. We want you to be as prepared as possible for your expedition.

Please follow this list closely and do not hesitate to call us for clarifications or to solicit an opinion about anything you are considering. There is a good selection of gear available in Anchorage, but please plan ahead for things that you might need in a particular size, as local shops do not always have every item in stock. Lastly, only bring quality gear that is in very good condition on your expedition.

Print Equipment


GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Mountaineering Socks3 - 5 pairs of good wool socks. Try a couple of different weights as that will affect the fit of your boot.
OverbootsDouble mountaineering boots require overboots for the potential extreme cold of the upper mountain. We prefer snug fitting neoprene overboots, such as the ones from 40 Below. Overboots are required for the La Sportiva Spantik and G2 SM boots, but not the Olympus Mons. **these are available for rent in Alaska**
Mountaineering BootsModern Mountaineering Boots fall into two categories, traditional double boots and the newer triple boot systems with integrated gaiters. Either variety works well, however triple boots are lighter and arguably simpler. Whichever you decide to use, the goal is to have warm, comfortable feet! Try on a variety of boots as they all fit differently and get the one that fits well. Consider your future mountaineering objectives when purchasing boots as well. Remember double boots require overboots! With triple boots it is all built in.

Recommended Triple Boots: La Sportiva Olympus Mons, Scarpa Phantom 8000

Recommended Double Boots: La Sportiva Spantik or G2 Evo.

GaitersIf your pants fit tightly around your boot you do not need gaiters. Many modern boots have built in gaiters. They do help keep out water, and can prevent crampons from catching your pant legs.

Torso Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Expedition Down ParkaThis is an important layer so don't skimp! You do not need the heaviest 8000meter parka for peaks like Denali and Aconcagua, but you should have a warm, baffled parka with a hood.
Base Layer Top(1 or 2 sets) of Wool or Capilene light weight base layers. Long sleeve or short sleeve base layers work well.
Light Fleece HoodyLight/mid weight fleece (or wool) top with a hood. You will wear this over your light weight base layer.
Puffy Light Insulated JacketSize this layer to fit over your light fleece hoody and wind shell, and it is often layered underneath your expedition parka. Synthetic is easier to deal with and not worry about getting compared to a down filled layer. A hood on this layer in mandatory!*** Guides Tip! Use TWO lightweight puffy layers in the early season or if you are worried about being cold. A Micro or Nano Puff jacket with a Ultra Light Down Jacket or Vest allows versatile layering options.
Hard Shell JacketThis jacket should be large enough to go over your light puffy jacket layer. You do not need the burliest/heaviest Gore-Tex jacket you can find, and we prefer the lightest weight versions.
Soft Shell Wind JacketMany high alpine peaks are cold and dry. We are huge fans of very lightweight softshell wind jackets for high, dry, cold peaks. Weighing just a few ounces, these can be carried in your pocket or in the lid of your pack for rapid deployment. This layer is used in addition to your more waterproof hard shell jacket.
Vest (optional)A lightweight down or synthetic filled vest can be a nice addition and add some warmth with little weight. **This is an optional layer**
Sun HoodyA Sun Hoody is a great lightweight layer to help protect you from the intense UV at high altitude. It's a go-to layer for our guides, as it both keeps the sun off your skin and helps keeps you cool.

Leg Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Base Layer Bottoms(1 or 2 sets) of Wool or Capilene light weight base layers.
Light Fleece BottomsAs the air thins and the wind picks up, you'll want a bit more insulation on your legs. This should be a slightly warmer layer that can go over your base layer bottoms when it gets cold.
Soft Shell PantsSoft Shell pants are the workhorse in the mountains and you'll be wearing these day in and day out on most expeditions. On peaks like Denali and Aconcagua, you can wear them in lieu of your hard shell pants for much of the expedition.
Hard Shell, Waterproof PantsWhen it's raining a soft shell pant just isn't enough and you'll need a waterproof "hard shell" pant, meaning Gore-Tex or equivalent. These should be as light weight as possible. Fully separating side zippers will help you get them on without taking off your boots. On some peaks, you might carry hard shell pants for the lower mountain, but switch to soft shell pants for the colder and drier upper mountain.
Puffy Insulated Expedition PantsOn summit day or on a cold morning, you will need a warm layer that can go over your baselayers and softshell pants. This layer should be down or synthetic (ie. Primaloft) filled and must have fully separating side zippers. Practice putting these puffy pants on and taking them off while wearing your boots before you leave for your expedition.
UnderwearConsider synthetic or Merino wool for your underwear. Most longer trips, such as Aconcagua or Denali, typically require 3-4 pair, but choose your quantity based on your personal level of comfort.

