Wrangell-St. Elias and its Canadian neighbor, Kluane National Park, were set aside to preserve the foothills, glaciers and peaks of the Wrangell, Chugach and St. Elias mountain ranges. This area includes many of the highest mountains and largest ice fields in North America. Superb mountaineering experiences found nowhere else in the world exist here.
The severe changes in elevation, avalanches, ice, remoteness and extreme winds and weather of this region require extensive knowledge of wilderness and mountaineering survival skills. Access if usually by chartered aircraft. Climbers must be fully prepared and self sufficient. Rescue and evacuation opportunities are slim and time consuming.
The best time of year for climbing activity is April through June. The most popular peaks for expeditions are Sanford, Blackburn, Bona and St. Elias, because of their elevations over 16,000 feet. Many other peaks are equally challenging. Some have never been climbed. It is recommended that all climbers fill out a "Trip Itinerary" and leave it at park headquarters, or one of the ranger stations in Slana, Chitina or Yakutat.
Did You Know?
Skolai Pass was named by U. S. Army Lt. Frederick Schwatka for Copper River Ahtna Chief Nicolai, or “Skolai”, as he was known to the upper Tanana River natives.