PolarExplorers North Pole Half Degree

PolarExplorers 1/2 Degree ski expedition is perfect for people who like the idea of participating in a North Pole expedition but don't have the time or desire to embark in a full last degree expedition. The North Pole Half Degree ski expedition incorporates all the fun of the longer expeditions in a fraction of the time. Departing from Longyearbyen, Norway, you'll board a charter flight to the Barneo ice station at approximately 89 degrees north. From here, we'll fly by helicopter to our starting point closer to the Pole. We'll spend five days skiing over the dynamic pack ice that surrounds the North Pole. You'll have all the excitement and hard work of a longer expedition packed into 5 days of adventure!.

As with all of our other expeditions this is a "hands-on" experience. You'll be participating in all aspects of the expedition, including setting up camp, cooking, tracking our progress, etc. Contact us here (link to Contact us Page) and let us tell you more about what skills you should have prior to the expedition and what skills we will be teaching you prior to our departure. Our Shakedown Trip is an ideal way to learn all the skills that are necessary for an expedition of this magnitude! See more about the Shakedown here!.

 

  • Itinerary
  • Equipment List
  • Qualifications
  • Dates & Rates
  • Trip Insurance
  • Testimonials
  • Blogs

Half Degree Ski Expedition Daily Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive at Longyearbyen, transfer to hotel, evening welcome reception & dinner. Review of clothing and equipment.
Day 2
Final equipment review, warm-up ski in Spitsbergen. Pre-flight briefing and transfer of all kit to the airport for weigh-in and pre loading.
Day 3
Charter flight to 89 degrees north. Once at the ice station we will have time to make final preparations. We may spend the night at the ice station or we may head out directly for the North Pole
Day 4
Depending on the ice conditions and the location of the ice camp we will fly to within 20-30 miles from the Pole where we'll start skiing to the North Pole. The shorter duration of this expedition means that sleds are very light and relatively easy to pull! We'll spend this night camping on the pack ice in expedition tents and polar-worthy sleeping bags.
Day 5
Continuing our trek north to the Pole, we'll navigate over pressure ridges and around open water leads. Arriving at the Pole we'll have a grand celebration! Celebratory toasts, calls home and plenty of photos will be a part of the party. We'll either get picked up by helicopter and transported back to Barneo for the night or we may spend the night camping near the Pole. 
Day 6
After our return to the ice station, we'll board the return flight to Longyearbyen, where hot showers, and a final celebration await us at our hotel.
Day 7
Optional breakfast, departure for Longyearbyen airport and flights home.

This itinerary is highly dependent on a number of factors and is subject to change. Contact us for a more detailed itinerary!

North Pole Half Degree Ski Expedition: Equipment List

Upon registration, you will receive a comprehensive PolarExplorers gear guide that explains the importance of each item as well as gear recommendations from our past participants.

  • 1 pair skis and ski poles (supplied by PolarExplorers)
  • 1 pair skins (supplied by PolarExplorers)
  • 1 pair snow pack ski boots
  • 1 pair extra boot liners
  • Sleeping bag rated to at least -35° Celsius (bring your own or let PolarExplorers supply this item)
  • Bivy sack (bring your own or let PolarExplorers supply this item)
  • 2 sleeping pads (bring your own or let PolarExplorers supply this item)
  • 1 wind anorak with hood (supplied by PolarExplorers - yours to keep)
  • 1 wind pants
  • 1 insulated parka with hood
  • 1 warm fleece jacket and pants
  • 2 sets wool or synthetic underwear, medium weight top and bottom- 2nd set optional
  • 3 sets mitts: 1 regular, 1 overmitts, 1 spare regular mitts or gloves
  • 2 pair working gloves
  • 2 hats: 1 lightweight balaclava, 1 ski type
  • 2 neck gaiters
  • 3 pair socks and sock liners
  • 1 face mask
  • Several small stuff sacks
  • Sun glasses and/ or mountain ski glasses
  • 2 pr. anti-fog goggles
  • 1 sturdy small backpack with waist belt and sternum strap
  • 2 Thermos bottles or insulated water bottles
  • 1 set eating utensils with bowl
  • Pocket knife / multi-tool
  • Personal toiletries
  • 1 pee bottle (small plastic bottle)
  • Face cream, lip protection
  • 4 carabiners
  • Luggage locks

Half Degree Ski Qualifications

This polar expedition is for people who are in good shape and are eager to push themselves physically and mentally. Though the skiing is quite demanding, it does not require significant skill (it is very much like walking with skis on).

You will need to have very good cardiovascular endurance and the ability to pull a sled (between 20-25 kilos) for several hours at a time. Towards the end of the day when we stop skiing, it is critical that you have the energy reserves to help set up camp and keep yourself warm. Most importantly you need to be able to regulate your body temperature so that you do not get too cold, or too hot while you are on the move.

