The hut fee is $1 per person per night. The Thayer Memorial Hut, eight miles up the Castner Glacier, was completed, and an emergency supply of food and fuel is now maintained there. The four met up while making their way to their destinations. 1380 Feet Elevation Gain (summer) / 1700 Feet Elevation Gain (winter), 3 to 6+ hours (summer) / 4 to 8+ hours (winter). N 63° 27.156’ W 145° 32.181’. Considerations: A very challenging route for experienced hikers. In clear weather the shiny aluminum siding is visible from the glacier. Before the bridge over Castner Creek, look for a small, unimproved road on the left. When the hut was built the Castner Glacier filled the valley making it easy to get from the glacier to the hut meadow. As you head up glacier from the Lower Canwell Hut you will be traveling beside a prominent medial moraine. The hut is comfortable and has an interesting collection of things left by past parties. A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. Considerations: Route generally sees heavy use in late winter. The hike to the glacier’s face follows Castner Creek; the creek is fast-flowing, brown, and fed by the melting glacier. You will have to cross a moraine and deal with a messy zone as you approach the nose. 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 mountain hut at the end, in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. I used to pack all my own food and snub the use of pre-made, dehydrated backpacking meals. They are available on a first come first serve basis and the doors are unlocked. There is no trash service nor maid service so please leave the huts in good shape. For hut registration, contact the Alpine Club of Canada (403-678-3200) Asulkan Cabin A. O. Wheeler Hut Via Direct Assault The shortest steepest way with the least crevasse danger. About 2.2 miles roundtrip. Head up either the north or south side of the creek. Great minds worked to solve these problems in the next 2 huts. In summer though, it’s best to start on the north side of the creek. 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. At the point where a branch of the glacier heads off to the right, drop down onto bare ice on the left and aim for the ridge which separates the other two branches of the glacier. Trail type: Indistinct route on top of a glacier. 2495 ft. This the AAC Thayer Hut located on the northeast buttress directly north of the south branch of the Castner glacier. The hut is also located by the second major drainage in the ridge between the Fels and Canwell Glacier, but there are a couple of minor drainages. It is visible from various locations of lower elevation on the upper Castner glacier. 7.8 Miles winter/summer. south of Delta Junction, Alaska. To get to it, you drive north of Glenallen, passing Paxson. The hut is open to climbers using this area, in which several one-day climbs are possible. What a change in 4 months! 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. Summer Off-Trail Hikes. The log book makes for great reading. It’s my new favorite thing to eat in the morning when camping. Trail type: Indistinct route on top of a glacier, Considerations: A very challenging route for experienced hikers. Sights. The hut is left of the first set of crevasses along the N margin of the glacier. This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. Rugged glacier hiking adventure in the Alaska Range. But through the years the glacier has dropped dramatically making the climb up to the hut an arduous and potentially dangerous climb. Head towards Item Peak. This trail is not maintained and not marked. 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. The tiny A-frame structure sits atop a large moraine, perhaps 400 feet above the ice, and after another hour of crossing through the crevasse fields and climbing the talus we reach the hut and enter. Using a gothic arch shape they achieved a spacious feel with no flat roof. Lauren Frisch and Daisy Tada! The Canwell Glacier has crevasses and moulons in the vicinity of the MacKeith Hut. Salcha-Delta Soil & Water Conservation District. 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. 12 miles long. This won’t be a problem for a spring ski trip or maybe a late fall hike, after the water level has dropped. 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. 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. With care and local knowledge many people have gotten to the hut without a rope but there are hazards. There is a minivan sized rock which parties mistake for the hut (not a bad mistake as the hut is just over the knoll). Hopping across the river of meltwater coming straight out of the Mint Glacier, we made our way back toward the hut. (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. Below are weather averages from 1971 to 2000 according to data gathered from the nearest official weather station. The summer of 2017 started with yet another long drive from Utah to Alaska. A site was selected about 16 miles up the glacier but the pilots balked and put the hut down about 12 miles up glacier. 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. Castner Glacier is a glacier in Alaska and has an elevation of 3287 feet. The hut is open to all climbers who visit the … The central ice tongue extends further down glacier. There are rumors of up to 10 people stuffed in for a night. Via Direct Assault + White Princess Branch (The authors current favorite route.) This hut was built by the Alaska Alpine Club in the early 60's. Eventually, all trace of the road disappears and the way becomes a faint path alongside roaring Castner Creek. In cloudy weather there are features that might help you find the hut. You will have to cross a moraine and deal with a messy zone as you approach the nose. 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 … The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. 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. 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.