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castner glacier hut

ADVERTISEMENT. Castner Glacier is a fairly popular starting point for all sorts of backcountry adventures, but a small road on the north side of the creek gives access to some very nice, close in country as well. Travel upon the glacier is not recommended. I ate a Mountain House Breakfast Skillet. ... you can follow the glacier back 7.8 miles to reach the Alaska Alpine Club Thayer Hut. A good landmark is the Gulkana Glacier pass as the hut is slightly down glacier from a point directly across from the pass. With care and local knowledge many people have gotten to the hut without a rope but there are hazards. There are water canyons and moulons in the ice tongues and crevasses just up glacier from the hut. 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. There is a minivan sized rock which parties mistake for the hut (not a bad mistake as the hut is just over the knoll). (There is some ice in the smaller gully further down glacier) Imagine you are a helicopter pilot searching for some flat ground close to the glacier and free from avalanche danger. Access to these three huts is arduous and, in the cases of Sapphire Col and Glacier Circle huts, requires mountaineering expertise. 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. 3.1 Geomorphic map of the Castner Glacier terminus 27 3.2 Unit QPg 10Be ages 29 3.3 South lateral moraine of Castner Glacier 32 3.4 Modern and past total area and ELA of the Castner Glacier 36 3.5 JJA and annual accumulation relationships of 70 alpine glaciers 37 4.1 Age of unit QPg with NGIP and GISP2 ice core 8180 records 42 From Delta, drive about 50 miles south along the Richardson. It makes an excellent basecamp for explorations north over the obvious pass at the head of Moose Creek, which threads between more glaciers before dropping into the remote headwaters of Kashwitna River. This page is for summer hiking tours of Castner Glacier (available May through September); if you are interested in visiting Castner Glacier between October and April, see the Castner Glacier … By 1968 another hut site had been selected 7 miles up the Canwell Glacier. You will have to cross a moraine and deal with a messy zone as you approach the nose. Via White Princess Branch  This route was the best route for many years but the crack free path seems to be getting narrower and narrower. (Glacier cave is probably a better term, technically speaking). NW of Paxson, Alaska Range. From the edge of the meadow you can see the pond down below. Via Direct Assault + White Princess Branch (The authors current favorite route.) Elevation gain: 3000 feet. The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. Head towards Item Peak. Start up the White Princess branch. Turn right along the edge of the White Princess Branch until you are past the cliff bands. 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. In cloudy weather there are features that might help you find the hut. Hopping across the river of meltwater coming straight out of the Mint Glacier, we made our way back toward the hut. Once out of site of the highway, there are at least two really good spots for car camping. In summer though, it’s best to start on the north side of the creek. This trail is not maintained and not marked. Castner Glacier is a beautiful trek in the fall. This is Thayer Hut on the Castner Glacier just north of the Canwell Glacier. Via Silvertip Branch One can also go up the Silvertip Branch, skirting giant moulons, until you pass all the cliff bands. It has remained there ever since. A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. Castner Glacier ice caves January 25, 2020 by Paxson Woelber « Trip Reports on Winterbear.com 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 … Just past Salamanca, inside the northern park boundary and at the top of the first hill, Art Roscoe deserves a more prominent reputation. Pick a route up the steep slope directly to the hut bench. There have been at least 4 major efforts to save the hut from the varmints. Get off the glacier and climb the final slope. 4 to 8+ hours. But for now, it’s one of the most stunning and easily accessed glacier basins in all of Alaska. 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! Another problem was that the hut tended to get buried by snow making it hard to get inside. 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. In the summer head for the apartment building sized red cliff. Watch for moulons! The hut is about 1 mile up glacier from the terminus of the shorter, northern ice tongue. 