Girls on Ice Alaska

Inspiring Girls Expeditions


Denali Park, AK


Jun 9 - Jun 20




Each June, a team of nine girls spends 12 days in the Eastern Alaska Range, exploring an alpine landscape. We experience everything from hiking through alpine meadows to observing a noisy icefall; from spotting caribou on the mountain slopes to traveling across snow-covered glaciers, all while taking advantage of Alaska’s long summer days!

The Girls on Ice Alaska program is held on Gulkana Glacier on Ahtna Nenn’, the traditional lands of the Ahtna people. The Gulkana Glacier is known to the Ahtna as C'ulc'ena' Luu' or ‘cutting stream glacier,’ which Girls on Ice Alaska participants will see is a perfect description of the dramatic stream flowing from the glacier just a short hike from camp.

Inspiring Girls* Expeditions combines science, art, inquiry, and outdoor exploration.

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Girls on Ice: an all-female science immersion course on top of a glacier

One program called “Girls on Ice” connects high school girls with both science and mountaineering — another space that’s historically been dominated by men — by taking them out for a week to explore a glacier with an all-female team of scientists and mountaineers...“I think it’s just so empowering, just that as women, alone, we can do this,” Jessica Mejia, a glaciologist and one of the organizers of the trip, said. “We can do great science, we could be on a glacier by ourselves, we could do anything.”

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Girls on the ice of Alaska

“We talked about how the girls would be inspired, but we didn’t count on how much we would be inspired,” said Young, a graduate student in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In July, she, two other grad students, and a mountaineer led nine teenage girls onto Gulkana Glacier for eight days of science and life on ice...16-year-old Chloe Smith of Palmer, said via email: “The hard part was facing the things that scared me or intimidated me, and the things that made me uncomfortable. Carefully stepping over crevasse after crevasse as you were engulfed in wind, rain, and fog. Listening to the thunder and distant rock slides from inside our three small tents. I told myself, ‘You can do this"

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