Kite-ski expedition to the South Pole Last Degree

Follow a polar expert on an expedition to the South Pole Last Degree. Let yourself be carried by the wind on a kite-ski and enjoy a unique landscape!

 
 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

20 days

Mountain Range

-

People per Guide

Trip Level

Hard

Offer Period

Jan, Nov, Dec

Type of Trip

Not specified

Highlights

 
     
    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.

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    Price per person

     
    Group of 1
    62500 EUR

     

    Price includes

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

    Itinerary

     
    • Day 1Arrival 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 2Briefing 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 3Flight 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 4Exploration 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 5Inspection 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 6Expedition 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 13Reaching 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 14Weather 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 16Return 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 17Return 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 19Return flight to Europe

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

      Transfer: taxi
      Transportation: international flight

     
     

    Next departures

    For private groups contact the guide
     
    Next datesInfo
    13/12/2019 to 22/12/2019
     
     

    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.

     

    About the Guide

     
     

    I'm a Flemish polar explorer with almost twenty years of experience in polar travel. I have been to the poles on 34 occasions, for personal or guided expeditions, photo and film productions and lectures aboard polar cruises. I received the title of ‘Master Guide’ in the newly established IPGA platform (International Polar Guides Association). I'm one of only four people to have crossed the complete Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic continent.

    In 2012, together with Sam Deltour, I broke the world record for the longest non-motorised expedition on the South Pole. On skis, and assisted by a kite, we travelled at least 5013km. Today, I happily share my knowledge by giving lectures and guiding aspiring polar explorers in the Arctic regions. I'm the only polar guide who can provide expedition material for twelve expedition members, in both the Arctic (Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen) and the Antarctic (Novo airbase).

    Please get in touch with me if you are interested in the different tours I'm guiding. I will be happy to discuss about it with you and guide you there if you would decide to do the big step.

     
     
    FROM 62500 EURper person
     

     

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