Ski Last Degree

Land Based Trips
Land-Based
Fly to South Pole to see Emperor Penguins

Ski 60 nautical miles and reach the South Pole through your own efforts and the support of your team. Complete this polar challenge to stand at the most southerly point on Earth!

The essence of polar exploration is captured in this incredible two-week, expedition style trip.  Experience first-hand the challenges faced by early explorers as you journey by ski across the vast Antarctic landscape that is at the same time harsh, unforgiving and unimaginably beautiful.

Ski Last Degree is the ideal choice for those who want the serious challenge of a polar expedition but do not have the time or resources to commit to a full-length expedition from the coast.  The journey begins at 89° South, where you are dropped by ski aircraft. You travel by ski and with sleds the last 60 nautical miles (111km) to the most southerly point on Earth – the Geographic South Pole.

The rewards for your efforts are tangible – the bonds of friendship built through shared challenge and the knowledge that you have arrived at the ultimate destination, the South Pole, through your own effort and determination.

Accommodations

Union Glacier Camp
The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming at our main Antarctic camp at Union Glacier. You’ll find roomy, double occupancy sleeping tents; a spacious dining hall; fresh delicious meals; and a spectacular setting. You’ll be surprised how comfortable Antarctica can be! Our full-service camp is designed for Antarctic conditions and with best environmental practices in mind. It operates during the Antarctic summer (November through January) and is dismantled at the end of each season.

Field Camps
Our Emperor Penguin, ski expedition, climbing and other field camps are more basic. Equipment must be lightweight and portable, yet still strong enough to withstand Antarctic conditions. We sleep in mountaineering-style tents and eat a combination of fresh-frozen meals, prepared by our chefs at Union Glacier; and de-hydrated meals.

Extremely Strenuous

Extremely strenuous trips include skiing and climbing expeditions in the most remote corners of Antarctica, where physiological altitude may exceed 11,000 feet (3350m) for many days in a row, and temperatures may drop below (–40°F / –40°C), with severe wind chill and storms. You will be active for 8-12 hours a day carrying or hauling heavy loads for many days in a row. You must have the physical ability to cover a minimum daily distance and the mental stamina to continue in extreme conditions when you are physically tired. Technical skill, a high level of strength and aerobic fitness, and commitment to a dedicated pre-trip training program are required.

Day 1: Fly to Antarctica

Depart Punta Arenas Chile. Fly 4 ¼ hrs to Antarctica by private transport jet. Land on our ice runway and settle in at Union Glacier Camp

Day 2: Acclimatize to Antarctica

Today is an easy day to acclimatize to Antarctic conditions and become familiar with expedition equipment. We will review expedition logistics with our guide, go for a scenic ski and prepare for our mini-expedition.

Days 3-4: Mini-Expedition

We get our first taste of sled hauling with an overnight mini-expedition. We will make several marches and set a field camp on the Union Glacier. This gives us an opportunity to practice pacing and navigation, and to fine tune our clothing and camping systems before heading into the deep field. The next morning we return to base camp.

Day 5: Fly to 89°S

We fly by ski aircraft to 89°S, 60 nautical miles from the South Pole. As the aircraft disappears from view, we are struck by the stark beauty and emptiness of this place. There is nothing but snow and wide horizons in all directions. We ski a short distance, or camp at our drop-off point to acclimatize to the extreme cold and altitude.

Days 6-10: Ski to the South Pole

We begin our trek south, a self-sufficient team ‘man-hauling’ all of our equipment and supplies. We start slowly to acclimatize, gradually increasing our travel-time to about 8 hours a day. The journey is physically demanding. Our sleds weigh approximately 66lb (30kg) and the snow may be sculpted by the wind into steep ridges called “sastrugi”, adding to the challenge. As on all expeditions, success is a team effort. The group will travel together and participants will be expected to help set up camp and prepare meals at the end of the day. The Amundsen-Scott research station will be visible from about 15 miles (24km) out – those last few miles can seem the longest!

Day 11: The South Pole

Today we complete the final steps to our goal – the Geographic South Pole – and the most southerly point on Earth. Feel the satisfaction of having arrived here through your own effort and reflect on how it must have felt to stand in this place one hundred years ago, with only the sound of the wind and an endless expanse of white stretching northward in all directions. We will set up camp in the designated camping area while waiting for our pick-up by the ski aircraft.

The South Pole has been designated as an Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA #5) to conserve the environmental, scientific and historical values of the area. We ask for your cooperation in respecting visitor guidelines during any time we may spend at the South Pole.

Day 12: Return to Union Glacier

The completion of this incredible journey will be the return flight to Union Glacier over the polar plateau. Once back at Union Glacier Camp we will enjoy a celebration dinner and toast our wonderful achievement. We have journeyed overland to the Pole, joining an elite group who have challenged the ‘real Antarctica’ of polar explorers. At camp you can rest and recover from the expedition, or take part in excursions and activities that will be going on around camp. The choice is yours.

Day 13: Return to Punta Arenas, Chile

The aircraft from Punta Arenas will arrive with a new collection of avid explorers and you depart for the final leg of your Antarctic experience. Our staff will meet you at Punta Arenas airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Please Note:

No two Antarctic experiences are the same and trip details may not be exactly as described. This is part of the excitement and adventure of Antarctic travel. Trip length may vary by departure.

Please anticipate delays and do not plan anything for at least a week after your scheduled return. Allow yourself to enjoy this unique experience without the stress of pending commitments.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Per Person USD
Rates 2014-2015
Price (US$)
Camp
$68,500
 
Camp
Contact for Details
 
Camp
$68,500
 
Camp
$40,700
 
Camp, XC Ski
$65,500
 
Camp, XC Ski
$60,500
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp
$68,500
 
Camp
$45,800
 
Camp, XC Ski
$27,500
 
Camp
$23,250
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp, XC Ski
$58,900
 
Camp
$45,800
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp, XC Ski
$58,900
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$27,500
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$53,800
 
Camp
$45,800
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp
$45,800
 
Camp
$49,300
 
Camp, XC Ski
$58,900
 
Camp, XC Ski
$58,900
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$27,500
 
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These Experiences have a minimum number requirement. We reserve the right to revise our prices in the event of significant changes in the price of aviation kerosene and aircraft charter rates.