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“Make your heart smile”
Review of Ascending Path

Ascending Path
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Experience a unique and authentic wilderness adventure on your Alaskan vacation. Within an hour of Anchorage we can have you glacier hiking, rock and ice climbing and enjoying Alaska on a spectacular guided hike. Whether you're a first time hiker or experienced ski-mountaineer, have an entire day or just a few hours, we have a variety of day tour adventures for you. Let us share Alaska's glaciers, wilderness and wildlife at your pace. The many accessible and beautiful trails and glaciers in the Chugach Mountains, near Girdwood and Anchorage, provide a superb naturalist guided eco-adventure environment. Bring your family or friends out with our knowledgeable guides for a fun adventurous day truly experiencing Alaska! Great for families, no experience needed! We look forward to sharing your Alaskan Adventure with you!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 28 June 2018

My husband and I did the kayaking, glacier hike and ice climb excursion. We had some interesting weather, which added to the adventure. Mother nature at her best! Benny was our guide and he was wonderful. After battling winds and rain to cross Spencer Lake, we made it to the glacier, there were 5 in our group including the guide. We hiked to this protected from the wind area to climb and Benny was very accommodating, with me asking to climb (3) different climbs in the same area(little variety). Benny was very positive and safety aware throughout the adventure. When we hiked out he brought us a different way, which was amazing and ended up in an ice cave. We had a little extra time, so Benny guided us in our kayaks, though all the broken off little ice berg, which formed a maze. It was so peaceful and beautiful. Benny was an exceptional guide and I believe the guide can make or break an outing. Benny, you ROCK!!! thanks for a great day on the ice and water. Tell Steven he drove the bus like a boss and was super nice.

Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"ice climbing"
in 17 reviews
"spencer glacier"
in 58 reviews
"alpine hike"
in 9 reviews
"kayak trip"
in 7 reviews
"train ride"
in 12 reviews
"whistle stop"
in 8 reviews
"hours hiking"
in 3 reviews
"rock climbing"
in 4 reviews
"climbing tour"
in 2 reviews
"trip enjoyable"
in 2 reviews
"an excellent guide"
in 2 reviews
"hour guided"
in 2 reviews
"skill level"
in 4 reviews
"alyeska resort"
in 12 reviews
"rain pants"
in 3 reviews
"his craft"
in 2 reviews
"super friendly"
in 2 reviews
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51 - 55 of 240 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2018

My boyfriend and I traveled from Louisiana to Anchorage for vacation last week and had been planning this Spencer Glacier Hike for a few months. The morning of the trip we boarded a train and took an awesome scenic ride along the Turnagain Arm. We arrived at Portage, had a slightly mediocre lunch but honestly I didn't care about the food, it was good enough for me. We met our guides- Riley, Benny, and Matty who were 1) super accommodating and 2) extremely entertaining. We kayaked kind of quickly to the glacier since we were behind on time, geared up and headed to the glacier. Our group was in pretty good shaped and up for an adventure so Mattie and Benny took us along a new and slightly more challenging route but it was awesome and I still felt safe with them. Hiking up in crampons is a phenomenal workout. I wanted to see an ice cave so we hiked across to the other side of the glacier to see the remnants of a collapsed cave, but they suggested we not venture into one because they are pretty volatile and unpredictable. The guides were very goofy and fun to be with the whole time. On the kayak back, a couple of us were way ahead of the group and Benny led us through a giant maze of ice bergs which made for great photos! Once back on dry land we put up our gear, got a couple snack bars and checked out the glacier one last time from shore before headed back onto the train. Even on the train the guides helped to make sure we were seated for dinner. Matt hung out with my boyfriend and I while we waited for a table before he got off at their stop. Overall I'd say it was well worth the money (around $400 with a tip) and an experience I will literally never forget. Glacier hiking has been on my bucket list for years and I'm so glad I had this experience. I would definitely suggest purchasing travel insurance though in case you get sick or can't make the trip because the refund policy is very strict. I almost couldn't make it and freaked out, but it all worked out. GET INSURANCE!! It'll be worth the peace of mind.

Thank Gabrielle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2018

If you only have one day to play in the outdoors near Anchorage, this trip is a great option. The full day included a very scenic train ride, hiking and kayaking and amazing views all around. The Spencer Glacier was spectacular to see and the guide was terrific. They gave clear instructions on what clothing to wear and gear to bring, but also had great gear to share (including very good kayaks) for those who needed it. The boxed lunch wasn't anything to write home about, but it was perfectly fine and as expected.

Thank ShelbsinSalem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2018 via mobile

It’s taken me almost a year to write this review because of how terrible this made me feel. We were so looking forward to this part of our vacation, we booked it months in advance and despite the high price were more excited for this than any other part of our Alaska vacation.

We get ready, we take a beautiful train ride to the kayak location, eating a mediocre lunch on the way, we get there, get loaded into a bus and sit and wait...and wait. A man (allegedly an intern, but why is an intern delivering this news and is the primary contact of emergency response) get on and goes “who’s excited to go on a glacier today! Give yourselves a big round of applause!” Then after we all cheer “unforunately we’re not doing that today!”

We are all confused. We are told we cannot be told what is going on. We are told we are going on a hike. We wait another 30 minutes while the guides figure out what to do. We go on a crappy 30 minute hike with little talking from the guides. We see a helicopter land on the glacier (something is clearly wrong). We get put on an early train back after a few bad wise cracks from the “intern”. Our actual guide on the train says call the office they’ll made it right (guide was the only good part of the trip by the way, pay them much more!).

Sitting on the train with two other people from this trip we both call the office. The couple next to us is told they could go on the trip the next day, they have an early flight and cannot. We ask if we can go out the next day, told it is impossible, we say the people we are with were offered this, we are told they are lying. Call back tomorrow and we will see what we can do.

Call back the next day, it is impossible to reschedule, they are booked the rest of summer. We are offered less than one quarter of what we paid as a refund, we say this is unacceptable, they say the owner will call us. Cut to 3 days later after us chasing the owners we finally get in contact with them. The focus is on how it was an emergency, why are we upset? They seem to think we only want to know what happened on the glacier. We let them know, we understand there was an emergency, we completely understand and did not want to go on the glacier and hamper rescue efforts. All we care about is that we were treated with 0 respect, ignored and given no explanation for days, and barely any refund for an experience we did not receive.

My girlfriend and the female of the couple ownership group go back and forth. This woman makes my girlfriend feel like garbage, she makes her cry. We paid over $600 for this and are treated like garbage for being upset. We are told this is killer for their business, but also they are booked every single day from June to September so how could they make it up (I know running a small business is hard and losing a half days revenue is tough but come on). The main focus is on the fact that we had a train ride and a mediocre lunch.

Finally, I get on the phone and after days of trying to reach them am able to negotiate a little bit less than half of a refund. And after days of stress that threatened to ruin our vacation we are finally able to (kind of) move on. Thank god we were able to go out to Mantanuska Glacier with a company that was literally giving the clothes off their backs in the rain to keep guests dry.

TL;DR An emergency happened that cancelled our trip when we arrived, that’s ok things happen, but we were treated like total garbage in the process, and had to fight for less than half of a refund. Never use this company.

9  Thank alexmak17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 June 2018 via mobile

This was a top notch experience. We were lucky to have Matt as our guide. He was very knowledgeable and passionate. We had a blast exploring the glacier. This trip is a must if you want an unforgettable trip.

1  Thank Jeremy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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