The South Pole Flight Expeditions

Adventure awaits at the bottom of the globe. Fly with PolarExplorers to 90 degrees south latitude, and marvel at the mountain ranges and austere beauty of the wildest continent en route. Flight expeditions are perfect for those who wish to visit the South Pole but are not interested in skiing a full or half degree of latitude. These polar expeditions also fit busier schedules and do not require the rigorous physical preparation of other polar ski expeditions.

This polar adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the largest city south of the 46th southern parallel, and a perfect launching pad for pre or post expedition Patagonian adventures. From Punta Arenas we fly over the Drake Passage to Antarctica, touching down in the Union Glacier Base Camp, the bustling logistical center for South Pole. Just a 1,000 kilometer flight separates Union Glacier from the South Pole, where you can literally stand in every time zone simultaneously and circumnavigate the globe in a matter of steps!

PolarExplorers does not require prior experience or special training for our South Pole Flights, just an adventurous spirit and spare camera batteries!

Contact us for more information here.


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

South Pole Flight Expedition: Daily Itinerary

Day 1-2
Arrive in Punta Arenas. Gear check and pre-flight briefing. The fun begins!
Day 3
Weather permitting we'll fly to Antarctica.
Day 4
Spend the day at Union Glacier basecamp.
Day 5-6
Weather permitting, we'll fly to the South Pole during this time.
Day 7-8
These days are built into the PolarExplorer itinerary to give you time to explore the area surrounding Union Glacier basecamp, and also to allow for weather delays with the South Pole flight.
Day 9
Weather permitting we'll depart for the return flight to Punta Arenas. The following morning head out to explore this beautiful region, or head to the airport for your flight home.

South Pole Expedition Equipment List

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

  • 1 insulated parka with hood (available to rent)
  • 1 pair insulated pants (available to rent)
  • 1 pair snow pack ski boots (available to rent)
  • 1 pair wool, silk, or synthetic long underwear tops and bottoms.
  • 2 pair heavy wool or synthetic socks
  • 1 wool or fleece sweater (mid weight)
  • 1 wool or fleece sweater (heavy weight)
  • 1 wool or fleece hat (consider bringing hat with ear flaps)
  • 1 neck gaiter
  • 1 pair wool or synthetic gloves
  • 1 pair wool or fleece mittens
  • 1 pair sunglasses or snow goggles
  • Casual clothing for Punta Arenas (shirt, pants, socks, pajamas, underwear, etc.)
  • 1 pair slippers for inside the mess tent
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, etc.)
  • Personal medications (with prescription for customs!)
  • Luggage locks

Qualifications for the South Pole Flight Expedition

Our North and South Pole Flights are for people who want to experience the North & South Poles, but don't have the time, energy or funding to do a full expedition. People on these Polar Flights have ranged in age from 1 to 81 years! All of these trips require that you can climb several stairs into and out of the plane and walk across the uneven terrain of the ice. We can assist you as necessary.

The South Pole Flight requires you to sleep in a tent (with a very warm sleeping bag). To best enjoy this Polar exploration and flight adventure you should be in moderate shape.

South Pole Flight Expedition Dates & Rates

2018-19 Dates

South Pole Flight with Overnight at South Pole:  December 31- January 9, 2019

South Pole Flight: December 12-20, 2018; 


South Pole Flight with Overnight at South Pole: $53,400 USD

South Pole Flight: $49,750 USD


Includes all accommodations and meals while in Antarctica, guide(s), permits, communication & safety gear.

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: 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.)

South Pole Flights Testimonials

Richard GoldsmithWhile interacting with other teams at basecamp we realized how lucky we were to choose PolarExplorers as our guides. Very well done from start to finish.

Richard Goldsmith


Thanks so much for all your help and input into the South Pole trip, which was just awesome!

Fiona Gray
  • 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. 

    Don't miss out on Ian's last audio dispatch from the bar at the Kulusuk Hotel!

    Until next time!

    Written on Monday, 30 November -0001 00:00 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. 

    Don't miss out on Ian's last audio dispatch from the bar at the Kulusuk Hotel!

    Until next time!

    Written on Monday, 30 November -0001 00:00 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. Once they arrived at the airport they learned that plane they were scheduled to fly on to Reykjavik had to be turned back to Reykjavik due to fog in Kulusuk. Rats! Just when you think your are all done with Greenland's fickle weather it sneaks up and bites you one last time. The good news is that the team is now in clean clothes, which they picked up at the airport today. They had them shipped from Kangerlussuaq just prior to the start of the expedition. It is a GREAT feeling to have on fresh clothes after wearing the same thing for over 20 days!

