• Trip duration
    20 days
  • Trip level
    Hard
  • Max people per guide
    -
  • Mountain range
    -
  • Best period
    Jan, Nov, Dec

Description

Join me for a unique adventure than only a few people can experience: an expedition to the South Pole Last Degree, in the fascinating continent of Antarctica.

We’ll face the strong winds of the South Pole using our skis or kite-skiing. The unlimited white surface will be our playground for two weeks, as we travel, carrying our sleds, to the mythical Last Degree.

To get there we must first fly to Punta Arenas, a town on the Chilean Patagonia. From there, we’ll take another flight to Union Glacier, a base of scientists and adventurers, our first glance at Antarctica! Another plane will take us to the starting point of this expedition: latitude 89° South.

Once there we’ll start our 9 day trip to the Geographic South Pole, the southernmost place on Earth. This point is marked with a small sign on a picket in the ice, that changes place every year to compensate the glacial drift.

Around here, we’ll find the American Amundsen/Scott base, a research station from the United States, standing at a high plateau at 2835 m.

A drop of 500 km from the Pole, guarantees an amazing kite-skiing experience!

If you want to be a part of this expedition, you will need to be both physically and mentally strong. Besides, it’s essential that you attend a 2-day preparation course before the trip, in order to plan it carefully.

Please contact me if you are interested in this one-of-a-kind experience, gliding in the vast ice of the enigmatic South Pole. I am a Master Guide of the International Polar Guides Association (IPGA) and I’ll be glad to discuss with you all the details! 

Besides, those who still feel adventurous by the end of the trip, can kite-ski back to the base Union Glacier. This will add two more weeks to the expedition. You can ask me about this option too.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at Punta Arenas

We land in Punta Arenas on Chilean Patagonia. On arrival at the airport, we meet and go for a welcome dinner.

Transfer: taxi.
Meals: lunch and diner at the restaurant (not included)
Accommodation: hotel (not included)

Day 2

Briefing instructions

Preparation day. Safety briefing, detailed planning. Weather forecast. I will answer your questions. We get our equipment ready for the flight the following day.

Meals: breakfast at hotel – lunch and diner at the restaurant (not included)
Accommodation: hotel (not included)

Day 3

Flight to Union Glacier (Antarctica)

We load the equipment and take the morning flight to Union Glacier. This flight is subject to the vagaries of the weather and to the state of the runway in Antarctica. It will take 4 to 5 hours of flight from Punta Arenas. Then we will pass the Antarctic Polar Pircle and see our first icebergs! One hour before landing we get dressed to face the imminent cold and after an impressive landing on the blue ice runway we are greeted at the camp.

Transportation: flight for Union Glacier (4 to 5 hour flight)
Meals: breakfast at hotel – lunch on the plane – dinner at camp site

Day 4

Exploration and freetime around camp

We take our breakfast at camp and then we visit the area and we relax. We prepare for the next day, we analyze the weather forecast. Briefing and Q&A from participants. Inspection of equipment.

We do a bit of kite-surfing if we find the time in order to become familiar with the material that we will use.

Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner at camp site
Accommodation: camp site

Day 5

Inspection of polar equipment and flight to the final degree

Today we are ready to go! We only need the pilot and to the weather to give us the green light. After breakfast, we check our equipment one last time and start charging the plane, either Twin Otter or Basler BT-67, for our flight to the South. Depending on weather conditions and where the fuel cashes are situated, we land to refuel once or twice. It will take us 4-5 hours to reach the starting point of our expedition. We land at some 111 km from the South Pole, the last Degree! We set up camp and prepare for the next day. The plane takes off again to Union Glacier. We progress a couple of hours and then set up our camp.

