The hut is open to all climbers who visit the … Drive as far as you’re comfortable and start walking. Elevation gain: 3000 feet. Join a 3 day backcountry hut hike to Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park - see Glacier's star studded skies, no heavy pack required! Castner Glacier caves, Castner Creek, Alaska Pipeline. Castner Glacier from Mapcarta, the free map. The Castner glacier eventually emerges on your right. Another problem was that the hut tended to get buried by snow making it hard to get inside. During the next 4 years over 100 loads of building materials were hauled on climber's backs and the hut was ready for use. Eventually, all trace of the road disappears and the way becomes a faint path alongside roaring Castner Creek. To give more room the 12 foot by 12 foot A frame design was modified by making the walls more vertical and having a 4 foot wide flat roof. In 2006 the hut was leveled with wood cribs and got a new door and windows. Pick a route up the steep slope directly to the hut bench. The mountains along the Richardson Highway south of Delta are awe inspiring, and a bit daunting when it comes to outdoor recreation. To get to it, you drive north of Glenallen, passing Paxson. This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. During the winter there is snow to melt for water and in the spring there is a little creek running past the hut. Considerations: Route generally sees heavy use in late winter. The Alaska Alpine Club maintains three huts in the Delta Range. For hut registration, contact the Alpine Club of Canada (403-678-3200) Asulkan Cabin A. O. Wheeler Hut With good snow conditions this can be simple cramponing up Styrofoam snow. At the base of this ridge, but at the top of an awfully unstable glacier moraine, is a dramatically isolated meadow where the hut is placed. The hut is now varmint free and in good shape. But the third problem, global warming, is harder to solve. Wire mesh has been buried around the perimeter and various measures taken to exclude, repel, and even kill the critters. Parties have been avalanched off this slope. Once you reach the rock covered glacier, hike up onto it until it starts to level out (well, level is relative, as it’s all unstable, rolling, rocky terrain). As above, head directly to the nose between the Silvertip and White Princess Branches. When past the worst of the broken up area cut back to the slope below the hut. Castner Glacier 04/14/14. Avoiding likely moulin areas, go up the ice tongue until you reach the intersection of the 3 branches of the Castner Glacier. By 1968 another hut site had been selected 7 miles up the Canwell Glacier. Introduction to Ski Mountaineering Clinic. There’s no particular destination here, unless you’re heading for the ice caves which sometimes form at the toe of the glacier. Using a gothic arch shape they achieved a spacious feel with no flat roof. It’s best to stay off the ice unless you know what you’re doing. The hut is comfortable and has an interesting collection of things left by past parties. You will have to cross a moraine and deal with a messy zone as you approach the nose. Salcha-Delta Soil & Water Conservation District. It is visible from various locations of lower elevation on the upper Castner glacier. The hut tends to feel cramped due to the steep A frame design. Rugged glacier hiking adventure in the Alaska Range. To get to the hut use the Red Rock Canyon access in the summer or the Lower Miller Creek access in the winter. Good visibility or a GPS is needed to find the hut. 12 miles long. Start up the White Princess branch. Parking Lot Elevation. This won’t be a problem for a spring ski trip or maybe a late fall hike, after the water level has dropped. Pick your way, angling south across the glacier to pick up what’s left of the old access path, which ascended up a sort of medial moraine on top of the glacier. October 24, 2020 Update: The ice cave at the front of Castner Glacier is currently accessible and should remain accessible throughout winter. The term ice cave, it turns out, is sometimes used by geologists to describe a regular bedrock cave that features year-round ice, but as its usually meant when discussing Alaska, ice caves refer, well, to caves within a body of ice, namely a glacier. Pick your way through crevasses to get off the glacier and climb up to the bench diagonaling to the right. The wind exposed location prevented deep snow from accumulating so the hatch was unnecessary. The central ice tongue extends further down glacier. There are a few spots along the road though to go for a casual walk and enjoy the spectacular and comparatively little visited mountain range without committing to a bushwhacking off trail adventure. It has remained there ever since. Report hut problems to the Club. The final slope to the hut is steep enough to avalanche. There have been a few repair trips to replace and repair the outside sheeting and install a new door and floor but for the most part the hut has weathered well. Head directly to the nose between the Silvertip and White Princess Branches of the Castner Glacier. But through the years the glacier has dropped dramatically making the climb up to the hut an arduous and potentially dangerous climb. The frame was assembled on campus then taken apart and hauled up the glacier on people's backs. NW of Paxson, Alaska Range. And then there are the bigger critters - Grizz! Forty years of use has accumulated lots of stuff including a big