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

2014 Dates

November 17, 2014 – January 24, 2015 (Hercules Inlet Start)

November 17, 2014 - January 14, 2015 (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

  • Crossing Europe's Largest Glacier - A Quick Q & A

    Ski crossing of Vatnajökull

    PolarExplorers guide John Barkhausen just returned from PE's ski traverse of Europe's largest glacier. We caught up with him to find out what was special about the expedition.

    Written on Monday, 16 June 2014 18:45 in North Pole
  • Expedition Iceland's Final Day

    Returning from Vatnajökull

    After a good night's rest the team had an early start to their last day on the Vatnajokull.

    Written on Thursday, 29 May 2014 21:26 in North Pole
  • An Epic Day Skirting The Crevasses
    An Epic Day Skirting The Crevasses

    Ski crossing of Vatnajökull

    The team woke up this morning with very low visibility, but pressed on toward the goal of camping at the base of Hvannadalshnjukur.

    Written on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 21:11 in North Pole
  • The Uphill Battle Begins
    The Uphill Battle Begins

    Ski crossing of Vatnajökull

    The Expedition Iceland team had a fantastic day on the glacier today. Since their encounter with blustery winds ended two days ago, the weather has been ideal.

    Written on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 21:32 in North Pole
  • 20 Miles And Some Downhill Sledding!
    20 Miles And Some Downhill Sledding!

    Ski crossing of Vatnajökull

    On Monday, having waited out the howling winds, the team left their cozy hut at the Grimsvotn Caldera to continue the trek toward Hvannadalshnjúkur.

    Written on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 16:10 in North Pole
  • The Wind Picks Up at the Grimsvotn Hut

    Enjoying baked brie at the Grimsfjall Hut

    After a grueling day of skiing on Saturday (20-30 MPH winds buffeted the team with sleet over the course of the 10 mile day) the team made it to the Grimsfjall Hut on the caldera rim of the Grimsvötn Volcano.

    Written on Monday, 26 May 2014 17:50 in North Pole
  • Day 2: Clear Skies and Nunataks
    Day 2: Clear Skies and Nunataks

    Ski crossing of Vatnajökull

    The team had a beautiful travelling day today on the Glacier. With clear skies for most of the day and temperatures hovering right around freezing, this was the ideal day to put some more miles behind them. 

    Written on Friday, 23 May 2014 20:20 in North Pole
  • On the road, Off-road, and On The Ice

    Ski crossing of Vatnajökull

    The team was up early this morning to load up and get on the road to the Vatnajokull Glacier. The drive took about 7 hours with 4.5 hours of it being off-road.

    Written on Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:53 in North Pole
  • Our Vatnajökull Expedition Kicks Off!

    The 2014 PolarExplorers Vatnajökull Expedition is set and ready to begin! Annie, John, and Taylor picked up the team members early this morning and spent the day finalizing logistics, briefing, and packing up their sleds.

    Written on Friday, 16 May 2014 19:31 in North Pole
  • North Pole wrap up... on to Iceland next!

    It's hard to believe that after a year of planning the North Pole season has come to a close.

    Written on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 21:27 in North Pole
  • The Pole At Last!

    Wahoo! After overcoming huge challenges including negative drift, open water, low visibility & significant headwinds we are extremely proud to report that our last degree ski team reached the North Pole at 10:51 AM this morning, April 21.

    Written on Monday, 21 April 2014 20:38 in North Pole
  • Caught In The "Polar Treadmill"

    Though our last degree ski team has skied well more than 60 nautical miles they have not yet reached the North Pole.

    Written on Sunday, 20 April 2014 00:00 in North Pole
  • So close, yet still on the move...

    One of the most fascinating things about the pack ice near the North Pole is that it never stays the same for very long. Our last degree ski team knows this all too well.

    Written on Saturday, 19 April 2014 23:16 in North Pole
  • The Ski Team Makes it One Step Closer to The Pole

    The day started beautiful and calm, making for a great travel day.

    Written on Friday, 18 April 2014 21:14 in North Pole
  • The Skiers Make Great Headway

    The Ski Expedition made more miles today in beautiful weather.

    Written on Thursday, 17 April 2014 19:00 in North Pole

 


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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