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

Description

On the edge of eastern Antarctica, facing the South of Africa, there’s a stunning mountainous area: Queen Maud Land. Come with me to explore this unique place in a 9-day expedition!

We’ll fly from Cape Town (South Africa) to the Russian Novo Airbase in the remote continent of Antarctica.

Once there, we’ll check our equipment and take either skis, a vehicle or an aircraft to get to our main destination: Queen Maud Land. This 2.7 million square kilometers area, stands between the British and the Australian territories. It was named after a queen of Norway, and it’s 2000 kilometers away from the South Pole.

We’ll spend 8 to 9 days in a polar environment, surrounded by extremely beautiful landscapes. During the expedition, we’ll move on foot and sometimes with crampons in the blue ice. We’ll also take our sleds and skis.

The plan is to reach the mountain chain of Mühlig Hofmann as well as climbing Ulvetanna peak. However, this will depend on our progression rate.

Once there, we’ll be close from the Indlansis, where we’ll have a great time being carried by the wind while kite skiing! We can make some climbs there and be rewarded with amazing ski descents.

We’ll be moving our base camp along the icy vastness and wake up among impressive mountains and the purest air. It will be -without doubts- a unique experience.

In order to prepare well before this trip, it will be essential that you attend a 2-day meeting with me either in Belgium or Switzerland.

Below this description, you will find an itinerary of the expedition.

Please contact me if you want to discuss this expedition with more detail. I will be glad to answer all your questions and help you organize this huge adventure to the white continent.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at Cape Town

We arrive at Cape Town in South Africa where we meet. Depending on our time of arrival, we have a free day and are then invited to 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. Dixie answers our 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 the Queen Maud Land (Antarctica)

We load the equipment and take the Ilyushin-76 morning flight to the Queen Maud Land with a scheduled departure time of 23:30 pm. This flight is subject to the vagaries of the weather and to the state of the runway in Antarctica. It will take 5 to 6 hours of flight from Cape Town to reach Novo Airbase. On the way we will pass the Antarctic polar circle and see our first icebergs! An hour before landing, we get dressed to face the Antarctic cold. We are greeted at the camp around 4:00 in the morning.

Transportation: flight to Queen Maud land (5 to 6 hours)
Meals: breakfast at hotel – lunch and diner at Cape Town (not included)
Accommodation: in the plane

Day 4

Exploration and free time around camp

We take our breakfast at camp and then we visit the area and we relax. We talk with the scientists on their research. We check our material and then prepare for the next day. Briefing and Q&A from participants.

Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner at airbase
Accommodation: at Novo Airbase

Day 5 to 12

Expedition to Queen Maud Land

Today, after our breakfast, we either start skiing towards the mountains or are transferred by plane/jeeps to the starting point of the expedition.

Depending on weather and terrain conditions and our skiing and kite-skiing techniques,  several options are possible.

To reach the mountains and Ulvetanna, from the Novo Airbase, we expect between 30 minutes and an hour’s flight, from the starting point of the expedition.

• the mountains near Mühlig Hofmann, beautiful and 80-90 km from the station. The Antarctic Plateau starts right there (10 to 12 km sloping up to it);

• Ulvetanna at 160-170 km, are even more spectacular.

We can go by plane or go in the opposite direction depending on the conditions at the time and according to the group. We would take between 2 to 3 days of kite-skiing if we have the technical expertise, if the wind blows in the right direction, which is often the case…this may allow us to go further and / or to save some money.

After the group is dropped off, our sleds are loaded. In total, we have about a week to discover this extraordinary region of the world.

Get ready to feast your eyes with an overload of beautiful vistas and the unexplainable serenity that reigns there.

We enjoy the polar days, a rather mild temperature and favorable southeast winds to go, for instance, in the direction of Ulvetanna Peak, “A Wolf’s Tooth” in Norwegian, at an altitude of 2,930 meters, which is located in the Drygalski Mountains.

This summit was climbed for the first time by three Norwegians in February 1994 by the Northwest side and in 2006 by the North face…

We establish our camp site at the foot of the mountains. Now we have to choose our program for the next days: kite-skiing at the heart of the Drygalski chain, small non-technical ascents by skiing, downhill skiing…total happiness!

The scenery is magnificent and our playground is limitless. The wildlife surrounds us: some birds, sometimes a lonely and isolated Adélie penguin. To the East and the West, magnificent mountain ranges of various heights, bare rock or alpine peaks covered with ice for our ascents on skis and our descents. To the North and the South, flat planes of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Then we return to the East towards Novo, skiing, kite-skiing, exploring everything in our path like the Kurze, Conrad and Orvin Scherbakov chains until we reach the Northern Humbolt Mountains, South of the base. When the time has come, the Twin Otter plane comes to retrieve us.

Theoretically, the weather is nice and dry with a little wind and the temperature is still mild at this time of year, between -15°C and – albeit rarely – -45°C! We feel a little what the first explorers experienced when they came here nearly a century before us.

Transfers: starting point of the expedition by Twin Otter plane (14 seats)
Meals: breakfast under tent – lunch on the ice – dinner under tent
Accommodation: under tent

Day 13

Return Novo Airbase

Today, we return to Novo. We are greeted with a “sumptuous” dinner to celebrate our return. We get to take a well-deserved shower at the guesthouse.

Transfer: to Novo Airbase by Twin Otter plane (14 seats)
Meals: breakfast under tent – lunch on the ice – dinner under tent
Accommodation: guesthouse

Day 14 to 15

Return flight to Cape Town

Today, according to the schedule of our aircraft and the weather, we explore the surroundings of the Base, we enjoy some of the privileges given to us to celebrate the expedition. Then we get on the plane to head back North and the heat of Cape Town! A reserve day is still expected. We land in the early morning.

Transportation: flight to Cape Town (4 to 5 hours)
Meals: breakfast at camp site – lunch and diner in the plane or at Cape Town (not included)
Accommodation: in the plane

Day 16

Return flight to Europe

In Cape Town, we take our flight back to Europe. Landing the next day.

Transfer: taxi
Transportation: international flight
Meals: lunch and diner (not included) or on the plane
Accommodation: hotel (not included)

Price per person

1 Person36000EUR

Price includes

  • Guiding fee
  • Accommodation
  • Transport during the trip
  • Group equipment
  • Personal equipment

Other details

Meeting point

Cape Town (South Africa)

Accommodation

At a hotel in Cape Town (accommodation not included), in heated containers at the campsite of Novo Airbase during Day 4, in a guesthouse with showers for Days 13 and 14 and under tent during the expedition.

More info

I have a satellite telephone, an Iridium Go! 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 borrow for 250 euros)
- A pair of polarized sunglasses for the glacier
- A pair of waterproof tent booties for inside the tent
- A pair of waterproof shoes for outside 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 (provided by Dixie)
- 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 is handy

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)

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.