Head and Hands

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Heavyweight GlovesWarm, insulated gloves are the day-to-day workhorses on cold peaks or for cold days of ice climbing. We prefer gloves with removable liners for ease of drying.
Medium Weight GlovesA mid-weight glove will generally be a softshell type glove with some light synthetic insulation.
Light Weight GlovesWhen the sun comes out on a glacier, the temperature can soar. Light weight, soft shell gloves are great for keeping the sun off your hands, while still giving you a bit of protection from the wind and cold.
Buff Neck GaiterBuff is a brand of light weight neck gaiters that have grown to become a staple of every guide's kit. These are amazingly versatile, and can be worn as a hat, a neck gaiter or pulled over your face for protection from the wind or sun. They come in many thicknesses nowadays, but we prefer the original weight for its versatility.
Summit MittensThick, warm mittens made from down, synthetic fill, or a combination of insulation are crucial for summit morning on many big, cold mountains. Most come with some form of retention straps, which can help reduce the chance of losing them to a gust of wind or in the event of a fall. Good mittens are expensive, but how much is one finger worth?
Warm HatBring one warm hat or two hats of different weights. Wool or fleece are fine, but your hat must provide ear protection from the cold.
Face CoveringCheeks and the tip of your nose are always exposed and easily freeze in a biting wind. Neoprene face masks do a great job of protecting those exposed surfaces. The Outer U FaceGlove can also be used for sun protection!
Sun HatBaseball type or wide brimmed sun hats are required for protection against the intense sunshine found on many peaks. You can combine a baseball hat with a BUFF for good sun protection or go for a wide brimmed version to protect your face, ears and neck.
Hand WarmersBring 4 -6+ sets of these disposable insurance policies, depending on where you are climbing. Make certain that your hand warmers are relatively new, as they do go bad over time.
Glacier GlassesGood, dark (Category 4) glacier glasses are a must for high altitude climbs. They must have side protection and filter 100% UVA and UVB rays.
Expedition Ski GogglesThese are necessary for use while traveling during storms or during really cold and windy weather. These must have double lenses and provide full UV protection. Fogging is a real challenge, so goggles that actively vent are worth the investment. Julbo's Aerospace or Airflux have a slick venting system or Smith makes battery-powered "Turbo Fan" models. Select a general purpose lens that will provide some protection in bright light, but not be so dark as to make them useless on a cloudy or flat-light day.
Nose GuardBeko makes nice nose protectors that keep the wind and sun from wreaking havoc on your skin.

Sleeping Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Denali Sleeping BagA good Denali sleeping bag should be down filled and rated between -20 F (-29C) to -40 F (-40C). If you sleep cold, consider the warmer bag. A Down filled sleeping bag is required, synthetic bags are not acceptable. Sleeping bag systems or over bags are generally a compromise and not recommended.Mountain Equipment makes some of the best down bags on the market, but can be hard to find in the US. Contact our friends at Jagged Edge in Telluride for custom orders!
Inflatable Sleeping PadInflatable pads have improved tremendously in recent years, they are the foundation of a warm and comfortable night!
Foam Sleeping PadBringing two sleeping pads, one closed cell foam and the other an inflatable pad, will provide additional comfort and insulation, as well as a bit of insurance in case you have a catastrophic failure of your inflatable pad.
Compression Stuff SackGranite Gear, Outdoor Research and others are all making nice, lightweight compression sacks. These are essential for sleeping bags and recommended for your summit clothes, such as your parka, mitts and warmest pants, so you might consider bringing two.

