Ski the last degree

Experience the challenges that faced early explorers as you ski from 89°S to the South Pole

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serious challenge

  • Skiing
  • South Pole

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.

Overview - Ski the last degree

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

 We reserve the right to revise our prices in the event of significant changes in the price of aviation kerosene and aircraft charter rates.

Please contact us for further details about this exciting programme.

Experience the challenges that faced early explorers as you ski from 89°S to the South Pole

Sample itinerary

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 ANI 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.

*Schedule

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.

Hotel / 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 Gould Bay (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.

Dates and Rates

Dates

15 - 30 December 2017
31 December2017 - 15 January 2018

Rates

from USD 63.000 per person

Rates include

• Transfers to and from Punta Arenas airport, Chile
• Briefing with refreshments in Punta Arenas one day prior to departure
• Round trip flights from Punta Arenas to Antarctica
• All flights within Antarctica as shown in your itinerary
• Meals and accommodation while in Antarctica
• Expedition Guide(s) (and naturalist or lecturer on some Experiences)
• Use of recreational equipment at Union Glacier Camp
• Official and personalised Certificate of Achievement
• A Baggage allowance of up to 66lbs (30kg) on Punta Arenas-Union Glacier flight
• Sled, harness, ski pole pogies (all ski expeditions)
• Skis, ski skins, ski poles (Ski Last Degree)

Rates DO NOT include:

• Commercial flights to and from Punta Arenas
• Flights within Antarctica, other than those shown in itinerary
• Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
• Airport transfers other than in Punta Arenas
•Personal equipment and clothing (polar clothing is available for rent for some Experiences)
• Expenses incurred in Punta Arenas due to delays
• Any excess baggage costs over confirmed baggage allowance
• Cost for the use of satellite phone whilst in Antarctica
• Insurance coverage – personal, medical, evacuation or otherwise

Enquire with us

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