North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition
Long days, arduous conditions and difficult terrain. Sound like fun? We think so! Our North Pole Last Degree Expedition is our most popular Polar Expedition and an adventure in every sense of the word. Traveling across the dynamic polar pack ice requires patience and agility, not to mention a flexible attitude to deal with the many diversions that pop up over the course of each day. From open water "leads" to huge pressure ridges, there are many obstacles on this expedition that make reaching the North Pole all the more satisfying.
This expedition begins in the remote, yet modern village of Longyearbyen, Norway, well above the Arctic Circle at 78 degrees north. Most team members participate in our Polar Shakedown Training and they arrive feeling well prepared and excited for a great journey. We plan for one day in town to review your equipment, ready our kits and take care of last minute details.
From Longyearbyen we'll make our way to approximately 89 degrees north latitude via a charter flight and possibly an additional helicopter lift. Depending on conditions and the time of our arrival we'll either set up camp or strap on our skis and sleds and head off toward our goal - the geographic North Pole. Skiing 7-10 hours a day over the dynamic pack ice, we'll encounter many challenges and breathtaking scenery. If conditions are good, our route will take us across large pans of flat ice that present few obstacles. When conditions are less than ideal, we'll have to maneuver around open water "leads" and over pressure ridges that can range from 1-5 meters in height. Families and friends can follow your daily progress and send you messages via our online expedition blogs.
As with all of our expeditions this is a "hands-on" experience. You'll be participating in all aspects of the expedition, including setting up camp, cooking, tracking our progress, etc. Give us a call (contact us page) and let us tell you more about what skills you should have prior to the expedition, and what skills we will be teaching you prior to our departure. Our Shakedown trip is an ideal way to learn all the skills that are necessary for an expedition of this magnitude.
- Equipment List
- Dates & Rates
- Trip Insurance
North Pole Last Degree Ski : Daily Itinerary
- Day 1
- Meet in Longyearbyen. Transfer from airport to hotel. Unpack gear and relax. Opportunity to explore Longyearbyen. Welcome reception and dinner.
- Day 2
- Final equipment review, warm-up ski near Longyearbyen. Pre-flight briefing and transfer of all kit to the airport for weigh-in and pre loading.
- Day 3
- Fly to 89 degrees North latitude, strap on skis and head North!
- Day 4-11
- Ski north towards the Pole! Days are spent skiing and taking relatively short breaks. Evenings are spent setting up camp, preparing meals and relaxing with fellow expedition team members.
- Day 12
- Arrive at the geographic North Pole! Enjoy a Polar celebration with champagne, photographs, and plenty of photos. Call home and share the moment with friends or family! Camp in the vicinity of the North Pole.
- Day 13
- Pick up by charter helicopter and fly back to 89 degrees. Board return flight to Longyearbyen. Hot showers and celebratory dinner!
- Day 14
- Breakfast at Longyearbyen lodge. Transport to airport. Flights home!
This itinerary is highly dependent on a number of factors and is subject to change. Contact us for a more detailed itinerary!
North Pole Last Degree Ski: Equipment List
Upon registration, you will receive a PolarExplorers comprehensive gear guide that explains the importance of each item as well as gear recommendations from our past participants.
- 1 pair skis and ski poles (supplied by PolarExplorers)
- 1 pair skins (supplied by PolarExplorers)
- 1 pair snow pack ski boots
- 1 pair extra boot liners
- Sleeping bag rated to at least -35° Celsius (bring your own or let PolarExplorers supply this item)
- Bivy sack (bring your own or let PolarExplorers supply this item)
- 2 sleeping pads (bring your own or let PolarExplorers supply this item)
- 1 wind anorak with hood (supplied by PolarExplorers - yours to keep)
- 1 wind pants
- 1 insulated parka with hood
- 1 warm fleece jacket and pants
- 2 sets wool or synthetic underwear, medium weight top and bottom- 2nd set optional
- 3 sets mitts: 1 regular, 1 overmitts, 1 spare regular mitts or gloves
- 2 pair working gloves
- 2 hats: 1 lightweight balaclava, 1 ski type
- 2 neck gaiters
- 3 pair socks and sock liners
- 1 face mask
- Sun glasses and/ or mountain ski glasses
- 2 pr. anti-fog goggles
- 1 sturdy small backpack with waist belt and sternum strap
- 2 Thermos bottles or insulated water bottles
- 1 set eating utensils with bowl
- Pocket knife / multi-tool
- Personal toiletries
- Several small stuff sacks
- 1 pee bottle (small plastic bottle)
- Face cream, lip protection
- 4 carabiners
- Luggage locks
North Pole Last Degree Ski: Qualifications
This expedition is for people who are in good shape, and are eager to push themselves physically and mentally. Though the skiing is quite demanding, it does not require significant skill (it is similar to walking with skis on).You will need to have very good cardiovascular endurance and the ability to pull a heavy sled (between 30-40 kilos) for several hours at a time.
Towards the end of the day when we stop skiing, it is critical that you have the energy reserves to set up camp and help out with the basic necessities of camp life including making water, cooking, etc. Most importantly you need to be able to regulate your body temperature so that you do not get too cold, or too hot while you are on the move. This expedition will encounter extremely cold conditions, and living in such cold conditions 24 hours a day can be very challenging.
You do not have to be a world class athlete to participate in and enjoy this expedition, but every ounce of training and preparation will help to make the expedition more enjoyable and safer.
Check out our Shakedown training courses Link to shakedown) for prospective polar explorers.Please contact us with further questions!
