castner glacier hut
They chew up anything not made of metal. Location. Access to these three huts is arduous and, in the cases of Sapphire Col and Glacier Circle huts, requires mountaineering expertise. You will have to cross a moraine and deal with a messy zone as you approach the nose. The road ends after 1/2 mile, turning into an unimproved foot path heading up the side of Castner Creek. At this rate of melting, the Castner Glacier, like many of its neighbors, could disappear within 50 years. There are not many options except the hut location. Of course, this is a very dynamic and quickly changing landscape, so it’s hard to give exact directions. Rugged glacier hiking adventure in the Alaska Range. This hut was built by the Alaska Alpine Club in the early 60's. The log book makes for great reading. It is visible from various locations of lower elevation on the upper Castner glacier. With care and local knowledge many people have gotten to the hut without a rope but there are hazards. As you head up glacier from the Lower Canwell Hut you will be traveling beside a prominent medial moraine. This unimproved road is located at mile 217.3 on the north side of Castner Creek. Pick a route up the steep slope directly to the hut bench. The hut is clearly visible from up glacier appearing silver as it is clad in aluminum. 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 … Winter parties should be roped up. When it was first finished in 1964, the Thayer Hut was only 100 feet above ice level; now, it’s 400. 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 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). Report hut problems to the Club. There is no trash service nor maid service so please leave the huts in good shape. Head directly to the nose between the Silvertip and White Princess Branches of the Castner Glacier. The summer water sources are creeks E of the hut. Traverse down to the ice tongue. For hut registration, contact the Alpine Club of Canada (403-678-3200) Asulkan Cabin A. O. Wheeler Hut The hut is about 1 mile up glacier from the terminus of the shorter, northern ice tongue. 4800 feet. Castner Glacier from Mapcarta, the free map. Sights. Turn right along the edge of the White Princess Branch until you are past the cliff bands. But the third problem, global warming, is harder to solve. The walls were re-insulated with foam boards - they devoured it. 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. And then there are the bigger critters - Grizz! 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 … The Canwell Glacier has crevasses and moulons in the vicinity of the MacKeith Hut. By 1968 another hut site had been selected 7 miles up the Canwell Glacier. 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 The wind exposed location prevented deep snow from accumulating so the hatch was unnecessary. 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 … 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. Drive as far as you’re comfortable and start walking. Castner Glacier a glacier in Alaska. south of Delta Junction, Alaska. NW of Paxson, Alaska Range. 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. In the summer several climbs were made in the Castner Glacier area. Get off the glacier and climb the final slope. 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. 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. From here there are four options, one of which will be the best route for the current glacier conditions. Wire mesh has been buried around the perimeter and various measures taken to exclude, repel, and even kill the critters. 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. 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. The route gains the most altitude on the glacier which minimizes the final steep slope. A good landmark is the Gulkana Glacier pass as the hut is slightly down glacier from a point directly across from the pass. Head towards Item Peak. They are available on a first come first serve basis and the doors are unlocked. 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. ADVERTISEMENT. There are water canyons and moulons in the ice tongues and crevasses just up glacier from the hut. In the summer head for the apartment building sized red cliff. ... you can follow the glacier back 7.8 miles to reach the Alaska Alpine Club Thayer Hut. There is a reliable pond W of the hut. The large ice chunks in front of the ice cave have completely melted in the 08/24 photo. October 24, 2020 Update: The ice cave at the front of Castner Glacier is currently accessible and should remain accessible throughout winter. N 63° 27.156’ W 145° 32.181’. 2495 ft. If you split the glacier valley in half you want to start up right of center until you are over the steep section and have gone well past the hut and the crevassed zones on both sides. Pick your way through crevasses to get off the glacier and climb up to the bench diagonaling to the right. A 1/2 mile hike leads you to the Castner Glacier. This won’t be a problem for a spring ski trip or maybe a late fall hike, after the water level has dropped. A 12-foot, A-frame hut was carried in and erected eight miles up the Castner Glacier at the Princess branch. The hut is 12' by 10' and sleeps 5. Hopping across the river of meltwater coming straight out of the Mint Glacier, we made our way back toward the hut. Distance. This is Thayer Hut on the Castner Glacier just north of the Canwell Glacier. 4 to 8+ hours. ). From the edge of the meadow you can see the pond down below. Claw marks are visible on the exterior sheeting. 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. Another problem was that the hut tended to get buried by snow making it hard to get inside. And the lower walls on the inside were covered with aluminum. « … 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 glacier in the vicinity of the hut has two ice tongues, separated by a moraine. The steep walls of the hut are a notebook for every climber and skier that has entered this cirque for the last 49 years. Below are weather averages from 1971 to 2000 according to data gathered from the nearest official weather station. A final landmark is a set of dramatic gullies in the lateral moraine just up glacier from the hut. Introduction to Ski Mountaineering Clinic. The MSR Hubba Hubba on the Castner Glacier moraine Day 2. “It was a beautiful weekend in April. Originally the hut was called "Upper Canwell Glacier Hut" but was renamed the MacKeith Hut after club president Peter MacKeith died while climbing Old Snowy in April 1980. But, the biggest problem with the Lower Canwell Hut quickly became parky squirrels. 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. 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. There have been at least 4 major efforts to save the hut from the varmints. There’s no particular destination here, unless you’re heading for the ice caves which sometimes form at the toe of the glacier. From Delta, drive about 50 miles south along the Richardson. My trip to the Castner Glacier was unexpected and short, but provided an interesting perspective on something I had yet to witness in person. This the AAC Thayer Hut located on the northeast buttress directly north of the south branch of the Castner glacier. The hut elevation is some 500 feet below both the pass to the Gulkana Glacier and Yeti Pass. When the hut was built the Castner Glacier filled the valley making it easy to get from the glacier to the hut meadow. In this case, the south side of the creek has provided better access in recent years, but this is always changing. 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. A site was selected about 16 miles up the glacier but the pilots balked and put the hut down about 12 miles up glacier.