    They are staying at a hotel near the Kulusuk Airport. The actual town of Kulusuk is a short distance away. It's not as big as Tasiilaq with just under 300 people calling it home. 

    The plan is to depart on tomorrow's flight to Reykjavik. The weather looks better and our finger's are crossed! We will post more as it is received, so check back again!

    Below: That's Kulusuk!

    Written on Friday, 01 June 2018 17:00 in Expedition Updates
  • Photos From Yesterday

    We received these photos late last night. Looks like a GREAT end to the expedition! Check back again today for more...

    Below: The final pushes to get to the last waypoint

    Below: Heather, Dale and John on the chopper

    Below: Awesome views are everywhere

    Below: "What? No Mountain House on the menu?"

    Below: And the celebrations continued...


    Written on Thursday, 31 May 2018 17:06 in Expedition Updates
  • Success!!!

    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!!!! They overcame many, many challenges - some of them physical, like the long hours of skiing in whiteouts, pushing onwards into strong headwinds, and building walls to sustain massive winds. Other challenges were less physical, like enduring the many days of waiting for Salo and Julius. One thing we can say about this team with absolute certainty is that they were one of the most upbeat, positive and adaptable teams we have ever had. They faced each challenge with the right combination of grit, humor, endurance and humility. They had a tremendous amount of expedition experience and it showed every day. 

    After a stunning helicopter flight (at least we hope it was stunning - the scenery is out of this world if there is good visibility) the team touched down in Tasiilaq, Greenland. Tasiilaq is east Greenland's largest community with a population of around 2,000. It is one of the most picturesque towns in the Arctic. They are spending tonight and tomorrow night in a hotel (ahhh!) with showers (ahhhh x 2!!) and a restaurant that serves non dehydrated food (ahhhh x 3!!!) and a full bar!!!!

    We anticipate receiving some photos from the day and also an audio dispatch so check back again soon. In the meantime here are some images of Tasiilaq from Wiki Commons (thanks Chrissy from Chicago!)

    Below: Helicopter and boat are the only way in and out of Tasiilaq (but no boats yet... too much sea ice!)

    Below: That's King Oscar's Harbor filled with "growlers" (that's sea ice that's roughly the size of a truck or piano)


    Written on Thursday, 31 May 2018 00:07 in Expedition Updates
  • The Day Described With Four W's

    The team could describe today using four words that start with W: wind, whiteout, warm and wet. They have had many days of whiteout and wind, but as they drop in elevation and reach the east coast they are also getting warmer temperatures, which leads to wetter snow. Today they had wet, clumpy snow that stuck to their skis during one push, and freezing rain during another push. Of course the wind and the whiteout were omnipresent. Eric says that he never even bothered looking up from his compass, so easy was it to drift off course. But tomorrow promises to bring better weather - maybe even full sun for a while - and if all goes according to plan, the last day on the icecap! A very exciting prospect indeed!

    When you have a whiteout like today your eyes will sometimes play tricks on you. Your mind tells your eyes that there is some sort of object in the distance. It might move, or be still. It might be large, or small, it might be basic or detailed. You shake your head and blink, and it's gone, only to be replaced by something else a little later. It's odd, but strangely interesting. Much more frustrating is skiing in sticky snow. Skiing in sticky snow is one of the all time most frustrating ways to move - EVER! Your skis become heavier and heavier as more and more snow sticks to your skis with each step. Soon you are lugging 2, then 4, then 6 kg of snow under each foot. You can feel the mass of snow accumulating on the bottom of each ski. If it gets particularly large it can even throw off your balance! Every few steps you hit the skis with your poles to try and knock some of the snow loose, but rarely is it entirely effective. Instead you grunt, or curse, or if you are desperate you may ask a team mate to scrape your skis clean with his or her poles. But the freedom does not last for long. After only a handful of steps you may be back in the same situation! The cure is the right kind of ski wax, which if it works, is worth more than its weight in gold!