North Pole Last Degree Ski Dates & Rates
Tentative 2019 Dates
Dates: April 12-25, 2019
We hope to have pricing for the 2019 season by early summer 2018
For reference, in 2018 the price for our North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition was € 42,500 per person
Participants receive a discount on our 5-day Polar Shakedown Training. Click here for more details.
All group equipment, ski system, sleeping system, team anorak (yours to keep), guide(s), communication & safety gear, North Pole certificate, special polar gift.
In 2019 we will be offering a North Pole Two Degree Ski Expedition. Please contact us for details!
Expedition Trip Insurance
Trip cancellation insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for every PolarExplorers expedition.
Medical Evacuation insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000 USD is REQUIRED on every PolarExplorers expedition.
Ensure that your policy covers your activity, destination and any pre-existing medical conditions (to cover pre-existing medical conditions you may need to purchase your policy within 14 days or less of your initial deposit).
If you are mountaineering check that the policy covers roped technical mountain travel and the elevation limit that you will have.
Ripcord Insurance (For non-US residents use the Offer Code "ripcordintl" which will enable you to receive quotes and/or purchase policies.) If your expedition is more than USD $30,000 you may need to send an email to: ClientServices@redpointresolutions.com or call them at +1 617-307-4636
If you live in the USA you have additional options.
Travelex Insurance - Choose the TRAVEL SELECT policy and add the ADVENTURE PLUS PAK to receive appropriate medical evacuation coverage.
Travel Guard has comprehensive policies that include trip cancellation or you can purchase a Single Trip Medical Evacuation Important! You must include the optional Adventure Sports coverage upgrade if you are climbing any mountains or traveling in rope teams. (Pre-existing medical coverage is not available with this policy.)
North Pole Last Degree Ski Testimonials
This expedition was faultless. It was relaxed yet efficient. I have not enjoyed something like this for a long time. It was an outstanding experience, one that Alex and I will never forget!Simon Hearn
It's now been a month since we made the North Pole and I have been reflecting on what a wonderful experience it was. I have been on a lot of different expeditions and have met different guides/people and I am glad to say that this experience has been great. Our guides were sensational, the logistics all ran smoothly. Thank you!Nikki Bart
I'd like to thank you for convincing me originally that I would really enjoy the North Pole ski trip and that I'd be more than capable of getting there - with the help and guidance of some great guides. Well, now that I've been home a few days and had a chance to reflect. I'm still smiling hugely. This has probably been the one experience in my life that has cemented more than any other that the real fun is the journey and not the destination. Getting to the Pole was brilliant, but the trip there, with some fantastic folks, was what made it. So a huge thanks to you allIan Clarke
It's a wrap!
Your well wishes and crossed fingers worked! The weather cleared and our team departed from Kulusuk this afternoon, saying their final farewell's to Greenland. It was a fitting end to a trip filled with weather delays, storms, & holding patterns, but also plenty of good times and rewarding days and above all a brilliant team.
Thanks to everyone who followed this blog, and thanks to our amazing Greenland team. Heather, Dale, Ian, John, Eric, Taylor, Salo and Julius, you had us wondering how it would all end and we are delighted to have been a part of your adventure.
Until next time!
Greenland Weather Strikes Again!
The team left Tasiilaq this morning on a short helicopter flight to the airport at Kulusuk. They were scheduled to fly to Reykjavik, Iceland a couple hours later.
Photos From Yesterday
We received these photos late last night. Looks like a GREAT end to the expedition! Check back again today for more...
A huge CONGRATULATIONS is in order for our team who reached their final waypoint at approximately 11:30 AM Greenland time and successfully finished their crossing of the Greenland icecap, woohoo!!!!
The Day Described With Four W's
The team could describe today using four words that start with W: wind, whiteout, warm and wet.
Chicken Strips and French Fries!
What does it say when the blog title is about food? Well, for starters food is in the top three things people think about while skiing all day every day...
Better Than Yesterday, But Still Hard
It was another tough day on the Greenland icecap. It was made that way mostly by the fresh, deep snow. The visibility was terrible again but towards the afternoon they got some breaks with a little sunshine. Oh what a sight!
Skiing in a Whiteout
Tough day today. The visibility was nil, there was absolutely no contrast, there was wind in the face, and snow. A whole lot of nothing to look at but the backs of team mates and the butts of dogs.
Getting It Done
This team is getting it done, one day at a time. Today another 37 km are behind them. They are tired but satisfied and the end of the expedition is not too far beyond the horizon.
Making Progress - Another 37 km
The team made great progress today, putting 37 km behind them. The weather was a little of everything. Cloudy, snowy, a little sun, always the wind.
On The Move Again
A day after being tent bound by strong winds the team was back at it. They made 32 kilometers in a slightly modified way of travel.
Another Day, Another Storm
We thought this might happen, but it's not all bad. Another storm day. Strong winds, cold temperatures and low visibility all combine to keep out teams in their tents today.
Shortened Day Due To Wind
It was a beautiful day today, but it was also a cold day and the wind just kept coming and coming (almost a direct headwind). It all started out OK with clear skies but as the wind picked up the ground visibility went down, and with temperatures hovering around 0° F the windchill was REALLY cold.
Cold and Windy But Good
Welcome to another day on the Greenland icecap, where today the wind and the cold were on the minds of our team. They did a great job, putting almost 30km behind them.
Another 30 km Day
Actually it was 30.2 km - a seemingly small difference, but not if you are the person who did all the skiing! They'll take every tenth of a kilometer that they can get!