FULL South Pole Ski Expedition

The Full South Pole Expedition challenges even the most experienced adventurers. Expect driving winds, heavy sleds, eight to ten hours of skiing each day and temperatures plunging well below zero. Expect also pristine wilderness, surreal beauty and the adventure of a lifetime. Polar exploration at its finest!

Like the early polar explorers you will set out for the South Pole from the Antarctic coast, climbing from sea level and scaling the Polar Plateau. Prior experience is required for this extreme expedition. Contact PolarExplorers for more information here.

 

  • Itinerary
  • Equipment List
  • Qualifications
  • Dates & Rates
  • Trip Insurance
  • Testimonials
  • Blogs

South Pole Full Daily Itinerary

Pre-expedition: Meet in Punta Arenas, Chile. Individual gear check. Official welcome reception and dinner in evening.

Day 1
Depart for Antarctica (weather permitting). The 4.5 hour flight will take us across the Drake Passage, past the coast of Antarctica and to the Union Glacier basecamp base camp.
Day 2-3
We'll spend two days at or near the Union Glacier basecamp base camp practicing our routine and ensuring that "all systems are go" before we depart for our starting point. This will likely include an overnight shakedown with our loaded sleds as well as time to acclimatize to the spectacular environment.
Day 5-60
A short flight by ski-equipped Twin Otter takes us to Hercules Inlet or the Messner Start, our two different starting points for this expedition. Depending on the route the first few days may see us climbing from approximately sea level to 800 meters. From Hercules Inlet, the Geographic South Pole lies over a thousand kilometers away (730 miles). From the Messner Start it lies 930 kilometers away (580 miles). The terrain will vary from wind blasted snow, to blue ice (very slick), to softer snow. We will also encounter sastrugi (wind patterns in the snow) which can range in size from a few centimeters to over a meter. As we make our way south, we'll pass beautiful nunataks (tips of mountains poking up through the snow) and see mountains both near and far. The temperatures may range significantly, but we can expect anything from -15c to -40 c. The wind will often be in our face as it pours off the Antarctic plateau towards the ocean. It will be one of the many challenges that we face on a daily basis. Additionally, we'll continue a gradual ascent from 800 meters to approximately 3,330 meters near the South Pole.
Day 60+
Extra time built into the itinerary for weather delays, rest days, etc.

South Pole FULL Expedition: Equipment List

Upon registration, you will receive a comprehensive PolarExplorers gear guide that explains the importance of each item as well as gear recommendations from our past participants.

  • 1 pair skis and ski poles
  • 1 pair skins covering the full length of your skis
  • 1 pair snow pack ski boots
  • Sleeping bag rated to at least -35° Celsius
  • Bivy sack
  • 2 sleeping pads
  • 1 wind anorak with hood
  • 1 wind pants
  • 1 insulated parka with hood
  • 1 warm fleece jacket and pants
  • 2 sets 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 liner or "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
  • 1 pee bottle (small plastic bottle)
  • Face cream, lip protection
  • 4 carabiners

PolarExplorers FULL South Pole Expedition Qualifications

This is an extremely challenging expedition designed for people looking for and prepared for the ultimate adventure. A resume of your previous expedition experience and approval of the guide is required for your participation. Full medical evacuation insurance is required. Please contact us for more details.

 

South Pole Full Dates & Rates

2015 Dates

November 17, 2015 – January 20, 2016 (Hercules Inlet Start)

November 17, 2015 - January 14, 2016 (Messner Start)

Price

Please contact us for pricing

Inclusions

Includes all accommodations and meals while in Antarctica, guide(s), permits, communication & safety gear.

Expeditions 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.

Select a policy below to receive a quote or purchase a policy:

I live in the USA or Canada

Travelex Insurance

Choose the TRAVEL SELECT policy and add the ADVENTURE PLUS PAK to receive appropriate medical evacuation coverage.

Travel Guard

Trip Cancellation & Medical Evacuation Purchase the policy within 14 days to get a pre-exisisting medical condition wavier.

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.)

I live Outside the USA or Canada

Travelex Insurance

Important! Add the ADVENTURE PLUS PAK to receive appropriate medical evacuation coverage.