    Heather touches on this in her blog:

    It was a long day in a snowstorm with zero contrast so we went a little mental...
    May 29th - T-1, A tale from Land of the Green
    In a place far far away, King Eric, Knight Taylor, the Merrimen (Dale, Ian, John) and the Fair Maiden (I know I should be the bard, but I’ve always wanted to be a fair maiden, and I drew the line at buxom) were trying to join an exclusive club of Greenland crossers. Coldsnowwind, the God of Land of the Green (BTW Eric the Red, Viking, called it Greenland to make it sound attractive (truth) - though the only green thing I’ve seen to date is Dale’s pack) was uncertain as to the company’s worthiness and decided to create some final challenges. The first was a blizzard at break of camp, with zero visibility and heavy snow. The troupe kept the dogs and handlers close in case they needed sustenance and armaments. The first push saw success. 
    The god then put an uphill in the descent with deep deep powder, and again the company proved worthy. At the third push the God turned the snow into taffy - wet, sticking, grabbing and clawing at the skis. There was much stomping and swearing but the third push was achieved. At the break Knight Taylor found magic wax allowing a return to the slide and glide elegance that the troupe’s ski style was known for. The God got angry and sent freezing rain during the 4th push but the team prevailed. Verily the God tired of the challenge and thought perhaps this team may be worthy. Eric then led the team successfully over the required distance to camp! Thus ends the legend of T-1, Land of the Green.

    Listen to today's audio dispatch from Ian

    Below: Into the White. What do you look at when there is nothing to look at?


    Written on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 02:49 in Expedition Updates
  • 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... What's in my pocket for our next snack break? What de-hy food will I have for dinner? What will be the first meal I have when I get home? What about the second meal? What snacks will they be serving on the airplane? But more importantly tonight was a very special meal, REAL (not dehydrated!) chicken strips and french fries made by Chef Taylor and delivered to each tent. Delicious!

    Now, back to the day... It was a beautiful day. Sunny and windy at first, with the wind out of the north, then shifting to the east. There was one mid day push when it got uncomfortable hot for the first time on the expedition! Then back to the wind and cold. Heather and John took turns out front breaking trail and navigating by chest-mounted compass. 

    They are now 43 kilometers from their final waypoint. There was a stretch today where they could tell they were going downhill, but otherwise the descent thus far has been fairly not noticeable. The fresh snow has something to do with that. Hopefully tomorrow they will have some visibility because they should start to see features of the east coast - mostly mountain tops!

    Heather writes:

    May 28th - as Aretha said R-E-S-P-E-C-T. 
    Today brought the sunrise in around 430 am. Helped dry us out, magical as there was so much dampness, our sleeping bags end up like popsicles after sitting on the sled in freezing temps for the whole day. Usual brekkkie and out we went. 6 pushes (each push typically 1.5 hr long ski with 10 min break to eat and drink). Overall 35 k skied, now 21 days on the ice..... but most importantly we can now move to the countdown - we are 42 km to target!!!!
    Altitude 5150 feet. I had a chance to lead today (bloody awesome) wearing the chest harness and compass. All I had to do was keep the needle ‘in the house’ so we could move directly east, in a straight line. There was some visibility so Tay said look into the distance and find a mark and move to it, making minor adjustments as needed to keep the needle on target. Well, I never, (as granny would say), so piece of cake right? Except....the land is covered with sastrugi (snow formations created by the wind), there’s deep powder, apparently I have a tendency to go left (likely because of my political views), all in all there’s no doubt I added an extra km to the day. Holy moly RESPECT for these guides who make it look so easy! And to top it all off Taylor made chicken nuggets and fries! First non-freeze dried food in 21 days!! Nirvana.

    Listen to today's audio dispatch from John.

    Below: Our wonderful team includes 8 people and 31 amazing dogs. 

    Below: Is that BLUE SKY?? They had almost forgotten what it looked like!

    Written on Tuesday, 29 May 2018 01:50 in Expedition Updates
  • 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!

    Everyone is skiing. It’s a massive struggle for the dogs to pull the sleds in this snow, even with six skiers ahead breaking trail. Everyone is relishing the R&R time in their tents. On the menu tonight, at least for Heather and Eric is spicy Thai chicken noodles. They are prepping for a long day tomorrow but the weather should be better, and that goes a long way towards making things easier (or at least more enjoyable!)