Climbing Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Ski / Trekking PolesAdjustable poles work great and are easier to travel with as they fit better in your duffel bag. The small “trekking” baskets on some poles are not large enough for use on soft snow, so make certain your poles have bigger “snowflake” style baskets for any climb with glacier or snow travel.
Ice AxeA general use, mountaineering axe is sufficient for this climb. Some axes are much lighter than others, so select for weight as well as a size for your height. Most climbers do well with a 60 - 75 cm axe. On less technical routes, a longer axe can act like a walking stick on flatter terrain.
Alpine Climbing HarnessYour harness should be adjustable enough to accommodate several layers of clothing. As with most items on this list, choose a light weight harness.
CarabinersBring eight regular (non-locking) carabiners. Please do not bring “bent-gate” carabiners, as these have certain limitations that do not make them appropriate for how we will use them. Mark your 'biners with colored tape for identification.
Locking CarabinersBring three locking carabiners. Screwgate or auto-locking 'biners work equally well, although the new magnetic gate versions seem like they might be less prone to freezing closed. Select light weight carabiners.
Accessory/Prussik Cord25-30 feet of 6mm-7mm accessory cord will be used to create a prussik, rig your ascender, and extra for setting up your sled for glacier travel. We will go over this in our pre-trip training.
Climbing HelmetMake certain it fits over your warmest hat and under the hood of your shell. The super-lightweight foam helmets are great, but can get crushed in your duffel bags during travel, so protect your lid!
CramponsSelect a pair 12-point Mountaineering Crampons that fit your boots well. Step-in or strap versions work equally well; just make sure they fit your mountain boots and overboots. You may need to lengthen your crampons to accommodate your overboots, please make sure you can make this adjustment in the field. Aluminum crampons are not acceptable for expeditions.
Primary Attachment Locking CarabinerFor your primary attachment to the rope, we will us a "triple action" locking carabiner. Triple Action (TriAct) carabiners will not come unlocked while you are traveling on the glacier. You only need one of these carabiners.

Glacier Travel

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
SnowshoesSelect lightweight snowshoes for your trip in a 22-28 inch length. The addition of a heel riser is welcome when ascending steeper hills, but is not necessary. You won't need optional, add-on tails, which add length to some models. We rent high quality MSR snowshoes, please contact the office to reserve!


GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Stuff SacksWe are fans of the very light stiff sacks made from Sil Nylon fabric. Bring enough for your clothes and personal items. Light, zippered stuff bags are really nice for toiletries.
Two (2) One-Liter Water BottlesYou will need two, 1-liter plastic water bottles. Please bring wide-mouth bottles, such as those from Nalgene, as these are much easier to fill than bottles with small openings.
Insulated Bottle Cover(s)Water bottles freeze when it gets cold. Crazy, but true! Extra clothing can help insulate bottles, but dedicated water bottle insulators do a much better job. Bring at least one.
Large Plastic BowlBowls are much easier to use and are much more versatile than are plates. Bring a 2-4 cup camping bowl or a plastic "Rubbermaid" style container for your mountain dining.
Insulated Cup or MugA 12 - 16 ounce (350-500 Ml) mug with an attached lid will help keep you hydrated. The Kleen Kanteen Insulated Bottle with the "Cafe Cap" is pretty nifty, as it is a mug and a thermos all in one!
Lexan SpoonA soup spoon made from Lexan will survive most trips and is more useful and versatile than a fork or even a "spork." Mark your spoon with your initials to keep spoon rustlers at bay.
Lip Balm (2 tubes)Protect your lips! Bring two tubes of high quality lip balm with SPF.
Sun ScreenSmaller tubes work well, as they are easier to keep from freezing than is one big tube. You'll want to bring 3-4 ounces (85 - 110g) for the trip.
Personal Medical KitMountain Trip's guides will have fairly comprehensive medical kits developed by our Medical Director, but we encourage each climber to bring a small, personal kit. Items to consider bringing include: blister treatment and prevention, pain relievers, and antacids. Presctiption medications should be based on consultation with your personal physician. Suggested drugs for altitude expeditions include: Diamox (acetazolomide) 125 mg, Decadron (dexamthazone) 4 mg, Nifedipine XR 30 mg, and a couple of antibiotics for respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
Journal (and pencil)Expeditions can be a great time for reflection and a journal can be a nice way to wax poetic or just keep track of what you did each day. Keep it small and leave the leather bound version at home.
Book(s) or E-ReaderThere is a lot of "down time" on an expedition, even when you have good weather. An expedition can be a good time to catch up on reading!
CameraMost climbers these days use their phone as a camera, but if you plan to bring a dedicated camera, consider a small, light weight point and shoot camera. If you are a photography buff and really want to bring a DSLR, plan for that extra weight with your training!
Altimeter WatchAn altimeter watch can be fun to have on an expedition to keep track of your ascent and to watch for changes in barometric pressure.
MapsOur guides will have maps and/or GPS devices, but a good map can be fun to have along.
LighterYour guides will have plenty of lighters, but it is nice to have one lighter per tent, as cord always needs to be cut and melted.
Small KnifeA small knife or small multi-tool is also handy to have. One per tent is sufficient. There is emphasis on the word small when it comes to multi-tools!
Satellite Tracking/Texting DeviceSatellite linked devices such as the Garmin inReach have been increasingly popular, as you can send and receive text messages with it. Again- consider how you will keep it powered over the course of your expedition. These new devices will allow you to send and receive text messages nearly anywhere in the world! It is a fun way to keep in touch with the family and let them follow along on your journey. They are not required, and Mountain Trip guides carry several forms of communication devices including satellite based communications that we can use in case of an emergency situation.
Several Good Jokes!"A Moose walks into a bar..."
SunscreenThe sun can be intense at altitude. Bring one small tube for use while climbing and one larger tube for use while not on route.