South Pole FULL Expedition Testimonials

Bryony BalenMany thanks to everyone at PolarExplorers for making this expedition possible for me. I enjoyed every minute of it (even though I didn't expect to) and that was in part due to our guide's leadership.

Bryony Balen

 

Dennis WoodsIf you are seriously considering this trip you should do it. Make sure you have an iPod that has lots of fast, upbeat music. Train until it hurts for at least 6 months before departure. Take Jelly Babies and insist on lots of beer nuts from PolarExplorers.

Dennis Woods

Don't undertake this expedition lightly. Be prepared, put some weight on and get your head in the right place before you start.

Bryony Balen

  • Last Degree Ski Expedition Team Back in Longyearbyen

    The Last Degree Ski Expedition Team were picked up at the North Pole around 10:00 PM on Tuesday, 21 April and flown to Barneo.  They celebrated their accomplishments and enjoyed sleeping in heated tents.  They flew from Barneo back to Longyearbyen on Weds 22 April, arriving around 3:00 PM.  They enjoyed well deserved showers and had their celebratory dinner at Kroa.  Ken and Rob flew out from Longyearbyen today to points south, other team members continue to glow with their accomplishments and enjoy the ambience of Longyearbyen.  Again, major congratulations to an awesome team on a job superbly well done!

    Written on Thursday, 23 April 2015 15:06 in 2015 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition
  • Half Degree Dogsled Expedition Back in Longyearbyen, Then On To London

    The Half Degree Dogsled Expedition Team had been on stand-by in Barneo, awaiting the arriving flight from Longyearbyen.  They awoke to beautiful weather this morning and left Barneo around 1:00 PM today.  They arrived Longyearbyen around 3:00 PM and the team showered, gathered their belongings, said their final farewells and flew out to London.  Congratulations to all team members and guides on a job exceedingly well done!!

    Written on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 20:38 in 2015 Half Degree North Pole Dogsled Expedition
  • Polar Inspiration Team On Plane to Longyearbyen From Barneo

    The Polar Inspiration Team called in from the Antonov (charter flight) from Barneo back to Longyearbyen.  Their estimated arrival time in Longyearbyen is 11:30 PM.  They recapped their last couple of days- arriving at the North Pole 7 AM on Monday April 20.  Had some dinner/breakfast, then went to bed.  They rotated days and nights, sleeping, eating, relaxing.  When they woke up this morning and the clouds parted, they could see they were only 1/3 mile (.53 km) from the 2° dogsledding team.  They skied to the other team, partied with them then got picked up by helicopter back to Barneo around noon.  More partying at Barneo with Aurora Borealis, cheese fondue and a legendary PolarExplorers Poetry Slam.  Then on to their flight to Longyearbyen.  Showers and beds are almost in sight!  Congratulations again to an amazing team on a job exceedingly well done!!

    Written on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 20:31 in 2015 Polar Inspiration Expedition
  • 2° Dogsled Team on Plane to Longyearbyen Tonight

    The 2° Dogsled Expedition Team is on the plane from Barneo back to Longyearbyen right now, estimated arrival time 11:30 PM local.  Showers and beds are almost within sight!  Perhaps a wee bit of celebration even before the showers...  Congratulations to all team members and leaders on a job exceedingly well done!!

    Written on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 20:03 in 2015 North Pole 2 Degree Dogsled Expedition
  • Last Degree Ski Team Still At North Pole- Awaiting Pick Up to Return to Barneo

    The team spent the day resting, relaxing, playing cards and eating- well deserved R & R!  The sun has finally come out and they were able to take some great pictures of the spectacular scenery.  They are awaiting their helicopter pick up back to Barneo which should be coming in an hour or so.

    Written on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 19:01 in 2015 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition
  • Half Degree Dogsled Team Still at Barneo

    The Half Degree Dogsled Team is still at Barneo, waiting for weather to clear for their flight back to Longyearbyen.  It has given them time to reflect on their experiences as you can hear from Mark Roberts below.