This expedition will encounter extremely cold conditions, and living in such cold conditions 24 hours a day can be very challenging. You do not have to be a world class athlete to participate in and enjoy this expedition, but every ounce of training and preparation will help to make the expedition more enjoyable and safer.

Please contact us with further questions here

North Pole Half Degree Ski Dates & Rates

Tentative 2017 Dates

April 12 – April 20, 2017

2017 pricing:

€ 35,500*

North Pole Half Degree team members receive our 5-day Polar Shakedown Training at a discounted price. Click here for more details.

Inclusions

 All group equipment, ski system, sleeping system, team anorak (yours to keep), guide(s), communication & safety gear. Boots available to rent.

*If the 2017 departure city changes from Longyearbyen to Murmansk an additional € 1,000 will apply. 

 

 

 

Expedition Trip Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for every PolarExplorers expedition.

Medical Evacuation insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000 USD is REQUIRED on every PolarExplorers expedition.

Ensure that your policy covers your activity, destination and any pre-existing medical conditions (to cover pre-existing medical conditions you may need to purchase your policy within 14 days or less of your initial deposit).

If you are mountaineering check that the policy covers roped technical mountain travel and the elevation limit that you will have.

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Ripcord Insurance (For non-US residents use the Offer Code "ripcordintl" which will enable you to receive quotes and/or purchase policies.) If your expedition is more than USD $30,000 you may need to send an email to: ClientServices@redpointresolutions.com or call them at +1 617-307-4636

If you live in the USA you have additional options. 

Travelex Insurance - Choose the TRAVEL SELECT policy and add the ADVENTURE PLUS PAK to receive appropriate medical evacuation coverage.

Travel Guard has comprehensive policies that include trip cancellation or you can purchase a Single Trip Medical Evacuation Important! You must include the optional Adventure Sports coverage upgrade if you are climbing any mountains or traveling in rope teams. (Pre-existing medical coverage is not available with this policy.)

North Pole Half Degree Ski Testimonials

Jeff LeckIt was truly a wonderful trip, and I thoroughly enjoyed each aspect of it. You have a great company and terrific people there, and I am sure I will have the chance to be with you all again in the future. If you need a reference to speak to any potential clients, feel free to have them contact me. I will be your greatest cheerleader.

Jeff Leck

You know how to do this experience exactly right. I can't imagine anything that could make the trip any better. It was superb!

Sandy Cosek

Ann LuskeyI had such a phenomenal experience with Rick and Dirk, and all of your folks at the North Pole. Thank you so much. It was really really amazing. Everything went so smoothly. Everyone was so accommodating and friendly. It couldn’t have been a better experience. Thank you so much for everything!

Ann Luskey

  • Until next time Antarctica

    This morning, a Twin Otter was finally able to fly into Vinson Base Camp to gather the team off the Branscomb Glacier. A short 40 min later they were back in Union Glacier, awaiting the Ilyushin 76 which touched down on the Blue Ice Runway around noon. 

    We just heard from the team that they had safely landed Punta Arenas where a hot showers and soft beds await. Tomorrow morning, with much regret, the team will dissolve as people catch flights back home.

    Thank you to everyone who followed along and engaged with us on social media, and thanks to all of the staff, guides, and team members that have made this expedition such an incredible success!

    Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see more photos of this and other expeditions, and also to receive news on upcoming expeditions! It's never too early to join the PolarExplorers Team.

     

     

     

    Written on Friday, 20 January 2017 22:06 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Low visibility = plenty of time for cards

    The Vinson team thought they were good to go. The call came in that their pick up plane was on its way so they took down their tents and packed up. Then came the sound of the plane overhead. VROOOOM!

    Written on Thursday, 19 January 2017 20:04 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Back at Vinson basecamp - mission accomplished!

    After a day of descending from high camp the team has returned to Vinson basecamp, their temporary home away from home. It brings a sense of closure to this awesome expedition, but that doesn't mean that it is over!

    Written on Thursday, 19 January 2017 04:49 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Success! The summit on a beautiful day!

    We are excited to share that the South Pole / Vinson combo team reached the summit of Vinson today around 3:30 PM local time. Wohoo! Everyone was thrilled to be standing on the roof of Antarctica.

    Written on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 03:46 in South Pole & Emperor Penguins Be the first to comment!
  • Relaxing day at high camp

    If there's anything better than having a deep sleep inside a tent (with no wake up call!), it might be getting served pancakes and eggs with syrup and jam. That was the morning routine today for our group of climber's at Vinson high camp.

    Written on Monday, 16 January 2017 16:59 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Climbers at high camp

    This is a quick update to let everyone know that the Vinson team made it to high camp. They are all doing well despite being knackered after a long day. They departed low camp around 2 PM and spent around 9 hours on the go, ascending roughly 3,350 ft / 1020m of elevation gain on slopes as steep as 45 degrees. They had a delicious dinner cooked up by Keith and Garrett and they are hitting the sac happy to be one step closer to the summit. Tomorrow they will take a rest day and hopefully (weather permitting) enjoy the outstanding views that high camp has to offer. 

