South Pole Half Degree Ski Expedition

Do you want to have the experience of skiing to the South Pole without having to ski the last degree? Our Half Degree ski expedition offers a great alternative. While it's half the distance of our last degree ski expedition you'll spend the same amount of time on the continent, with a few extra days to explore the vicinity of the Union Glacier Basecamp.

Expect to experience extreme cold temperatures, gusty wind, glorious blue-sky days and complete white-outs. You can get it all during this expedition. Ending at the Amundsen Scott South Pole Station you'll have the opportunity to visit the base and experience the ceremonial South Pole as well as the Geographic South Pole (only a few meters away from each other). If the Station schedule permits we will take a tour of the Amundsen Scott South Pole Station and experience what life is like for the scientists and support staff that call this southern-most outpost in the world "Home".


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

South Pole Half Degree Ski Expedition Daily Itinerary

Day 1-2
Arrive in Punta Arenas. Gear check and pre-flight briefing.
Day 3
Weather permitting we'll fly to Antarctica.
Day 4
Spend the day at Union Glacier basecamp.
Day 5-6
Weather permitting, we'll fly to S 89. 30' and get dropped off. Depending on the time we may opt to ski a couple of miles, but we will take it easy to allow for acclimatization.
Day 7-11
Ski to the South Pole! Arrive at the South Pole. Photo session at the ceremonial South Pole and time to relax at the expedition base camp. We plan to tour the Amundsen Scott South Pole station pending scheduling of the station staff.
Day 12-14
Return to the Union Glacier Basecamp, followed by return to Punta Arenas, Chile.

South Pole 20K 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 insulated parka with hood (available to rent)
  • 1 pair insulated pants (available to rent)
  • 1 pair snow pack ski boots (available to rent)
  • 1 pair wool, silk, or synthetic long underwear tops and bottoms.
  • 2 pair heavy wool or synthetic socks
  • 1 wool or fleece sweater (mid weight)
  • 1 wool or fleece sweater (heavy weight)
  • 1 neck gaiter
  • 1 pair wool or synthetic gloves
  • 1 pair wool or fleece mittens
  • 1 pair sunglasses or snow goggles
  • Casual clothing for Punta Arenas (shirt, pants, socks, pajamas, underwear, etc.)
  • 1 pair slippers for inside the mess tent
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, etc.)
  • Personal medications (with prescription for customs!)

South Pole 20K Ski Expedition Qualifications

Our North and South Pole Flights are for people who want to experience the North & South Poles, but don't have the time, energy or funding to do a full expedition. People on these Flights have ranged in age from 1 to 81 years! All of these trips require that you can climb several stairs into and out of the plane as well as being able to walk across the uneven terrain of the ice. We can assist you as necessary.

The South Pole Flight requires you to sleep in a tent (with a very warm sleeping bag). To best enjoy this adventure you should be in moderate shape. Contact us if you have any questions or to register for this great trip of a lifetime here.

South Pole 20K Ski Expedition Dates & Rates

2016-2017 Dates

December 31, 2016 - January 14, 2017


Please contact us for pricing


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 20K Ski Testimonials

Tony ValukisA wonderful trip, with a truly extraordinary group of people . It was absolutely a delight traveling with our Dirk (our PE Guide) he couldn’t have been more helpful and encouraging.  He certainly knows how to fry polish sausage in butter.

Tony Valukis

Scott AndersonMy first glimpse of the Pole marker as we were approaching on our skis will stay with me forever. It's a place I'm unlikely to be again. Even if by some strange chance I find myself there again, to see it for the first time, and to have made it there myself on skis, it's a feeling I don't think I will ever duplicate.

Scott Anerson

  • Welcome to our 2016 Vatnajökull Blog!

    We are very excited to be gathering on May 17 in Reykjavik, Iceland for the start of this expedition. We have a wonderful team of skiers who are all making final preparations for the upcoming adventure. This blog will officially kick off on May 17 with daily updates and audio dispatches from the glacier.

    We look forward to having you join us for this incredible expedition.

    Written on Wednesday, 04 May 2016 21:15 in Vatnajökull Ski Expedition
  • Back in Longyearbyen, expedition wrap up

    What a wonderful expedition it was! The last couple of days were busy and exciting. After the Air Berlin fly by and pick up from the Pole the team spent the night near the Barneo runway in their own tents. The next morning (April 24) they walked over the the Barneo Ice Camp where they met some Russian military personnel who were very welcoming.

