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 2020 Dates
April 15 – April 22, 2020
2020 pricing: TBA
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: [email protected] 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