    Heather writes: May 27th. Snow cubed redux
    Skied 33k for a net of 31.5. Altitude 6050 ft. 12 inches of snow overnight. Thigh deep when not on skis, 6-12 inches deep on skis. Tough lead work breaking trail (Eric and Tay). Thanks for that!!
    Weather was the same to start, like skiing through a giant marshmallow miasma (yes I wrote that). In fact only Benjamin Moore has more shades of white than Greenland. We saw them all today. The irony was not lost on me when the Beach Boys came up on my iPod random shuffle. Little deuce coupe, really??
    In any case the weather cleared around noon and we had a few hours of sun. Then it closed off again as we finished our 6th push of skiing. Camp is set. Everyone pretty shattered. Same again tomorrow...

    Group shot from today- notice the completely white background

     Listen to today's audio dispatch from Heather

    Written on Monday, 28 May 2018 02:21 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. To ponder what this is like imagine that you somehow ended up in a jug of milk. It's white everywhere. To the right, to the left, above you, below you, there is nothing but white. It can be hard to tell which way is up and down! When you encounter a drift in the snow you have no idea if it will be a tiny bump or a big hill. You just keep putting one foot in front of the next, trusting that it will all be good - a little like being led while you are blindfolded.

    Like a GPS scanning the sky for a signal your eyes scan the horizon (which you can's see) for anything other than white. Your eyes scan back and forth, back and forth, looking for anything that will act as any sort of reference. And there is nothing. It's exhausting, and some what mind numbing work. But it's also pretty cool. At least for a while. After a day of it you are ready to hit the sac and dream about sunshine. As hard as a day like this is, it's good to have one or two of them behind you. Days like these make you appreciate all the other days where you can actually SEE! And when the sun finally comes back you feel like you've won the lottery!

    The weather for tomorrow looks to be similar, but maybe a little less windy. As they approach the east coast they have a goal and a timeframe and they are working hard to get these two to match. They are all ready, willing and even excited to put in some hard days but a little cooperation from the weather would help!

    Heather writes:

    May 26th Snow cubed!!!
    27.5 km skied, 26 km closer to destination (see below), 6664 ft elevation. -10 and windchill. We had huge snow drifts, big headwind blowing snow, and snow fall = snow cubed. The only tether to planet earth, allowing us to separate up from down, was gravity (thanks Sir Isaac). A complete whitewashed pallet with our jackets providing the only slashes of color. If I had been leading we would have wandered around in circles (always hard for me to relinquish control...). The guides used a chest mount compass to try to keep direction on target, hence the 1.5 km difference between total skied and our goal. Remarkable really as I had no idea where we were going the entire day. Unfortunately same weather expected tomorrow.


    We have a photo to post but I'm having some technical difficulties with it. The photo is of Eric, wearing his goggles, a big grin on his face and nothing but white behind him. 

    If we receive an audio dispatch we will post it. In the meantime everyone is doing well, and probably sleeping VERY well too!

    Check back again tomorrow for another update from the icecap!


    Written on Sunday, 27 May 2018 01:33 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. Today started with beautiful but cold conditions. A great day to be on the icecap! But by the end of the day the weather had deteriorated and it will be windy tonight. Not “storm” windy, but windy enough to make for a loud tent. They traveled in the same style today, taking turns skiing, skijouring and riding the sleds. 

    All is good. Their current coordinates are N 66.197648, W -41.877978. 

    Heather writes:

    May 25th Go team!!!
    We did 37 km today. Glorious start to the day and a miserable finish weather wise. Altitude 7054. Everyone’s working hard to make up our mileage, given our early delays. Tough strong work.
    Taylor, guide, 23, incredibly accomplished, comes from a formidable pedigree, his dad Rick founded Polar Explorers. He’s a machine on skis and also plays a mean game of hearts. He plans to do an 80d canoe trip in the NWT!! Eric, lead guide and my tentmate, 30, comes from Illinois, and rose through the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America. He’s 6’8” which means I have to ski twice as much to keep up, bugger. He has been remarkably innovative and agile on this trip, calculating food and fuel, distance, and plans b, c, d when plan a hasn’t worked. They are a dynamic duo to be sure.
    John, our Kiwi, is a retired ranch owner, 67. He has accomplished an amazing amount, including 7 summits, with Everest in ‘93. He’s a numbers man, a walking calculator. Ian, 54, is a consultant from UK, whisky connoisseur, also a seven summit, North and South Pole kinda guy. The crazy bit is he’s already done Greenland and came back to do it a second time?!? Incredible dry wit. He was with us at the South Pole and has TYL status!
    Dale is doing what he does best. Getting the job done. 19 years post heart transplant and my testyourlimits partner in crime!