    Keith on the ascent to high camp

    Written on Sunday, 15 January 2017 00:00 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • All fights are "GO", climbers at Vinson low camp

    Great news! The weather at Union Glacier and Vinson basecamp cleared enough for both our flights today. This means that both teams are on schedule with the South Pole team back at Punta Arenas and the Vinson team on the mountain. Antarctica has very fickle weather and when things are running on schedule it's a good reason to be thankful - and we are!

    Written on Saturday, 14 January 2017 00:00 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Union Glacier, home away from home

    Both teams are now back at Union Glacier and enjoying the amenities of a well run basecamp. There is excellent food, hot showers, lectures and fresh faces to smile at and people to meet. 

    Written on Friday, 13 January 2017 00:00 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Back to UG for one team, another night at the Pole for the other

    After a very celebratory night with many cheers and toasts, everyone finally got some shut-eye though several people would have like more!

    Written on Thursday, 12 January 2017 00:00 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • The Pole at last!

    We are very proud and excited to announce that both teams reached the Geographic South Pole today at 16:15 local time! Wooo hooo!

    Both teams slept in for a lazy morning and broke camp around 11 AM. For the first few marches they could see each other and by the last push before the station boundaries they were together. From there they phoned in their position to the base camp manager, Hannah, who warmly greeted them and told them to "come right on in." As they approached the Pole the many miles of tugging a sled over the vast Antarctic plateau melted away and all that was before them was the red and white striped Pole that marks 90 degrees South. Well, almost 90 degrees South. Most people don't know that there are two "poles" at the South Pole. There is the Ceremonial South Pole with the red and white stripes and reflective globe, surrounded by flags. This is the Pole that is most often photographed. There is also the actual US Geological Survey marker that denotes exactly 90 degrees South. This "Pole" is around 10 meters from the Ceremonial Pole. Don't worry, they'll have plenty of time at each pole before they leave!

    After many hugs, high fives, photos and phone calls home the teams, who had put in a long day by now, retreated to the temporary basecamp for visiting explorers. When we talked with them the camp manager, Hannah, who is an old friend to many of us, was preparing them a hearty dinner. This will be a celebratory dinner. Not only did they reach the South Pole, but they can relax and enjoy themselves without having to get up bright and early to ski tomorrow! We heard a rumor that Michael pulled out his very coveted Shackleton Whiskey, which everyone is drooling over. We also heard that Graeme had carried with him a very special medal that the monarch of Italy presented to Ernest Shackleton! So it is not a far stretch to say that The Boss himself is with them tonight.

    They have planned a station tour at 9 AM Chile time tomorrow morning. That's the middle of the night NZ time. This is intentional timing to reduce the impact of our 15 person strong team on the people who live and work at the station. Then they'll return to the Pole for a photo session when they expect to have more favorable lighting. In the later afternoon if all goes as planned they will fly back to the Union Glacier Basecamp.

    We have a wonderful audio dispatch from the dinner tent that captures the mood of the evening and we hope to post more photos of their day soon. So check back again!

    Written on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 21:56 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • So close, South Pole station in sight!

    It was another cold day for our teams. The windchill forecast was for -40 C/F but the wind didn't pick up as much as expected. Still it was bitterly cold.

    Written on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 00:00 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Getting close!

    It was a cold day up on the polar plateau. Colder than any other day so far (around -24 C / -13 F) and there was enough wind to make everyone feel the bite (around 6 kt). This made managing hands and faces harder than previous days but everyone did well and survived the day with all parts intact.  

    Written on Monday, 09 January 2017 22:56 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Half way there!

    Today the teams report that they had nice conditions with colder temps (around -23 C) with a 3-5 kt wind coming from the NE. In case you are wondering what direction that is if you are skiing to the South Pole it is hitting them in their left butt cheek and the backside of their left shoulder.

    Written on Monday, 09 January 2017 03:51 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • Antarctica at it's calmest

    Antarctica can be the harshest place on Earth but not today. Today it was amazingly beautiful. It was sunny, warm (-15 c), and utterly calm. Not a breath of wind. Most of the team were peeling off layers until they were only in base layers with no anorak. A good dose of sunscreen or the thinnest face covering protected their skin.

    Written on Sunday, 08 January 2017 01:37 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!
  • A beautiful day on the polar plateau

    Today was a beautiful day. The weather remained clear with a few scattered clouds and the wind diminished, first to light and variable and then to almost calm. The temperature remained around -20 C /-5F Here are the updates from the two teams:

    Written on Saturday, 07 January 2017 00:14 in 2017 South Pole and Mount Vinson Blogs Be the first to comment!

 


Email Us
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328


Email Us
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328

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