Ski South Pole—Messner

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

Test yourself against the elements on a seldom-traveled route to the South Pole. An adventure in polar exploration

Embark on a journey that embodies the true spirit of polar exploration, an extreme expedition inspired by Reinhold Messner’s 1989 epic Antarctic crossing.

Ski South Pole - Messner is a committing, 580 mile (934 km) ski traverse through remote, unexplored terrain, from the Ronne Ice Shelf on the edge of the frozen Antarctic continent to the Geographic South Pole. The scenic route skirts the western flank of the massive Foundation Ice Stream and the Transantarctic Mountains, then turns south toward the Pole, offering a shorter but more committing alternative to Ski South Pole - Hercules.

This expedition is ideal for those who want the ultimate challenge of a full-length ski expedition from the coast and the adventure of a seldom-traveled route.

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

Fly from Chile to Antarctica by private transport jet. Land on our ice runway and settle in at Union Glacier Camp.

Days 2-5: Union Glacier

Final preparations and short training trip near Union Glacier Camp to fine tune systems and become accustomed to sled hauling.

Days 6-20: Ronne Ice Shelf to Thiels Corner

Fly by ski aircraft to the edge of the Ronne Ice Shelf where our trek begins. We set off from the coast with fully loaded sleds, trending west to avoid crevassing caused by the Foundation Ice Stream. After several days we settle into a daily travel routine of 1hr marches with short rest breaks in between. Each day is a challenge. We face constant winds, haul our sleds through fields of sastrugi and navigate in white-out conditions. The repetitive routine is broken by views of the Pensacola and Thiel Mountains. We reach Thiels corner at 84°30’S and turn south, toward the Pole.

Days 21-46: Thiels Corner to South Pole

We bypass the distant Thiel Mountains and climb the buried escarpment of the Transantarctic Mountains dividing east and west Antarctica. By now the simple routine and the physical demands of the journey are familiar and the challenge becomes as much mental as physical as we move through an endless whitescape. The vast, featureless polar plateau surrounds us. The rest of the world with its colors, smells, haste and worries feels far away. The anticipation builds as we near our goal, then take our final steps to the South Pole!

We have arrived. Our tired bodies are relieved and our minds elated as we take photos and contemplate the enormity of our achievement. This journey with all its highs and lows, the companionship of new friends and the knowledge that we have achieved such a dream will live with us forever.

Days 47-48: Return to Union Glacier Camp

Pick up from South Pole by ski aircraft. We get a bird’s eye view of the vast continent below and picture ourselves, small and insignificant skiing step-by-step toward our goal. We enjoy a champagne toast and celebration dinner. Then rest, relax and enjoy the comforts of camp.

Day 49: Return flight to 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 exactly the same. This is part of the excitement and adventure of Antarctic travel. The itinerary above highlights typical activities and experiences. Exact timeline and details will vary from trip to trip. 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.