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. This was in the spring of 1967 I think when a group of us from Fairbanks Skied the 8 miles up the Castner Glacier to stay in the hut and play in the area. ). With no snow it is scary climbing on steep mud. Using a gothic arch shape they achieved a spacious feel with no flat roof. The summer water sources are creeks E of the hut. When this moraine turns from a high mound to scattered rocks you are about half way to the hut. Good visibility or a GPS is needed to find the hut. And the lower walls on the inside were covered with aluminum. During the winter there is snow to melt for water and in the spring there is a little creek running past the hut. 10.7 Miles (summer) / 12.2 Miles (winter), 2600 Feet Elevation Gain (summer) / 3000 Feet Elevation Gain (winter), 5 to 8+ hours (summer) / 7 to 12+ hours (winter). When it was first finished in 1964, the Thayer Hut was only 100 feet above ice level; now, it’s 400. There are not many options except the hut location. Parties may need to be roped up to safely get to the hut. This the AAC Thayer Hut located on the northeast buttress directly north of the south branch of the Castner glacier. Castner Glacier a glacier in Alaska. Below are weather averages from 1971 to 2000 according to data gathered from the nearest official weather station. 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 … A route may also be selected based on where the party plans to go from the hut. A final landmark is a set of dramatic gullies in the lateral moraine just up glacier from the hut. The Thayer Memorial Hut, eight miles up the Castner Glacier, was completed, and an emergency supply of food and fuel is now maintained there. Parking Lot Elevation. The Castner Glacier Trail begins at Castner Creek near Paxson, Alaska. The MSR Hubba Hubba on the Castner Glacier moraine Day 2. My trip to the Castner Glacier was unexpected and short, but provided an interesting perspective on something I had yet to witness in person. And, to solve the deep snow access problem (and provide ventilation) a 2 foot by 2 foot hatch was built into the roof. Jeremiah Harrington walks up the Castner Glacier during a camping trip during the Labor Day holiday. The Alaska Alpine Club maintains three huts in the Delta Range. During the next 4 years over 100 loads of building materials were hauled on climber's backs and the hut was ready for use. Summer Off-Trail Hikes. There is a reliable pond W of the hut. Castner Glacier 04/14/14. 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. 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. The central ice tongue extends further down glacier. Visit us at the Revelstoke Administration Office, the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, or contact us for details. Forty years of use has accumulated lots of stuff including a big library. In this case, the south side of the creek has provided better access in recent years, but this is always changing. It’s best to stay off the ice unless you know what you’re doing. Distance. In the early 1990s, a pair of spring-breakers from Fairbanks deserted their tent on Castner Glacier within view of the meadow and hightailed it back to the highway when they encountered bitter cold (of the forty-below-zero variety), and several hut visitors expressed concern and posited humorous theories in the log about the mystery tent until a team came to retrieve it. 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 is clearly visible from up glacier appearing silver as it is clad in aluminum. For hut registration, contact the Alpine Club of Canada (403-678-3200) Asulkan Cabin A. O. Wheeler Hut This won’t be a problem for a spring ski trip or maybe a late fall hike, after the water level has dropped. Great minds worked to solve these problems in the next 2 huts. south of Delta Junction, Alaska. The upper hut is located about 10.5 miles from the road, including 8 miles of glacier travel. Photographer Sebastian Saarloos wrote of his astonishing July 2011 photo, "After traversing up a glacier moraine for what seems like an eternity, and going up over 2,400 feet of vertical gain, you finally reach a … Castner glacier is rapidly receding and as it melts has created many stunning and several exceptional ice caves. There’s no particular destination here, unless you’re heading for the ice caves which sometimes form at the toe of the glacier. N 63° 27.156’ W 145° 32.181’. Salcha-Delta Soil & Water Conservation District. 12 miles long. The hut is on the N side of the glacier just beyond the first major glacier that enters the N side. The summer of 2017 started with yet another long drive from Utah to Alaska. The hut fee is $1 per person per night. About 2.2 miles roundtrip. The bearing from the hut to the pass is 192 degrees. The steep walls of the hut are a notebook for every climber and skier that has entered this cirque for the last 49 years. Since the hut has been abandoned at times the furnishings are sparten but there is a log book, Coleman stove, Coleman lantern, snow pail, a few pots, etc. 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 the Thayer Hut use the Castner Glacier access (page 10) and stay on the right hand moraine until you see an ice tongue on your left. Wire mesh has been buried around the perimeter and various measures taken to exclude, repel, and even kill the critters. There are rumors of up to 10 people stuffed in for a night. 