Sheldon Chalet's 2021/2022 Aurora Season Introduces
Exclusive New Ice Crevasse and Cavern Exploration in
Denali National Park
Extraordinary Northern Light Sightings from September through April
New York, NY (July 07, 2021) Sheldon Chalet in Denali National Park Alaska is the perfect destination to immerse in the beauty of the aurora this upcoming season. Perched on a nunatak 6,000 ft above the Don Sheldon Amphitheater within the park, the Sheldon Chalet is only accessible by helicopter from Anchorage or Talkeetna and uniquely the only lodging on the flanks of Denali. Five acres of scenic private property at this luxury chalet offers rare access to views of some of the most dramatic vistas in the Alaska Range, and on earth.
Sheldon Chalet is introducing ice crevasse and cavern exploration as a new exclusive seasonal guest experience for fall, winter and spring. Descending into the belly of the Don Sheldon Amphitheater guests will find a frozen river of ice that slowly flows around the chalet’s nunatak [bedrock outcropping], exposing large glacial openings known as crevasses. World-class guides survey and identify the optimal areas for accessing ice caverns based on their stability and viability, inviting guests to participate in a glacier spelunking expedition that is beyond extraordinary -- to truly go where no one has gone before. Guests above the age of 10 can now explore inside sparkling caverns, which reach one hundred feet into the glacier. With a team of expert guides, guests are fitted with harnesses for a glacier exploration; led seamlessly into the cavern to find themselves surrounded by millennial-old layers of ice and snow.
“As we’ve continued to explore on and into the Ruth Glacier, we marveled at spectacular ice caverns discovered while our guides conducted standard surveying for our glacier treks. We knew that our guests must experience these caverns, but we took time to carefully design an optimal and authentic immersion unmatched anywhere in the world. Due to our weather and glacier conditions, each year unveils new caverns for our guests to explore, making every visit unique and special. Seeing up close how the compressed ice and crystals sparkle in varying shades of blue, gray and white only seen at glacial depths is a rare experience we’re excited to debut this fall” says Robert Sheldon, owner of Sheldon Chalet.
Sheldon Chalet’s curated activities
for guests include:
Ice crevasse and cavern exploration
Shooting star and meteor shower gazing
Epic sledding runs and powsurfing
Gourmet glacier picnics
Glacier trekking via snowshoes or skis
Snow cave or igloo building
Heli or fixed wing geography touring
Complementing the natural splendor of its environs, this engineering marvel is a remote, yet luxurious experience where guests will find themselves without internet access, allowing them to truly "get off the grid." From September through April, the vivid and awe-inspiring blue, purple, and green colors of the Aurora Borealis reflect off the snowy peaks and glaciers -- visible from the chalet with a clarity rarely experienced elsewhere on earth. In the upcoming fall, winter and spring seasons Denali also offers prime geophysical viewing, full moon glacier treks and pastel sunrises and sunsets. Sheldon Chalet offers the only perennial way to explore Denali in true comfort and luxury. Spend your day skiing, sledding, exploring ice crevasses, or glacier trekking on Ruth Glacier and end it with a cozy fireside evening, sauna, and gourmet dinner prepared by Sheldon Chalet’s chef showcasing the finest Alaskan locally-sourced ingredients.
At 63 degrees north latitude and an elevation of 6000 ft, Sheldon Chalet’s troposphere is some of the thinnest on the planet, allowing guests to experience shooting stars more often and brighter than anywhere else. With little to no light pollution, the stunning landscapes frame the sky turning pastel evenings into nighttime heavenly displays of aurora and stars. Guests’ proximity to the stars and the riveting topography of Denali National Park offers a surreal and uninterrupted stargazing experience above the glacier and mountains. Expert guides are on hand to educate guests about the aurora and offer insight into the night sky constellations. World-class stargazing is enhanced by the cozy fire and satisfying beverages custom crafted by your private chef.
