South Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition
15 days with PolarExplorers Rating:
Upon arriving at your hotel in Punta Arenas your guide will set up a time to check your gear and answer any questions about the expedition.
More time to review kit, pack sleds and prepare group equipment for the expedition. An evening welcome reception will officially kick off the expedition.
All personal and group kit will be weighed and transferred to the airport for our charter flight. A pre-flight briefing will prepare the team for the flight to Antarctica and provide the latest weather reports and estimated departure times. If poor weather is forecasted for the coming days we may depart for Antarctica today.
Once the flight time is confirmed we will transfer to the Punta Arenas airport, clear security and board the plane for our 4.5 hour charter flight to the Union Glacier basecamp. We may spend a day or two at Union Glacier awaiting an opportunity to fly to 89 degrees.
The flight from Union Glacier to 89 degrees will take us past the Thiel Mountains where we may stop to refuel. The flight takes approximately 3-5 hours depending on aircraft and headwind, plenty of time to watch the vast interior of Antarctica unfold beneath your window. Upon landing near 89 degrees we may ski a short distance or set up camp while weacclimatize to the higher altitude.
For the next 8 days we will make our way across the frozen Antarctic plateau towards our goal - the Geographic South Pole. Skiing 6-9 hours a day you will experience a host of challenges, from thermo-regulation to keeping your goggles from icing up. Everyone is expected to participate in all aspects of camp life including making and breaking camp, collecting snow for making water, and helping with cooking, etc. On a personal level the extreme conditions of the Polar environment demand that each person is well organized and able to maintain both an appropriate body temperature and adequate reserves of energy. This is where all of your physical training, mental preparation, and time spent acquiring the best clothing and equipment will pay off. Your participation in our Polar Shakedown Training will help you tremendously as you learn what to expect and how to deal with the adverse conditions. It is immensely better to learn important expedition skills prior to the expedition. Once you are on the ice & in the extreme cold everything becomes much more difficult! Your family and friends will be able to follow your daily progress and share messages via our Expedition Blog. The South Pole: Upon reaching the South Pole, our extended celebration begins. Standing at the bottom of the world, where everything on Earth lies north of your location we will celebrate our collective accomplishment. Don’t forget your banners, flags and signs for our photo session. You’ll also have the opportunity to call home to a family member or friend. Time and permissions allowing we may be invited for guided tour of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. We will camp near the South Pole at a basecamp for expedition teams like ours.
Weather permitting a pick up flight will take us back to Union Glacier where we will await our return flight to Punta Arenas. The Union Glacier basecamp is surrounded by beautiful mountains and the relative warmth of its “northern latitude” will be a welcome change.
Weather permitting we will return to Punta Arenas, usually arriving in the late afternoon. Most people spend at least one night in town prior to their homeward journey.
All This Included
Join us on an unforgettable adventure steeped in austere and remote beauty as we ski the last degree to the South Pole, our most popular Antarctic expedition. Unlike North Pole expeditions, you will traverse terra firma all the way to the South Pole, so to speak. Roughly two miles of ice separates your skis from firm ground (as opposed to the Arctic Icecap where between 0 and about 5 meters of ice floats atop the Arctic Ocean). Despite the immense ice thickness, the skiing surface is very flat. So the physical challenge is one of endurance rather than technical skiing skill.
Expect driving winds and frigid temperatures. Sled weights range between 30 and 40 kilos, and, as with all PolarExplorers expeditions, you'll be involved with almost every aspect of the journey from pitching camp, to cooking meals and, if you choose, trying your hand at polar navigation. We will work our way to the Pole as a team, and celebrate as a team upon our arrival at 90 degrees south!
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.