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. Considerations: Route generally sees heavy use in late winter. Claw marks are visible on the exterior sheeting. Access to the northern aspects of the White Princess is somewhat difficult due to a broken-up section of the Castner Glacier just above the junction with the M'Ladies branch. The Canwell Glacier has crevasses and moulons in the vicinity of the MacKeith Hut. And then there are the bigger critters - Grizz! “It was a beautiful weekend in April. The sky cleared overnight and the views in the morning were incredible. Avoiding likely moulin areas, go up the ice tongue until you reach the intersection of the 3 branches of the Castner Glacier. Location. The caves often reach far back and are sculpted in inconceivable ways. Trail type: Indistinct route on top of a glacier, Considerations: A very challenging route for experienced hikers. About heads on White Princess, trends NW and SW to its 1934 terminus at head of Castner Creek, 27 mi. The hut is open to climbers using this area, in which several one-day climbs are possible. As you head up glacier from the Lower Canwell Hut you will be traveling beside a prominent medial moraine. Castner Glacier from Mapcarta, the free map. But the third problem, global warming, is harder to solve. While returning from the first ascent of Black Cap in the spring of 1961, AAC member Bucky Wilson and others noticed the fantastic hut site, a green alpine meadow spared by two branches of the Castner Glacier. The view from the top makes a good turnaround for a short walk. The hut was built in an Eielson Air Force Base hanger, driven down the Richardson Highway, and slung in by military helicopter. 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. A bear broke in through the window in 2002 so the new window is trimmed with spikes. The hut is located at Mary's Rock, about 8 miles up Castner Glacier. Head up either the north or south side of the creek. In the southern part of the range, the snow is heavy and relatively little recreational use makes breaking trail through the bottomless powder a chore. Head directly to the nose between the Silvertip and White Princess Branches of the Castner Glacier. Sights. In 2006 the hut was leveled with wood cribs and got a new door and windows. Parties have been avalanched off this slope. Of course, this is a very dynamic and quickly changing landscape, so it’s hard to give exact directions. Simon Filhol, Eyal Saiet, Jenna Zechmann hiked up the glacier to the MacKeith Hut so they could help level the backcountry shelter. This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. The flat roof and hatch caused water leakage problems and eventually the hatch was eliminated. The large ice chunks in front of the ice cave have completely melted in the 08/24 photo. As you stand there in the chill of the cave and stare into the crystal-clear ice, it is impossible to grasp it all! 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. It is critical where you go up the steeper section of the glacier because once you crest the hill you will either hit the crevasse free path or hit crevasses. Report hut problems to the Club. 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. Eventually, all trace of the road disappears and the way becomes a faint path alongside roaring Castner Creek. It's located at milepost 217.3 on the Richardson Highway. Roughly a mile from the highway, the footpath climbs steeply up a small moraine hill. To reach the lower hut, travel about 2 miles up glacier, including the crossing of a medial moraine, and then clamber up unstable slopes to the meadow where the hut is located, at 4200 feet, to the left of a stream. The entire floor was covered with aluminum sheets and then plywood installed over the aluminum. The final slope to the hut is steep enough to avalanche. Before the bridge over Castner Creek, look for a small, unimproved road on the left. At this rate of melting, the Castner Glacier, like many of its neighbors, could disappear within 50 years. The wind exposed location prevented deep snow from accumulating so the hatch was unnecessary. They chewed those up with abandon. The Castner glacier eventually emerges on your right. This hut was built by the Alaska Alpine Club in the early 60's. By the time this hut was built the AAC had resolved many of the design problems with the earlier huts. The nearest weather station for both precipitation and temperature measurements is PAXSON which is approximately 27 miles away and has an elevation of 2,700 feet (587 feet lower than Castner Glacier). In the summer several climbs were made in the Castner Glacier area. 4800 feet. The four met up while making their way to their destinations. The 2001 - 2003 efforts involved more attempts to exclude them by installing a steel door, burying more wire mesh around the perimeter and tightly stacking rocks. Winter parties should be roped up. From here there are four options, one of which will be the best route for the current glacier conditions. But only one corner was sitting on rock, the other corners were on snow. Ascend grunge slope to the hut bench. In clear weather the shiny aluminum siding is visible from the glacier. Castner Glacier is a glacier in Alaska and has an elevation of 3287 feet. While returning from the first ascent of Black Cap in the spring of 1961, AAC member Bucky Wilson and others noticed the fantastic hut site, a green alpine meadow spared by … The hike to the glacier’s face follows Castner Creek; the creek is fast-flowing, brown, and fed by the melting glacier.

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