    Listen to today's audio dispatch from Eric


    Who can guess who these people are?

    Dogs taking a break


    Written on Friday, 25 May 2018 23:39 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. They took turns in different positions: skiing out front, skijouring behind the sled and hitching a ride on the sled. Everyone ended the day with some energy to spare, unlike previous days where they were so beat all they could think about was getting in the tent. The weather forecast for the coming days is more of the same. We are willing them some calm sunny days, but it hasn't worked so far! Everyone is doing well and finding ways to enjoy the challenges (along with a few curses every now and then no doubt!). 

    Heather writes:

    May 24th. Uphill both ways. I kid you not. S’truth, honest.....well ok I get that it’s impossible but it sure looks and feels that way!
    We did just under 38 km. 7678 feet elevation. -10 Celsius. Everything- snow, whiteout, sun, headwind. But a brilliant result. 
    Camp life is a 615 am start. Granola for brekkie. Melting snow for the days fluid. Out of tent at 8 am. Take it down, pack the sleds and start skiing around 830. 
    Once we’re done we do it in reverse. Put up the tent, hot drink, boil lots of water for drinking and food, eat dinner and crawl into your bag and crash. But this is a 5-star tent resort and I get 2, count em, 2 hot water bottles for my sleeping bag every night. 
    A ‘throne’ and it’s surrounding wall is dug out each evening, not so much for privacy (we got past that around day 3), but to provide a wind barrier. No one wishes to frostbite their nether-regions!!
    Really cold day expected tomorrow about -25.

    Listen to today's very special audio dispatch from Heather with birthday greetings to Dale's wife, Margaret! Happy Birthday!

    Below: That's Salo and the vast expanse of the icecap behind him

    Below: A good back scratch in the snow.


    Written on Friday, 25 May 2018 02:13 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. To keep the dog teams and skiers together in poor visibility they experimented with having two people skiing along-side the dogsled, with one hand on the dogsled (this is like a partial tow), one or two people ski-jouring behind the dogsled (also like a partial tow), and a couple people out front skiing fast. It seemed to work well and they will likely fine tune this way of travel in the coming days. They are over the hump, meaning they have passed the highest point on their traverse. From here it's all downhill, albeit very gradual at first, maybe even undetectable. But at least there will be no more climbing! Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a good night's rest. 

    Heather writes: 

    May 23rd. Wild ride!
    We did approx 32 km, up and over 8200 feet - the top of the glacier - and down a bit on the other side to 8050 feet. The conditions were appalling, snow, poor visibility, headwind. Pretty much the worst ever. Taylor was a machine and led every push at pace. Gruelling. 
    And then an ephemeral moment. The celts call it ‘a thin place’, when the space between heaven and earth narrows so much that it becomes translucent, transparent, ‘thin’. I’ve had rare moments like this in my life. Today the sky cleared, the sun broke through upon us. I was ‘waterskiing’ on my skis behind the dog sled with Dale beside me. We were cooking! The other sled with their 15 dogs came alongside.  In that snapshot of time, that pure moment, I was completely overwhelmed. What a ride! The dogs are each on an independent line which is different than back home. They do it for dog safety. They frequently cross ice with a real risk of breaking through.

    (Heather is referring to the "fan hitch" method of dogsledding which has each dog on its own rope back to the dogsled. Outside the Arctic most dogsledding is done in a 2 x 2 style, with two dogs out front, two behind them, two more behind them, etc. When you are dogsledding below treeline this makes sense, because you are often on narrow trails. But above treeline, for instance on the Greenland Icecap, it is wide open. No need to stay in a line. With the fan hitch system each dog has more independence. It's also often preferred when traveling on sea ice because if one dog falls through the ice the other dogs can quickly avoid the same trouble spot. 

    Today's audio dispatch is by John, but unfortunately it gets cut off mid way through :(

    Below: Mushers in Greenland ride their Qamutiiks (see the sled on the right). Today our skiers took turns ski-jouring behind and along side the sleds. 

    Below: Dogs running in the fan hitch style



    Written on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 23:45 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. They are sorry not to be moving, but with the wind howling outside and the cold temperatures threatening to creep past all their layers, they are happy to be in the tents. John and Heather taught Eric how to play bridge. Meanwhile Ian and Dale make skirts to drape from below their goggles to cover their noses and chins. Heather and John also made these, at least that's how it sounds. The forecast for tomorrow is much better and the team will be on the move again. 