library. Even more so than in summer, the Alaska Range along the Richardson Highway can be very frustrating when it comes to muscle powered recreation. Considerations: A very challenging route for experienced hikers. The entire bottom of the hut was sheathed in aluminum to keep the critters out. Roughly a mile from the highway, the footpath climbs steeply up a small moraine hill. This trail is not maintained and not marked. My trip to the Castner Glacier was unexpected and short, but provided an interesting perspective on something I had yet to witness in person. Trail type: Indistinct route on top of a glacier, Considerations: A very challenging route for experienced hikers. Castner Glacier sits right at the boundary of these two regions, and generally gets the most use of anywhere in the range, making it one of the more reasonable options for a short hike in this beautiful mountain wilderness. Castner Glacier ice caves January 25, 2020 by Paxson Woelber « Trip Reports on Castner Glacier Ice Caves Three Jan-Feb 2020 trips to the Castner Glacier ice caves January 25, January 30, and February 4, 2020 The word “otherworldly” gets used a lot when describing outdoor places, and it’s … The glacier in the vicinity of the hut has two ice tongues, separated by a moraine. And the lower walls on the inside were covered with aluminum. When the hut was built the Castner Glacier filled the valley making it easy to get from the glacier to the hut meadow. The walls were re-insulated with foam boards - they devoured it. I ate a Mountain House Breakfast Skillet. There are not many options except the hut location. ADVERTISEMENT. 7.8 Miles winter/summer. The Dnigi Hut sits below imposing buttresses that rise 1,800 feet above the door, with the Mint Spires soaring impressively just across the valley. A site was selected about 16 miles up the glacier but the pilots balked and put the hut down about 12 miles up glacier. The hut was built in an Eielson Air Force Base hanger, driven down the Richardson Highway, and slung in by military helicopter. The Alaska Alpine Club maintains three glacier huts in the Delta Range — the Thayer Hut on the Castner Glacier and the Lower Canwell and MacKeith huts on the Canwell Glacier. Holmgren and another climber, Tobi Norton, had planned to ski to the Thayer Hut, near the Castner Glacier in the Delta Range, and climb the peak’s face the following day. The log book makes for great reading. In summer though, it’s best to start on the north side of the creek. Club members went up and replaced the snow with rocks  but one corner is over soft soils that persisted in going down despite several attempts to level the floor. The upper hut is located about 10.5 miles from the road, including 8 miles of glacier travel. A hike up Castner Glacier is honestly a pretty rough experience, but it still offers a brush free and gently ascending highway into the heart of the spectacular glacier clad Delta Mountains, as well as a small … Great minds worked to solve these problems in the next 2 huts. Via Silvertip Branch One can also go up the Silvertip Branch, skirting giant moulons, until you pass all the cliff bands. Head up either the north or south side of the creek. But only one corner was sitting on rock, the other corners were on snow. In the summer head for the apartment building sized red cliff. The hut has been named the Thayer Memorial Hut in honor of Elton Thayer, a founder of the club who was killed on a traverse of Mount McKinley in 1954. They are available on a first come first serve basis and the doors are unlocked. This the AAC Thayer Hut located on the northeast buttress directly north of the south branch of the Castner glacier. As you stand there in the chill of the cave and stare into the crystal-clear ice, it is impossible to grasp it all! Just past Salamanca, inside the northern park boundary and at the top of the first hill, Art Roscoe deserves a more prominent reputation. Summer Off-Trail Hikes. Jeremiah Harrington walks up the Castner Glacier during a camping trip during the Labor Day holiday. This is Thayer Hut on the Castner Glacier just north of the Canwell Glacier. A bear broke in through the window in 2002 so the new window is trimmed with spikes. About heads on White Princess, trends NW and SW to its 1934 terminus at head of Castner Creek, 27 mi. Of course, this is a very dynamic and quickly changing landscape, so it’s hard to give exact directions. Travel upon the glacier is not recommended. The hut elevation is some 500 feet below both the pass to the Gulkana Glacier and Yeti Pass. The hut fee is $1 per person per night. At this rate of melting, the Castner Glacier, like many of its neighbors, could disappear within 50 years. 4800 feet. In the heart of ski country, it gets a lot of lake effect snow, so much so that many seasons provide four full months of skiing, mid-December to mid-March. Later in the summer club members packed in the first 2 X 4s to begin construction. Castner Glacier is a beautiful trek in the fall. Access to these three huts is arduous and, in the cases of Sapphire Col and Glacier Circle huts, requires mountaineering expertise. In cloudy weather there are features that might help you find the hut. Travel Alert: The Glacier Point Ski Hut will not open for the 2020-21 season due to lack of power.We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and we encourage you to come enjoy a winter visit to Yosemite National Park.
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