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The South Pole: A Wonder of the World?

Stonehenge; the Roman Colosseum; Petra in Jordan. For many travelers, sites like these "wonders of the world" are a must-see and I get it! They have a combination of culture and history that make them fascinating and they are relatively easy to access. Antarctica on the other hand is not easy to access. It defines the word remote. It's separated from the rest of the world by a massive and remarkable ocean. Its environment is so extreme that there is no indigenous human population. And yet, if you're like me, the pull to go there is impossible to ignore.

The Ceremonial South Pole is surrounded is by the flags of the 12 countries that signed the original Antarctic Treaty.

Is the South Pole a wonder of the world? Absolutely!! Is it a dream destination for everyone? No. Will it reward intrepid travelers with adventurous spirits? Oh yes! If you'd love to experience the South Pole and Antarctica here are three ways to do it:

Yes, you can ski to the South Pole but it's not easy. You'll be pulling a sled with all your gear in temperatures as low as -40 F/C. And while that's hard, the most challenging part is maintaining your energy throughout the day, putting one foot in front of the next and balancing your body temperature. It might sound easy, but in temperatures that cold nothing is easy. Even eating and staying hydrated takes work and requires a huge commitment.

But what's incredible is that we do this not to survive but to THRIVE. Yes, we will be challenged, and yes, you must be prepared, but the rewards are immense and incredibly worthwhile. How long is it? It typically takes us 8-10 days to ski the "Last Degree" from 89 degrees to 90 degrees, where the South Pole awaits. Our Polar Shakedown Training is the best way to prepare for the expedition. Contact us for more details. A few spaces remain on this season's expedition and we'd love to see if you're a good match for the team.

Skiing across the Polar Plateau
Skiing from 89 to 90 degrees South, across the Polar Plateau is hard but rewarding

South Pole Last Degree + Mount Vinson After skiing to the South Pole you'll be well acclimatized to the cold and also to the altitude of the Polar Plateau (9,300 ft). Put all that hard-earned training to work by climbing Antarctica's highest mountain, Mount Vinson. On Mt. Vinson you'll experience and appreciate an entirely different side of Antarctica. The scenery is amazing and so different from the polar plateau. Yes, it's very hard work and yes, weather can still be a big challenge but you'll be so impressed and inspired. Though Mount Vinson does not have a very technical ascent, previous mountaineering skills are required. Let us help you assess your skills and make recommendations for the best way to prepare.

A person at the summit of Mt. Vinson, Antarctica
The top of Antarctica - summiting Mount Vinson.

South Pole Flight Yes, you can experience the South Pole without having to pull a sled to get there! In fact, flying to the South Pole is an incredible way to experience the interior of Antarctica in a relatively short amount of time. And while you're not enroute to the South Pole or at the South Pole, your home away from home will be the Union Glacier Basecamp at the base of the southern Ellsworth Mountains where the scenery is out of this world. You'll have a chance to explore the surrounding area with daily guided activities and tours followed by hearty meals and a comfortable night's sleep in the basecamp's expedition tents, but the flight to the South Pole is the heart of this awesome adventure.

A person standing at the Geographic South Pole marker
The Geographic South Pole marker at exactly 90 degrees South. The Ceremonial South Pole (see the first picture) is +/- a hundred meters away.

Looking for something else? We're passionate about the polar regions and we'd love to help you experience them. Give us a call and share your Antarctic dreams with us. We'd love to help you turn that dream into reality. Or if you're thinking about any other polar expedition whether it's Greenland, the North Pole, in the tracks of Shackleton on South Georgia Island, or across Europe's largest glacier in Iceland, we want to hear from you!


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