    Written on Monday, 20 April 2015 23:54 in 2015 Half Degree North Pole Dogsled Expedition
  • Enjoying the North Pole Landscape/Icescape - Last Degree Ski Expedition

    The team is enjoying some well deserved rest time at the North Pole (or as close as they can be in light of the continual drift).  The wind his died down significantly- now just 10 knot gusts.  The temperatures are the coldest they have experienced yet, estimated at -30°C (-22°F).  But the team is comfortable in their tents, visiting between tents, playing cards and imbibing in just a wee bit of well deserved liquor.  They are thoroughly enjoying the natural ice sculptures all around them and grateful for some time to just enjoy their hard earned destination.  Often teams are picked up by helicopter shortly after they reach the North Pole and don't have a chance to fully relish the experience.  You deserve this one, team!!

    Written on Monday, 20 April 2015 20:24 in 2015 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition
  • Epic Finish - The Pole At Last!! Polar Inspiration

    Current position:  90° North!!

    Mission accomplished!  The team reached the North Pole around 7:00 AM local.  They hit the trail around 1 AM and skied through the night.  They encountered very challenging conditions with a lot of open water, very strong winds, cold temperatures and poor visibility.  But nothing would stop this inspirational team.  Spirits are super high as you can hear in the audio update.  CONGRATULATIONS!!

    Written on Monday, 20 April 2015 15:16 in 2015 Polar Inspiration Expedition
  • Epic Finish - The Pole At Last!! 2° Dogsled Expedition

    Current position:  90° North!!

    Mission accomplished!  The team reached the North Pole around 6:00 AM local.  It was a very challenging day (or night) with a lot of open water, strong winds and cold temperatures (-14°C, 7°F).  They traveled for 13 hours with very poor visibility (30', 9m).  They persevered and achieved their goal.  They promise to call in an audio update once everyone is awake and has had their coffee and bacon.  CONGRATULATIONS!!

    Written on Monday, 20 April 2015 15:14 in 2015 North Pole 2 Degree Dogsled Expedition
  • Epic Finish- The Pole At Last!! Last Degree Ski Expedition

    Current position:  90° North!!

    Mission accomplished!  The team reached the North Pole at 3:00 AM local.  A challenging 8 hours of travel with lots of open water, poor visibility and strong winds.  The team persevered and traveled the 10 miles to the North Pole.  CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Written on Monday, 20 April 2015 15:11 in 2015 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition
  • Half Degree Dogsled Team at Barneo

    The team left an audio update from Barneo.  They are enjoying dinner and celebrating their accomplishments with champagne (albeit a bit slushy!).  Looking forward to sleeping in beds!

    Written on Monday, 20 April 2015 00:10 in 2015 Half Degree North Pole Dogsled Expedition
  • Last Degree Ski Team Making "Mad Dash" to the North Pole

    Current position as of 11:30 PM local:  N 89°56.5, E 136°52

    Earlier this evening the team encountered quite a bit of open water- mostly small leads but some significantly larger.  They have now found some nice pan ice and are looking forward to making their final dash to the North Pole.  A special Happy Birthday to Eric Lillstrom's wonderful mother!

    Written on Monday, 20 April 2015 00:06 in 2015 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition
  • 2° Dogsled Team On The Move

    The 2° Dogsled Team is on the move.  Weather cleared sufficiently for them to begin travel.  They are hoping to reach the North Pole sometime after midnight.  We will keep you posted as we learn more.  Go team!

    Written on Sunday, 19 April 2015 19:07 in 2015 North Pole 2 Degree Dogsled Expedition
  • Last Degree Ski Team Hit The Trail Around 6 PM

    The Last Degree Ski Team waited out the blizzard during the day, then hit the trail around 6 PM.  They are hoping to reach the North Pole around midnight.  We will keep you posted as we learn more.  Good luck to the team!

    Written on Sunday, 19 April 2015 19:05 in 2015 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition
  • Half Degree Dogsled Expedition Also Hunkered Down

    Current position:  N 89°38.7 W 76°15.9

    The team is awaiting their helicopter pick up which has been delayed due to the blizzard.  They are comfortable in their tents with plenty of food and fuel, camped on a beautiful pan of ice.  They report winds about 35 knots (40 mph) and temperatures around -18°C (-0.4°F).  All are in good spirits except the cranky one who left the Bahamian translation of the audio update below...Smile

    Written on Sunday, 19 April 2015 18:27 in 2015 Half Degree North Pole Dogsled Expedition

 


Email Us
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328


Email Us
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328

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