Transportation: flight to the final degree of the expedition (4 to 5 hour flight)
Meals: breakfast – lunch at camp site – dinner under tent
Accommodation: under tent

Day 6 to 12

Expedition to the South Pole

Today we will put in a good long day. Our sleds are loaded and this will become our routine for a total of nine days to reach the geographic South Pole.
The surface of the ice shelf is safe and wrinkled with the presence of sastrugi (sharp topographic irregularities on the snow surface resulting from erosion caused by wind), the highest can measure up to 50 cm … we are in an indescribable white vastness, a blinding purity and so isolated…there is no other place on Earth that looks like what we will see every day.
Theoretically, the weather is predominantly sunny and dry with a little wind and the temperature is still mild at this time of year, between -20°C and -45°C when you take into account the wind chill factor! If the wind picks up, we will use our kite sails, with increasing wind throughout the day. We have a giant playground and endless opportunities! We feel a little what the first explorers experienced when they came here nearly a century before us.

Meals: breakfast under tent – lunch on the ice – dinner under tent
Accommodation: under tent

Day 13

Reaching the South Pole

Today, if the conditions were favorable and if we persevered, we arrive at the South Pole. We already see it 15 kilometers away because the American Amundsen-Scott station is very visible! When we reach the mark of the South Pole, we will go around it (walk around the world and have the entire globe at our feet!) and celebrate our achievement.
We meet a member of the National Science Foundation (NSF) who shows us around the base. We can even find a souvenir for our family and send a letter from the one and only South Pole Post Office!
We stay about 2 to 3 hours at the South Pole and then our plane will pick us. Then it is time for our goodbyes, the plane is refueled and Northbound we fly!

Meals: breakfast under tent – lunch on the ice – dinner under tent
Accommodation: under tent

Day 14 to 15

Weather inconsistencies

Sometimes we get stuck for weather reasons at the American Amundsen-Scott station of one to two days, so the Twin Otter cannot fly. These precaution days can also be used for the same reasons at the beginning of our expedition, or during, if we’re stuck in a tent to shelter us. We are reminded of the fact that Mother Nature still reigns in extreme climates like this…

Meals: breakfast under tent – lunch on the ice – dinner under tent
Accommodation: under tent

Day 16

Return flight to Union Glacier

Today, we return to Union Glacier late afternoon. It will need to refuel again on the way. We are greeted with a “sumptuous” dinner to celebrate our return.

Transportation: flight for Queen Maud Land (4 to 5 hour flight)
Meals: breakfast under tent – lunch on the ice – dinner under tent
Accommodation: under tent

Day 17 to 18

Return flight to Punta Arenas

Today, according to the schedule of our aircraft and the weather, we explore the surroundings of the Base, enjoy a little of the privileges given to us being here. Then we get on the plane to the North and the heat! A reserve day is still expected. We land in the morning.

Transportation: flight for Punta Arenas (4 to 5 hour flight)
Meals: breakfast at camp – lunch on the plane – dinner at camp or hotel in Punta Arenas (not included)
Accommodation: hotel in Punta Arenas (not included).

Day 19 to 20

Return flight to Europe

In Punta Arenas, we take our flight back to Europe. Landing the next day.

Transfer: taxi
Transportation: international flight

Price per person

1 Person62500EUR

Price includes

  • Guiding fee
  • Accommodation
  • All meals during trip
  • Transport during the trip
  • Group equipment
  • Personal equipment
  • Permit and entrance fees

Other details

Meeting point

Punta Arenas.

Accommodation

At a hotel in Punta Arenas (accommodation not included), at the campsite at Union Glacier and tent during the expedition.

More info

I have a satellite telephone, VHF radio, mountaineering safety equipment, a location beacon, GPS and other equipment necessary for an expedition in the best safety conditions. All collective logistics equipment is provided, including tents, mattresses, stoves, etc. Technical personal equipment can also be loaned to the participants (pulka sled, harness, sleeping bag, foldable chair, kitchen equipment, etc.). Other personal equipment (clothing, shoes) is not provided.

