America has so many impressive mountains, the iconic Rockies, the cloudy Appalachians, the volcanic Cascades, the Hawaiian archipelago, the Alaska glacial mountains, etc.; they all have their impressive peaks. Let's talk more details about Mount Saint Elias.
Mount Saint Elias is a famous mountain in North America. It is located on the border between Alaska and Yukon, Canada, about 26 miles (42 km) southwest of Mount Logan. Mount Saint Elias (also designated Boundary Peak 186) is the second-highest mountain in Canada and the United States. The Canadian side of Mount St. Elias is part of Clune National Park and Preserve, while the other side of the mountain is located in St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
European explorers first saw the mountain on July 16, 1741, when an expedition led by Vitus Bering, a Danish explorer serving Russia, arrived. While some historians believe Bering named the mountain, others believe an 18th-century cartographer named it after Cape St. Elias. You will get more interesting facts about Mount Saint Elias in this post.
Mount Saint Elias Introduction
Mount St. Elias is known for its huge vertical topography. Its summit rises 18,008 feet (5,489 m) vertically in just 10 miles (16 km) horizontal distance from the head of Taan fjord. The second highest mountain in both the U.S. and Canada, Mt. St. Elias, is 35 miles away from the sea. Its vertical ski run is the longest in the world. It is comparable to Denali and peaks in the Himalayas. Since its first ascent in 1897, Mount St. Elias was scarcely climbed more than fifty times. This remote summit offers experienced climbers a world-class mountaineering challenge.
|Location||Yukon and Alaska border, Alaska, United States|
|Coordinates||60°17'32"N / 140°55'53"W|
|Height||5489 m (18,008 ft)|
|Prominence||3,430 m (11,250 ft)|
|First Climbed||July 31, 1897|
Mount Saint Elias is highly noted as it's the highest mountain so close to the ocean. At 18,008 ft (5,489m), it explodes from the shores of the Pacific Ocean and rises for over three vertical miles.
Hundreds of million years ago, the Pacific plate crashed into the North American plate, which lifted the massive mountain ranges in Alaska. Then glaciers, rivers, and wind further eroded them and shaped them into huge U-shaped valleys and high snow-covered peaks. Plate tectonics, glaciers, volcanoes, and erosion contributed to the formation of the incredible number of different natural features of Mount Elias National Park. Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park is the largest National Park in the U.S., as it covers around 13.2 million acres of land. The whole Park is protected, including the surrounding areas, making this region the largest protected land in the world.
Mount Saint Elias is one of the most rugged and harsh mountain ranges globally. Most places in the National Park can only be accessed with bush planes. The other way of accessing the mountains is hiking for miles and days. The best time to climb this mountain would be from May to August, but you should always prepare for the unpredictable weather. The storms and hurricane winds can turn the mountains into freezing conditions during summer.
No doubt, arranging to climb this renowned mountain requires previous mountaineering experience and planning. Its elevation, steepness, remoteness, extreme weather, and lack of any rescue service make this mountain one of the most elusive in North America. Remember that you need specialized guides and a lot of planning and preparation before climbing Mount Saint Elias.