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!.
- Equipment List
- Dates & Rates
- Trip Insurance
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 2019 Dates
April 12 – April 20, 2019
We hope to have pricing for the 2019 season by early summer 2018
For reference, in 2018 the price for our Half Degree Ski Expedition was € 42,500 per person
Participants receive a discount on our 5-day Polar Shakedown Training. Click here for more details.
All group equipment, ski system, sleeping system, team anorak (yours to keep), guide(s), communication & safety gear, North Pole certificate, special polar gift.
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.
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
It 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
I 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
It's a wrap!
Your well wishes and crossed fingers worked! The weather cleared and our team departed from Kulusuk this afternoon, saying their final farewell's to Greenland. It was a fitting end to a trip filled with weather delays, storms, & holding patterns, but also plenty of good times and rewarding days and above all a brilliant team.
Thanks to everyone who followed this blog, and thanks to our amazing Greenland team. Heather, Dale, Ian, John, Eric, Taylor, Salo and Julius, you had us wondering how it would all end and we are delighted to have been a part of your adventure.
Until next time!
Greenland Weather Strikes Again!
The team left Tasiilaq this morning on a short helicopter flight to the airport at Kulusuk. They were scheduled to fly to Reykjavik, Iceland a couple hours later.
Photos From Yesterday
We received these photos late last night. Looks like a GREAT end to the expedition! Check back again today for more...
A huge CONGRATULATIONS is in order for our team who reached their final waypoint at approximately 11:30 AM Greenland time and successfully finished their crossing of the Greenland icecap, woohoo!!!!
The Day Described With Four W's
The team could describe today using four words that start with W: wind, whiteout, warm and wet.
Chicken Strips and French Fries!
What does it say when the blog title is about food? Well, for starters food is in the top three things people think about while skiing all day every day...
Better Than Yesterday, But Still Hard
It was another tough day on the Greenland icecap. It was made that way mostly by the fresh, deep snow. The visibility was terrible again but towards the afternoon they got some breaks with a little sunshine. Oh what a sight!
Skiing in a Whiteout
Tough day today. The visibility was nil, there was absolutely no contrast, there was wind in the face, and snow. A whole lot of nothing to look at but the backs of team mates and the butts of dogs.
Getting It Done
This team is getting it done, one day at a time. Today another 37 km are behind them. They are tired but satisfied and the end of the expedition is not too far beyond the horizon.
Making Progress - Another 37 km
The team made great progress today, putting 37 km behind them. The weather was a little of everything. Cloudy, snowy, a little sun, always the wind.
On The Move Again
A day after being tent bound by strong winds the team was back at it. They made 32 kilometers in a slightly modified way of travel.
Another Day, Another Storm
We thought this might happen, but it's not all bad. Another storm day. Strong winds, cold temperatures and low visibility all combine to keep out teams in their tents today.
Shortened Day Due To Wind
It was a beautiful day today, but it was also a cold day and the wind just kept coming and coming (almost a direct headwind). It all started out OK with clear skies but as the wind picked up the ground visibility went down, and with temperatures hovering around 0° F the windchill was REALLY cold.
Cold and Windy But Good
Welcome to another day on the Greenland icecap, where today the wind and the cold were on the minds of our team. They did a great job, putting almost 30km behind them.
Another 30 km Day
Actually it was 30.2 km - a seemingly small difference, but not if you are the person who did all the skiing! They'll take every tenth of a kilometer that they can get!