Commercial Use Authorization Activity Specific Stipulations

2018 Guided Mountaineering Stipulations - Kenai Fjords National Park

P.O. Box 1727 - Seward, AK 99664 - 907-422-0500 phone

The following stipulations apply to commercial mountaineering in Kenai Fjords National Park in addition to the general park stipulations. It is the responsibility of the operator to be familiar with and comply with all stipulations applicable to their permitted activity.

Annual Reports and Documentation
The CUA holder will submit the following reports and documentation:

The commercial use authorization (CUA) holder will submit the following reports and documentation:

a) Schedule of climbs and proposed rate schedule.

  • Due prior to advertisement.
b) Business brochures and advertising.
  • Due prior to distribution.
c) Employee roster of staff operating within the park.
  • List of employees, with documentation demonstrating that they meet the same standards and requirements as the CUA holder.
  • “Guide Roster” shall include certifications of individual guides.
  • Due 30 days prior to operations.
  • Updates should be sent in to the KEFJ Chief Ranger’s office and CUA Program Manager in the Alaska Regional Office upon hiring additional staff.
a) The Activity Report is due on or before November 15th for all CUA holders regardless of if you operated in the park. If you did not operate submit the report stating “Did Not Operate”.
  • For each overnight trip on the Harding Icefield, the trip leader must document the route and campsites used, this information must be included on the Activity Report form.

b) Any CUA holder conducting guided ice hiking or climbing on Exit Glacier or guided hiking on the Harding Icefield Trail must record their activity on the Exit Glacier/Harding Icefield Day Use Summary form. The report must include daily use for each month, including number of guides, number of clients, the name of the guide(s), and comments/observations. This summary must be turned in to the Park by September 15th.
c) All operators must submit a completed Annual Report (Form 10660) by November 15th.
d) End of season reports are available on the Alaska Region Commercial Services website: Reports must be submitted electronically to

Before The Trip
  1. Employee Briefings and Orientations

The CUA holder will provide employee orientation and training on park regulations, requirements, and policies. The CUA holder is responsible for all actions of their employees while conducting business under the CUA. Upon NPS request, the CUA holder will provide written documentation of training and orientation.

  1. Approved Air Taxis

All trips that will use an aircraft for transportation into and out of the park will hire air taxis that currently hold a CUA for such activities with Kenai Fjords National Park. Please consult the Kenai Fjords Chief Ranger for a current list of permitted air taxis.

  1. Registration with the National Park Service
a) Any CUA holder accessing Exit Glacier from the Harding Icefield trail must use an access route identified by Kenai Fjords National Park. Each CUA holder must schedule a preseason field meeting with Park staff to confirm the access to Exit Glacier and strategies to minimize their impacts on vegetation while accessing Exit Glacier. CUA holder must notify Park staff when snow conditions necessitate changes in access. Any deviation from the designated access route must be approved by the KEFJ Chief Ranger prior to use. The contact numbers for scheduling the preseason meeting are (907) 4220500.
b) All CUA trips are required to check in at the Exit Glacier Nature Center in person if the trip is on Exit Glacier and provide the number of guides and clients. All CUA trips for Exit Glacier will also sign in at the registry for the Harding Icefield trailhead.
c) All CUA trips operating in areas within Kenai Fjords National Park other than at Exit Glacier will check in with the Chief Ranger or designee prior to departure.

  1. Equipment

a) Minimum equipment requirements for each client should consist of crampons, harness, trekking poles, and helmet. Equipment must conform with industry acceptable standards and be in good working order.
b) Minimum emergency equipment to be carried by each guide must be sufficient to initiate evacuation and stabilization.

During The Trip

  1. Visitor Safety

The CUA holder will conduct all activities with safety as their highest priority.

  1. Leave No Trace Requirements and NPS Waste Management Policies

Guides are responsible for ensuring that all members of the trip follow Leave No Trace (LNT) guidelines and adhere to all regulations and policies for waste management and sanitation, backcountry travel, and camping.

  1. Group Size and Trip Quantity

Trips shall be limited to two per activity, day, and location, for each CUA holder.

  1. ClimbertoGuide Ratios

a) Climbertoguide ratios will be appropriate for the nature of the terrain and based on the course and climbing objectives. Climbertoguide ratios will not exceed five climbers to one guide for general ice hiking type trips and three climbers to one guide for ice climbing and any other trip requiring more advanced skills.
b) Solo glacier travel is not permitted for clients.
c) A client shall never be left unattended while engaged in mountaineering activities.

  1. Communication

a) Guides will carry a communication device capable of twoway communication between each group in the field. This device should be capable of contacting local emergency services and/or an in town company representative.
b) FRS or GMARS radios are highly recommended to maintain communication between CUA holders.
c) In most areas, satellite phones are the only reasonable option for twoway communication.

  1. Glacier Travel

a) Guides and clients shall utilize roped travel for snow covered glacier travel when the consequences of a fall could result in injury or death.
b) Guides shall ensure adequate instruction on crampon walking/climbing technique prior to accessing the ice and additional instruction once on the ice.
c) Unroped ski mountaineering is permissible after the lead guide has made a thorough assessment of the objective and deems it safe to do so.

  1. Search and Rescue Guidelines

a) In certain instances, guides and team members may become involved with search and rescue operations involving other teams and/or the NPS. Before engaging in search and rescue events that do not directly involve their team, guides must ensure the safety and wellbeing of their clients.
b) Guides will not be paid for search and rescue operations initiated by themselves or others.

  1. Emergency Response and Rescue Skills

All guides shall have training in selfrescue and evacuation skills. Guides shall be able to coordinate self and team rescues, including but not limited to crevasse extrication, raising and lowering operations, evacuation of ill and injured climbers, accident site management, triage skills, basic life support, and operating in and around aircraft.

a) Annual submission of an Emergency Action Plan is required. This plan should identify contingency resources.
b) At all times on the trip teams will carry equipment necessary to preserve life and limb in the event of an emergency.
c) All guides shall be familiar with NPS search and rescue procedures.
d) Incidents involving personal injury to clients or guides must be reported to the NPS within 24 hours following completion of the activity.
e) Any accident involving a fatality or serious injury must be reported to the NPS immediately and by the most expeditious means available.
f) If an emergency fixed wing aircraft pickup is requested from an air taxi pilot, either the guide or the pilot shall attempt to contact the NPS to inform us of the emergency as soon as possible.
g) Instances in which a client or guide becomes separated from the rest of the group and cannot be located shall be reported to the NPS immediately.

  1. Accidents and Injuries

The CUA operator is responsible for notifying the Park of any incident that results in an injury requiring treatment. Please reference NPS emergency notifications protocol (attached to CUA) for contact numbers and procedures. The CUA holder and/or employee involved in the incident may be required to provide statement and/or reports related to NPS investigation and documentation procedures.

  1. Complaints

The CUA holder will send written complaints and/or negative evaluations regarding the CUA holder operations to the KEFJ Chief Ranger’s Office. The NPS will require a written response in a timely manner including any proposed remedies or administrative actions.

  1. Bear/Human Interaction

Any encounters with bears, including but not limited to situations where human food was obtained and / or bear spray or firearms were used, must be reported to a park employee as soon as practical. If an employee cannot be contacted in the field, the incident must be reported to park headquarters in Seward immediately when the group leaves the field. This report may be made in person, by phone, fax, or email.

After The Trip
1. CheckOut Requirements
Failure to comply with the requirements outlined above may result in the revocation of the CUA and may impact the opportunity to operate commercially in Alaska units of the NPS in the future.

Last updated: June 26, 2018