Refunds and Cancellations

Mountain Trip recognizes how difficult and disappointing it can be for climbers who must cancel expeditions which they have planned for a long time. Team members must also recognize that, due to the nature of planning expeditions and dealing with governmental permits and regulations, Mountain Trip also accrues significant expenses in the months prior to expedition departure dates.

This trip, in particular, requires a higher degree of commitment from our climbers.  Muldrow Glacier trips require us to pack for the trip in January, and pay for several flights to position those supplies for the dogsled freight operator to mush onto the Muldrow Glacier.  We must therefore adhere to a strict refund policy for all climbers. Trip cancellation and travel insurance is generally available for all expeditions. U.S. and Canadian residents should contact us for more information regarding travel insurance. Our refund and cancellation policy is outlined below.

• Muldrow Glacier expeditions require a non-refundable, $3500 deposit to secure a spot on the team. Your submission of a deposit constitutes your acceptance of this Fee Schedule, Refund and Cancellation Policy.

• Final payments for expeditions must be received by January 1st prior to the expedition.

• Failure to pay expedition fees by the date they are due constitutes cancellation of your spot on the team and forfeiture of your deposit.

• Any cancellation prior to January 1st will be refunded in full, less the non-refundable deposit.

• No refunds will be provided for cancellations occurring after January 1st, prior to the expedition.

• All requests for refunds must be made in writing and received in our Colorado office.

• Due to the extensive pre-trip logistics, we must organize this climb well in advance of the climbing season.  We encourage anyone interested in this climb to contact us 9 months or more in advance.

• Mountain Trip reserves the right to cancel an expedition prior to the departure date for any reason. In the event that the expedition is cancelled based solely on an internal administrative decision by Mountain Trip (Internal Cancellation), all monies, except for nonrefundable administrative fees, collected by Mountain Trip from team members for the canceled expedition shall be refunded within 30 days. That is the extent of our financial liability for such cancellations. This Internal Cancellation provision shall not apply when external factors that force Mountain Trip to cancel an expedition against its will, including, but not limited to, international political upheaval, terrorism, drought/famine, epidemics/pandemics, and/or cancellations imposed by foreign or domestic governments or permitting agencies (External Cancellation). All External Cancellations shall not be subject to a refund unless such cancellation occurs prior to the deadlines set forth in the Refund and Cancellation policies, above.

2022 Season COVID-19 Policy (effective July 6, 2021)

For the 2022 climbing season, Mountain Trip requires that all climbers be fully vaccinated prior to departing for their expedition. A person is considered fully vaccinated greater than or equal to two weeks after completion of a two-dose mRNA series or single dose of Janssen vaccine. (May 25, 2021 CDC Guidelines)

All climbers joining Mountain Trip for expeditions will be required to sign a COVID-19 Declaration stating all of the following:

  • You are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • You are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You are not waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.
  • You agree to comply with all Mountain Trip COVID-19 specific guidelines and protocols.

The following applies only if all expedition fees are paid by the date they are due:

If Mountain Trip cancels your expedition due to External Cancellation factors resulting from coronavirus more than 90 days prior to the Team Meeting date, Mountain Trip will credit 100% of your paid expedition fees toward a future program with Mountain Trip or refund all monies paid except for the non-refundable administrative fee.