    Written on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 14:19 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Day at the North Pole

    While waiting for extraction, the team spent all day today enjoying their time at the Geographic North Pole. There are still several other teams en route to the pole that will be getting air-lifted out together. The guys took advantage of the extra time by having a second photo shoot (photos coming soon) and relaxing in their tents.

    Written on Sunday, 24 April 2016 00:15 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Success! The Pole!

    Great news! The team reached the North Pole today at 4:30 PM local time. Way to go team!!

    They awoke to an overcast sky but the wind had died down from yesterday to around 5-10 kts. The temperature had also warmed to around 0 F. There was a light snow falling as they skied.

    Again they passed through zones of pressure separated by a few decent sized pans. Traveling on pan ice is a wonderful break from the zig zagging of navigating pressure ridges. It allows you to travel must faster and it's a nice break for the mind as well.

    The last two nautical miles to the pole were increasingly pressurized. They were doing lots of skiing to the east or west without much northwards progress. They reached one large pressure ridge and Keith paused to ask the team which way they thought would be best. Andrew immediately answered, "to the right of course!" (Andrew is an active member of the New Zealand National Party).

    Finally they were in the home stretch and James led the final distance to the Geographic North Pole. 

    They celebrated their significant achievement before setting up camp where the party is continuing on. They are making calls home and drinking the Aurora Borealis cocktails (that's 1/2 champagne, 1/2 vodka and a handful of snow from the Geographic North Pole). 

    Everyone is doing great and all are having a good time. 

    Here's a shot of them celebrating with their Aurora Borealis cocktails

    We are awaiting their audio update so check back again soon!

    Congratulations to our entire team! Andrew, James, Mike and Keith, you all did a superb job and we are thrilled that you are now celebrating at the top of the world. Enjoy it!

    Written on Friday, 22 April 2016 18:24 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • The Home Stretch

    Current Position N 89°49'41" E 135°27'10"

    That puts our team at just over 10 nautical miles away from the North Pole! 

    Written on Thursday, 21 April 2016 19:29 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Progressing Steadily

    Current position (N 89° 37' 16" E 123° 49' 32")

    The Last Degree team made excellent progress again today as they navigated over and around an increasing number of pressure ridges and rubble zones, followed by a long flat pan of ice. Their tenacious pace, coupled with positive drift, (1.5 nautical miles overnight) has put them well ahead of schedule as they approach the 2/3 mark of the expedition.

    Written on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 20:44 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Another beautiful day

    Today the team reports another beautiful day. The temperature was slightly colder, around -6 F with a 3-5 kt wind coming from their backs. The sky was clear for most of the day and remains clear tonight. If you are thinking that this means a starry sky keep in mind that they have 24 hour sunlight. The sun rotates overhead but never dips at all.

    Written on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 19:10 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Great first day on the ice

    It was a beautiful day on the pack ice. Sunny, slight wind from behind, a pleasant -3 F, and no open water. 

    Written on Monday, 18 April 2016 19:23 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Andrew's birthday celebrated with a flight to the ice!

    It was a good day for a birthday. Though the day started with more waiting (their flight was postponed from 3 PM to 6 PM) the team finally go the call to quickly head to the airport.

    Written on Monday, 18 April 2016 03:10 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Runway repaired, team scheduled to fly tomorrow

    The good news about today is that the runway at Barneo has been repaired and two flights were made which helped to clear up the backlog of flights.

    Written on Sunday, 17 April 2016 02:20 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Sleds at airport, the team is ready to go.

    Today our team spent the day in Longyearbyen. They were meant to fly to the ice today but because of a crack in the runway and a backlog of flights from an earlier crack they are still awaiting their flight.

    Written on Saturday, 16 April 2016 04:04 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • A busy day of preparations but time for some fun too

    Today the team spent time reviewing tents and stoves and doing all their final packing of sleds. They took some time to review polar bear safety and made a special trip to the firing range to test the shotgun and set off some flares.

    Written on Thursday, 14 April 2016 20:29 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Kickoff for the 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition!

    Our North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition officially kicked off tonight with a welcome reception. Everyone is in Longyearbyen and excited for the upcoming expedition.

    Written on Wednesday, 13 April 2016 20:32 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • Meet the team!

    We'd like to introduce our intrepid 2016 North Pole Last Degree Skiers:

    Written on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 00:00 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog
  • 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition

    Welcome to the 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition blog!

    Written on Wednesday, 23 March 2016 19:30 in 2016 North Pole Last Degree Ski Blog


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

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Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328

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