OverviewThis is a challenging climb for anyone spending a day in Whittier, AK and I climbed it on August 1, 2015 while waiting for a 7 day southbound Princess cruise to begin. The hike/climb is approximately 6 miles roundtrip from the cruise ship pier and gains about 3,500’ elevation. I climbed it in less than 7 hours the beginning of August and an ice ax and crampons are going to be needed year around for this mountain due to a portion of travel over the western side of Whittier Glacier. The route involves fording the swiftly flowing Whittier Creek near the campground at the start and finish of the climb and an ice ax is valuable in keeping your balance against the swiftly flowing icy waters(as are crampons on the glacier)! I appreciate a write up of the basic route description provided by William Finley at akmountain.com. from when he climbed nearby Bard Peak in 2007.
Getting ThereGetting to Whittier can also be a challenge! I spent 20 hours there during a cruise port call. If you are approaching from the Anchorage side, there is a choice between rail or highway and since both share the same tunnel, scheduling is a requirement both ways.
There is parking for the port before you reach the campground and I walked from the pier where our ship was docked over to the campgrounds initially along the Whittier creek, but on return used the road access for campers which is better.
Then you head upstream to the larger of two smaller streams feeding into the creek.
When you reach the glacier, put on your crampons for about 20 – 30 minutes of pleasant travel.
When you finally reach the ridge, the balance of the climb is very pleasant with nice views in all directions if the clouds allow.