    Heather writes: 

    May 22nd. Much needed rest 
    We had a layover due to bad weather again (snow and high wind, zero visibility). Timing was ideal for a much needed rest, addressing polar hack (cough due to dry cold air), mild cold injury and muscle fatigue. Did some arts and crafts - well Dale and Ian did, under Taylor’s quality control and my sarcasm, helping reinforce a shield down from the goggles to protect our faces from wind/cold (sewing and duct tape involved). 
    John, Eric and I had bridge 101 - Eric picking up the game likety split quick. Fun way to pass the afternoon. 
    We are still sorting all the logistics of the next 270 km left to Isortoq and then Tasilaq, and then Kulusuk to catch flights to Reykjavik (there may only be one flight per week!). We have 11 days of dog food left and of course our food etc, and we are hostage to the weather temperament of Greenland (not nice so far). 
    Julius and Salo have been on the ice since April 26th and had those huge weather delays trying to get to us. Isortoq is Salo’s home. But Julius comes from a village of 100 souls further north up the Eastern Coast. The North Pole ice will prevent his ability to boat home and he will have to come back up the glacier taking a long way round, down a fjord to get home. He will hunt seal to feed himself and the dogs for that leg of his journey. 
    Planning to ski tomorrow weather permitting, fingers crossed. What an adventure!!!

    Below: And there she is the author of fabulous blog entries from the icecap - Heather Ross! It looks like she's comfortably in her sleeping bag, enjoying a quesadilla and using her hot drink mug as a plate. We love it!

    Written on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 19:29 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. Around 1:45 PM the team decided to throw in the towel. It was just too hard to manage their hands and faces, and visibility had gone down the drain. They made a valiant 17 kms before stopping and they are now comfortable in their tents. The forecast does not look good for tomorrow. Increased winds and the potential for snow. Sounds like a recipe for a very good ground blizzard. We suspect they won't move, but they will make that call based on the conditions they have. Heather describes the day below:

    May 21st. Soul breaking. Left camp a bit ahead of schedule and pushed down the gut of a steady 40 kph headwind with higher gusts. Greenland looked like my worst 70’s disco dry ice nightmare extravaganza memory, with blowing snow to knee and mid thigh, giving the appearance of ‘constant ground in motion’. 
    We did 3 pushes and then called it. 17.1 km, 8005 feet elevation (when is the ** damn top???). Hard to describe temperature. Likely -15 and with windchill -?40?? Set camp, all hands on deck, one tent at a time, given wind, and now safely tucked in. All fingers and toes accounted for.  Dogs are seemingly impervious! Julius and Salo stayed within visual contact throughout the day, though as I got tired they began to look more and more like a mirage.

    Listen to today's audio dispatch from Ian

    Below: All covered up!

    Written on Monday, 21 May 2018 20:38 in Expedition Updates
  • 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. They are approaching the summit of their route, which means an end to the daily climbs, but the summit is broad so they won't notice any easier skiing in the immediate future. The weather was decent for much of the day, albeit chilly and windy. They will get more of the wind tomorrow. When we talked to the team they were all relaxing in their tents. Heather, and Eric had just finished eating quesadillas. 

    Heather writes:

    May 20th. About 29 km, altitude 7874 ft. Started in the clouds for the first 1.5 hrs then it cleared up. Wind picked up over our left shoulder- kind of a crosswind. 
    As per Nansen who was the first European to cross Greenland in 1888, we of course have had no chance to wash up on this trip. His excuses, which I wholly support, were
    1. they only boiled a small amount of water each day to conserve fuel
    2. Thirst was overwhelming. So they decided to drink the little water they made rather than using it to wash
    3. The option of washing first and hen drinking that water was unappealing 
    4. Washing at -30 ~<>>#%^^*!!!!  ain’t a treat
    5. Sun exposure while washing, not minor, the sun is merciless 
    6. Time. Not a lot of extra time to spend on frivolous pleasures

    So instead we celebrate clean undies.

    Listen to today's audio dispatch from John here.

    Below: Two of our favorite people. Heather and Dale. 

    Below: Today's camp

    Written on Sunday, 20 May 2018 23:56 in Expedition Updates


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