In addition, to a luxury experience, guests get an in-depth look into the geophysical nature of their surroundings. The guides lead guests in reading the glacier’s centuries old layers, and how ice interacts with rock. Furthermore, the Sheldon Chalet and historic Mountain House will serve as the base for research in Spring 2022, studying the true depths of the glacier. Pending final scheduling, guests may participate with a team of scientist attempting to map the Don Sheldon Amphitheater and Great Gorge ice depth, as well as glacial floor using state-of-the-art technology unavailable to previous generations of explorers.
Since 1966, the Sheldon family has operated the historic Sheldon Mountain House, serving various purposes such as accommodations for recreationalists, as a communications base, and even for rescue mobilization efforts.
Robert Sheldon adds, “As guests explore the Ruth Glacier, they’re also catalyzing scientific exploration of some of the most remote and untouched terrain on earth. Through sharing our knowledge of this magnificent landscape, creating optimal passages and providing Sheldon Chalet and the historic Sheldon Mountain House as an operations base we hope to continue contributions to science and geography, just as our dad, Don Sheldon, began here on Denali more than 70 years ago when he and Bradford Washburn surveyed the Alaska Range by air and ground. The two of them conquered the mapping of Denali we see from above; now we're taking on the challenge to map below the icy surface.”
This research will hopefully unveil mysteries and stories locked away by time, both inside and beneath thousands of feet of compressed ice; an area which arguably has not been observed by humans for 120,000 years. In February of 2021, as reported in Frontiers in Marine Science, stationary life was discovered deep within Antarctica's ice shelves proving that aquatic life can exist deep below ice, is incredibly adapted, and special to its extreme conditions. Leading glaciologists believe the Don Sheldon Amphitheater and the Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier may have its own surprises in store for humanity.
Sheldon Chalet offers a private all-inclusive experience in its 2,000 square foot, 5-bedroom, luxury accommodations for up to 10 guests for a minimum of three nights/ four days.
Helicopter flightseeing tour from Anchorage
Staff - chef, concierge, and two adventure guides
Gourmet meals, beverages and luxury accommodations
Guided glacier exploration
Outdoor apparel rental package- boots, pants, parka, gloves
Use of glacier gear - trekking skis or snowshoes and poles, harnesses, and climbing helmets
Starting at $47,000 per couple for an exclusive 3-night minimum, guests will experience Denali’s unparalleled vertical grandeur at this eco-conscious chalet in a way that’s never been available until now. This ultimate experience includes gear, exploration guides, a concierge, a personal chef matching gourmet Alaska fare with premium wine pairings, guided glacier adventures, helicopter transport to and from the Chalet and life expanding moments. At Sheldon Chalet, guests can choose from unique aerial tours, back-country skiing adventures and incredible snowshoe treks with unparalleled views of the Denali summit just ten miles away. For more information about Sheldon Chalet and its exclusive explorations, please visit www.sheldonchalet.com.
About Sheldon Chalet:
Sheldon Chalet is perched on a private 4.99 acre nunatak [glacier rock outcropping] located in Denali National Park on the southern flanks of North America’s tallest massif at an elevation of 5,818 feet in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater of the mighty Ruth Glacier. The incredible panoramas feature vertical grandeur including the summit of Denali, only 10 miles away and visible from every vantage point. Air transportation is the only way to reach Sheldon Chalet which sleeps up to ten guests in five bedrooms. The dream of Alaskan visionaries, Don and Roberta Sheldon, Sheldon Chalet is a platform for the adventure of a lifetime and offers guests guides, gear, a chef, concierge, and life expanding experiences at the only destination on the flanks of North America’s highest mountain. There are no roads, rails or trails accessing the area. The closest town of Talkeetna is 55 air miles away. Robert Sheldon, his wife Marne, and sister Kate have made the Sheldon family dream become a reality. Serving delicious Alaskan fare, Sheldon Chalet provides a crown-jewel Alaskan experience with curated activities including guided glacier trekking, and aurora borealis viewing. Each guest is certain to "Experience Grand" at Sheldon Chalet.