If Mountain Trip cancels your expedition due to External Cancellation factors resulting from coronavirus 90 days or less prior to the Team Meeting date, Mountain Trip will credit 75% of your paid expedition fees toward a future program with Mountain Trip or refund 50% of your expedition fee.

General Agreement Concerning Services to be Provided And Responsibilities of Team Members

When registering for an expedition with Mountain Trip we want to help make sure you understand the services we are providing and the services you are responsible for.

Transportation is incidental

The main purpose of becoming a team member is to join us on an expedition in the mountains. As such any transportation we provide or that you may contract for on your own is incidental to the trip. We suggest that you make sure you have time built into your itinerary for delays.

Transportation to and from your destination

We will designate a specific Team Meeting Day for your expedition. Transportation to the meeting point on your Team Meeting Day is to be provided by you. You must arrive in time to be ready to participate in a team meeting at the appointed time on the Team Meeting Day for your expedition. This probably means you will need to arrive the day before, as our Team Meetings for Alaska trips are held in the morning.  Expedition climbing is very dynamic and we will provide you with a recommendation as to when you should book your flights to and from your destination. We suggest you book a ticket that allows you to change your flight with little effort or cost.

Lodging off the mountain

Mountain Trip will provide lodging per the Inclusions and Exclusions section above. Any additional lodging is your responsibility. Don’t worry about booking a room after your expedition. We generally don’t know how long we’ll be in the mountains, and we can help arrange lodging when we return to “civilization.”

Responsibilities of Team Members

You are ultimately responsible for your own well-being, including making all necessary preparations to ensure good health and physical conditioning. You are responsible for understanding the conditions that may exist on the climb and choosing a climb that is appropriate for your abilities and interests. You are responsible for having knowledge of all pre-departure information and for assembling the appropriate clothing and equipment for your climb.

While on the expedition, team members are responsible to maintain basic levels of hygiene and to conduct themselves respectfully with other team members and members of the local population. If a guide feels that a team member is putting other members’ health or safety at risk, the guide has the discretion to remove a team member from an expedition.

Use our office staff and your lead guide as pre-trip resources to ensure that all your questions are answered. Travel insurance may help recoup expenses if you need to leave an expedition due to an illness.

Airline Responsibility Passenger/Airline contracts are in effect while team members are on board any aircraft contracted for use in the expedition.

No Guaranteed Outcomes

While it is one of our goals to help every climber on every Mountain Trip expedition reach the summit, Mountain Trip cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit.  Any number of factors, including weather, the conditions encountered on the route, your personal level of fitness or ability, the abilities of your team mate(s) or any number of other circumstances might result in you and/or your team turning around before reaching the summit.  Failure to reach the summit due to any reason associated with mountaineering, such as weather, team dynamics, route conditions, avalanche hazard, rockfall hazard, etc, or due to your lack of fitness or preparation are not the responsibility of Mountain Trip and will not result in a refund or a rescheduling of your expedition.

Inclusions and Exclusions

Included in the Trip Fee:

• Unlimited pre-trip access to our office resources

• Guidance of our experienced Mountain Trip guides (we require any guide wishing to lead a Denali climb to have 5 previous expeditions on the mountain – most of our lead guides have 10+ trips)

• One night lodging at Denali National Park, prior to entering the Park

• Scheduled group transportation between Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali Park

• Scheduled return flight from Base Camp to Talkeetna

• All food while on the mountain

• All group equipment (tents, kitchen, ropes, sleds, snow pickets, shovels, group med kit, satellite phone, GPS tracker, etc)

• Custom expedition dispatch blog for your climb, complete with audio posts from team members calling from the mountain

Uphill Athlete 24 week Mountaineering Training Program

• 25% Discount on Patagonia clothing and equipment

• Assistance arranging for post-climb activities in Alaska


Not Included in the Trip Fee:

• Flights to and from Alaska

• Personal clothing and equipment per our equipment list

• Any additional lodging in Alaska, including post expedition lodging.

• Meals while not on the mountain

• Mountaineering special use fee ($270 for climbers 24 years old and younger, $370 for older climbers) and Denali National Park entrance fee ($15) paid to the National Park Service at the time you register for your individual climbing permit.

• Travel and/or rescue insurance

• Costs incurred due to evacuation or unplanned departure from the mountain due to illness or other problems

• Costs incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Mountain Trip

• Customary gratuities for guides

• Costs as a result of force majeure

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