Ski South Pole—Hercules

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

Join an elite group who have completed one of the most extreme expeditions imaginable and arrive—on foot—at the Geographic South Pole

Embark on an endeavor that will test your strength, endurance and resolve to their limit. Ski South Pole is the ultimate challenge, a journey that spans an entire Antarctic season and traverses 730 miles (1170 km) from Hercules Inlet, on the edge of the frozen Antarctic continent, to the Geographic South Pole. Travel by ski hauling all your supplies, facing constant winds, fields of sastrugi and white-out conditions.

For the true adventurer for whom training, challenge, teamwork and perseverance sweeten the goal, Ski South Pole All the Way is an incredible expedition—with tremendous rewards!

The route for ‘Ski South Pole all the Way’ starts at Hercules Inlet on the Antarctic coast and climbs gradually to more than 9300 ft (2800 m) as the you make your way south over the ice cap’s mountain passes and wind blown snow ridges.  Days are filled with 24-hour daylight and an intense solitude and tranquility; no plant or animal life is seen this far south, just snow, ice, rock and sky.  The trip takes 50-60 days depending on weather, snow conditions and group strength. During the expedition you will ski for 7-9 hours a day in all types of weather and in challenging terrain, hauling a sled weighing 110-130 lbs (50-60 kg).  As on all expeditions, success is a team effort and everyone helps to set up camp and prepare meals at the end of the day. 

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 ice runway. 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 6-34: Hercules Inlet to Thiel Mountains

Fly by ski aircraft to Hercules Inlet where we don our skis and begin our trek south. 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. Only the occasional rocky summit marks our way as we ski across the vast white plain to the halfway point at Thiel Mountains.

Days 35-58: Thiel Mountains to South Pole

Now on the featureless plateau our senses are heightened and we have hours alone with our thoughts. The challenge is as much mental as physical as we move through the endless whitescape. 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. We have challenged ourselves in the last great wilderness and succeeded.

Days 59-60: Return to Union Glacier Camp

Pick up from South Pole by ski aircraft. We get a bird’s eye view of our expedition route - a thin line across the vast continent - and picture ourselves marching toward the Pole. Back at Union Glacier Camp we enjoy a champagne toast and celebration dinner. Then rest, relax and enjoy the comforts of camp.

Day 61: Return flight 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. 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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