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    Wrangell - St Elias

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

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  • Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor Center Switching to Fall Hours on Sept. 20th

    Wrangell-St Elias's main visitor center, located near Copper Center, AK, is on fall hours starting September 20th. The fall hours of operation are Mon.-Fri. 9:00 am-4:00 pm, closed on federal holidays.

Mount Blackburn (16,390')

Mount Blackburn
Mount Blackburn dominates the skyline.
N. Hannan
 

Maps:
USGS Quadrangle Maps - McCarthy (C-7), (D-7) 1:63,360 scale; McCarthy 1:250,000 scale

American Alpine Journal Articles (Year: page #):

1931: 250, 1959: 213, 237-242, 1965: 406-407, 1966: 121-122, 1968: 127-128, 1973:410, 1975: 120, 1976: 438, 1977: 167-68, 1978: 519, 1979:175-76, 1983: 98-101, 1988: 120, 121, 1990: 130, 1994:123-5, 1996: 185, 188; photographs 1995: 15, 1996: 186, 1997: 185, 2001: 218

POTENTIAL ROUTES:

North Ridge
Access the 7,200' level of the Nabesna Glacier via local air taxi service. Climb to pass at 9,880' level and ascend North Ridge to summit. Deep snow is common at 9,800' level and hard packed conditions exist above 11,500' level. Severe weather, avalanches, crevasses, and serac fall are dangers. This is currently the most used route, and has an elevation gain of approximately 9,190'.

East Ridge via Rime Peak
Access the 7,200' level of the Nabesna Glacier via local air taxi service. Ascend the north face of Rime Peak (12,741') and descend onto the East Ridge of Mt. Blackburn. Traverse and ascend the East Ridge to the summit. NOTE: The East Ridge between Rime Peak and Blackburn is a knife-edged, cornice ridge which demands prime conditions and a high level of concentration. Very few ascents have been made via this route. Severe weather, avalanches, crevasses unstable cornices, and serac fall are dangers. Elevation gain is 9,190'.

Southeast Ridge
Access from Nugget Creek or Kennicott via surface or air travel. Ascend the Kuskulana or Kennicott Glacier to the 9,000' level of the Southeast Ridge. Ascend ridge to the summit. NOTE: First summit is false summit. The first ascent of Mt. Blackburn was done by Dora Keen in 1912. She made her ascent via a direct route on the Kennicott Glacier. Elevation gain via these routes is approximately 13,690'.

South and Southwest Ridges
Attempts have been made via the southwesterly ridges and glaciers, but none to date have been recorded as successful as far as we know. Severe weather, crevasses, avalanches, difficult snow and rock conditions, and impossible route situations have been problems for parties attempting these areas.

Did You Know?

Iceworms exist in Alaskan glaciers

No hoax, iceworms do exist. These small, threadlike, segmented black worms, usually less than one inch long, thrive in temperatures just above freezing. Observers as far back as the 1880’s reported the tiny worms on the surface of glaciers. When sunlight strikes, ice worms burrow into the ice.