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Pulka-ski expedition to the South Pole Last Degree

Dixie
South Pole
Antartica
Antarctica

Follow one of the certified guides from the Polar Experience team, personally trained by Dixie Dansercoer, on a pulka-ski adventure in the South Pole and explore the southernmost tip of the world!

17 Days

Jan, Dec

Very high

Advanced


Highlights

* Reach the mythical South Pole

* Breathtaking frozen and snowy landscapes

* Highly experienced English-speaking polar guide

* Personalized follow-up of your preparation included

* 24-hour medical hotline during your expedition

* Live shipment tracking for your community

* A human adventure beyond the physical challenge

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 pulka-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 pulka-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 pulka-ski back to the base Union Glacier. This will add two more weeks to the expedition. You can ask me about this option too.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

Price details

Price includes:

Free accommodation in a camp at Union Glacier and in a tent during the expedition.

Meals at camp at Union Glacier.

Price does not include:

Accommodation and meals in Punta Arenas.


Itinerary

Day 1 to 2: Arrival at Punta Arenas

We arrive in Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia. Upon our arrival at the airport, we are met by our partner ALE and taken to our hotel. Later, we are then invited to a welcome dinner. Verification of your equipment the same day or the next day at your hotel, in general.

Transfer/transportation: private vehicle Meals: breakfasts not included – lunches not included – dinners not included Accommodations: nights not included

Day 3: 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 in hotel – lunch not included – dinner not included Accommodations: night not included

Day 4: 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 Circle 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.

Transfer/transportation: flight for Union Glacier (4 to 5 hour flight) Final altitude: approx. 700 m Meals: breakfast in hotel – lunch on the plane – dinner in campsite Accommodations: night in campsite

Day 5 to 6: Inspection of Equipment and Training

We take our breakfast at the camp then we visit the surroundings and we relax. Weather briefing and answers to participants' questions. Verification and testing of equipment.

Final altitude: approx. 700 m Meals: breakfasts in campsite – lunches in campsite – dinners in campsite Accommodations: nights in campsite

Day 7: Flight to the Last Degree

We are ready and awaiting the go from the pilots and the weather. After breakfast, we check our equipment and start loading the Twin Otter or Basler BT-67 plane for our flight south. Then we take off. We land to refuel once or twice. It will take us again 4 to 5 hours to reach the starting point of our expedition. We land some 111 km from the South Pole. We set up camp and prepare for the next day.

Transfer/transportation: flight to the final degree of the expedition (4 to 5 hour flight) Final altitude: approx. 2 500 m Meals: breakfast in campsite – lunch in campsite – dinner in tents Accommodations: night in tents

Day 8 to 12: Expedition to the South Pole

Today, we really start our expedition. Our sleds are loaded and balanced. In total, we have eight days to reach the geographic South Pole.

The surface of the ice shelf is sour and wrinkled with the presence of sastrugi (sharp topographical irregularity on a snow surface resulting from erosion caused by the wind) the highest of which can reach 50 cm in height… We are in the white immensity, blindingly pure and so isolated. The harshness, the austerity, the vastness... There is no other place on earth that resembles what we see day after day.

Theoretically, the weather is fine and dry with a little wind and the temperature is still mild at this time of the year, between -15 and -30°C. We progress and take regular breaks to eat and hydrate. We feel a bit like the first explorers experienced when they came here almost a century ago.

Every evening and then every morning, the routine of the camp, filling in our diary, exchanging our impressions with a very international team.

Final altitude: approx. 2 750 m Meals: breakfasts in tents – lunches with picnics – dinners in tents Accommodations: nights in tents

Day 13: Reaching the South Pole

Today, if the conditions allow us and if we held on, we arrive at the South Pole. We can already see it from 15 kilometers away because the American station of Amundsen-Scott is clearly visible! When we arrive at the South Pole mark, we will go around it (little world tour!) to celebrate our achievement.

We meet a member of the National Science Foundation (NSF) if available who shows us around the base. We can even find a souvenir for our loved ones!

We stay about 2 to 3 hours at the South Pole and then our plane picks us up. We then perform a 15' flight, the time to land to refuel... and to spend the night!

Final altitude: approx. 2 835 m Meals: breakfast in tents – lunch with a picnic – dinner in tents Accommodations: night in tents

Day 14: Return Flight to Union Glacier

We return today to Union Glacier which we reach at the end of the day. It will have been necessary to refuel again on the way. We are welcomed with a “sumptuous” dinner (everything remains relative) to celebrate our return.

Transfer/transportation: flight for Union Glacier (4 to 5 hour flight) Final altitude: approx. 700 m Meals: breakfast in tents – lunch with a picnic – dinner in tents Accommodations: night in campsite

Day 15: 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.

Transfer/transportation: flight for Punta Arenas (4 to 5 hour flight) Meals: breakfast in campsite – lunch on the plane – dinner not included Accommodations: night not included

Day 16 to 17: Return Flight to Europe

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

Transfer/transportation: taxi and international flight Meals: breakfasts in mountain hut – lunches in mountain hut – dinners in mountain hut Accommodations: nights not included

 

Details

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.

Meeting point

Punta Arenas.

FAQs

What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?

We understand that finding the perfect place to stay is an essential part of your adventure experience. To help you with this, we’ve curated a list of three highly recommended hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of local charm. These accommodations are well-suited for adventurers looking to relax and rejuvenate after an exciting day of exploration
Hotel Los Navegantes Punta Arenas Chile
See rooms
Hotel José Nogueira Punta Arenas Chile
See rooms
Hotel Diego de Almagro Punta Arenas Punta Arenas Chile
See rooms

About the guide

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Polar Experience

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Master Polar Guide

Polar Experience is a Polar guiding agency designed and created by Dixie Dansercoer and managed by Julie Brown.

Dixie Dansercoer (12 July 1962 – 7 June 2021) was a Belgian polar explorer with thirty years of experience in polar travel and expeditions. He went to the poles on 34 occasions, for personal or guided expeditions, photo and film productions, and lectures aboard polar cruises. 

He received the title of ‘Master Guide’ in the newly established IPGA platform (International Polar Guides Association) and he's one of only four people to have crossed the complete Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic continent.

In 2012, together with Sam Deltour, Dixie broke the world record for the longest non-motorized expedition to the South Pole. On skis, and assisted by a kite, they traveled at least 5013km.

He was the only polar guide who could provide expedition material for twelve expedition members, in the Arctic (Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen) the Antarctic (Wolfs Fang, Queen Maud Land), and also in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.

Today, the Dixie Dansercoer Team is led by Eric and Julie and his amazing and well-prepared team of guides, whom he trained himself. Please get in touch with them if you are interested in the different tours they are guiding. They will be happy to introduce you to the wonderful world of Polar Travel.

Languages

German | French | English | Dutch

Certificates

IPGA

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