BAGS AND STORAGE
- A large solid travel bag or backpack of 60 to 70 liters. This luggage must be waterproof (possibly use a slipcover).
- A small backpack of about 35 liters for your personal belongings. It will also serve you as hand luggage and cabin during flight.

CLOTHES
Technical equipment is immutable! You must plan on several layers to add or remove depending on the temperature and your activity.
- A waterproof jacket like Gore-Tex®
- A pair of waterproof over-trousers like Gore-Tex®
- A thick fleece jacket
- A Sweatshirt or thinner micro-fleece jacket
- A pair of fleece pants
- Four long sleeve thermal t-shirts
- Two pairs of thermal tights
- Two pairs of thin thermal socks
- Three pairs of warm socks
- A thermal balaclava
- A fleece balaclava
- A fleece neck scarf
- Three pairs of thermal gloves
- Three pairs of fleece gloves
- A pair of thick wool mittens
- A pair of fur-lined mittens
- A pair of over-gloves

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT & SHOES
- A pair of “Baffin” Polar Boots - Shackleton (possible to rent for 250 euros)
- A pair of waterproof tent booties for inside the tent
- A pair of regular walking shoes for priori and after the expedition

SMALL AND MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT
- Isothermal water bottle of 1,5 L (I will provide this to you)
- A pocket knife
- Three lighters
- Headlamp like Petzl® + spare batteries
- A pair of polarized sunglasses for the glacier
- Sunscreen (high index) + lip balm
- Four to five waterproof bags of different sizes to compartmentalize your belongings in your bag, which will be placed in the pulkas

WASHING
- Travel case for personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
- A small bath towel which dries quickly
- Two toilet paper rolls
- Biodegradable wipes and paper handkerchiefs like Kleenex®
- A sewing kit with needles, son, buttons, safety pins, etc.

PERSONAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES
- Your personal medication for the duration of the trip. Especially if you are following a specific treatment, be absolutely sure to take the prescriptions that you should always keep with you in case of a control, while boarding the plane for instance
- Pain, fever: Ibuprofen
- Antibiotics: Pristinamycin (Pyostacine® 500 mg) (2 boxes per 1 treatment 8d), Amoxicillin + clavulanic acid (Augmentin®) 1g
- Analgesics: Paracetamol 500mg
- Corticosteroids: Solupred 20mg
- Antidiarrhoeals: Smecta (prepare a dozen bags), Intetrix (treatment of amoebiasis), Imodium
- Antiemetic, gastric dressings: Volagène®, Phosphalugel®/Ulcar®, Domperidone, prinperan
- Antihistamines (for bites, skin rashes...): Zyrtec®, Clarytine®, Phenergan®, Polaramine®
- Antiseptics: Betadine, Biseptine
- Ointments: Niflugel®, Voltarene® (Anti-inflammatory), Arnigel (bruises)
- Sunscreen
- Biafine
- Powder Antimycotics (feet): Econazole, powder and ointment
- Eye Drops: Antibiotics, Anti-Irritation
- Set of adhesive bandages and some sterile gauze pads
- “Double skin” dressings for bulbs
- Elastic adhesive tape (like Elastoplast)

This is an indicative and not exhaustive list, you will need at least one of the products from each family, follow the advice from your doctor.

Old batteries or hazardous waste are to be brought back to your home country. When traveling do not, under any circumstances, give any medication to anyone who asks without the authorization of your guide.

Disclaimer

For unforeseeable reasons at this stage due to weather, the shape or poor form of the participants or other motives (state of the snow and ice, an act of God...), your guide may have to adapt the program, if necessary, to ensure a successful expedition. He remains the only judge and guarantor of your safety. The chronological advancements are indicative and may vary from one participant to another.

We must not forget that this project remains a real expedition in complete autonomy and that all hazards are possible. Dixie Dansercoer may under no circumstances be held liable.

Similarly, the expedition can be stopped at any time if the guide considers it necessary, either for the whole group or for some of the participants.