Full South: Ski to the South Pole
Are you a serious adventurer looking for the challenge of a lifetime? Join us by embarking on this very demanding & deeply rewarding expedition. The Full South Pole Expedition challenges even the most experienced adventurers. Expect persistent winds, heavy sleds, eight to ten hours of skiing each day and temperatures plunging well below zero. Expect also pristine wilderness, surreal beauty and an opportunity to get to know Antarctica's many moods. Polar exploration at its finest!
Like early polar explorers your journey for the South Pole from the edge of Antarctica, climbing from sea level and scaling the Polar Plateau. Prior experience is required for this extreme expedition. Contact PolarExplorers for more information here.
Looking for more options? Click here for a quick glance of all our other South Pole expeditions.
- Equipment List
- Dates & Rates
- Trip Insurance
South Pole Full Daily Itinerary
Pre-expedition: Meet in Punta Arenas, Chile for individual gear checks, review of expedition procedures & a variety of logistical preparations.
- Day 1 (November 18, 2018)
- Depart for Antarctica. The 4.5 hour flight will take us across the Drake Passage, past the coast of Antarctica and to the Union Glacier basecamp.
- Day 2-3
- We'll spend two days (+/-) at or near the Union Glacier basecamp base camp practicing our routine and ensuring that "all systems are go" before we depart for our starting point. This will likely include an overnight shakedown with our loaded sleds as well as time to acclimatize to the spectacular environment.
- Day 5-47
- A short flight by ski-equipped Twin Otter takes us to Hercules Inlet or the Messner Start, our two different starting points for this expedition. Depending on the route the first few days may see us climbing from approximately sea level to 800 meters. From Hercules Inlet, the Geographic South Pole lies over a thousand kilometers away (730 miles). From the Messner Start it lies 930 kilometers away (580 miles). The terrain will vary from wind blasted snow, to blue ice (very slick), to softer snow. We will also encounter sastrugi (wind patterns in the snow) which can range in size from a few centimeters to over a meter. As we make our way south, we'll pass beautiful nunataks (tips of mountains poking up through the snow) and see mountains both near and far. The temperatures may range significantly, but we can expect anything from -15c to -40 c. The wind will often be in our face as it pours off the Antarctic plateau towards the ocean. It will be one of the many challenges that we face on a daily basis. Additionally, we'll continue a gradual ascent from 800 meters to approximately 3,330 meters near the South Pole.
- Day 48+
- Extra time built into the itinerary for weather delays, rest days, etc.
South Pole FULL 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
- 1 pair skins covering the full length of your skis
- 1 pair snow pack ski boots
- Sleeping bag rated to at least -35° Celsius
- Bivy sack
- 2 sleeping pads
- 1 wind anorak with hood
- 1 wind pants
- 1 insulated parka with hood
- 1 warm fleece jacket and pants
- 2 sets 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 liner or "working" gloves
- 2 hats: 1 lightweight balaclava, 1 ski type
- 2 neck gaiters
- 3 pair socks and sock liners
- 1 face mask
- 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
PolarExplorers FULL South Pole Expedition Qualifications
South Pole Full Dates & Rates
November 13, 2020 - January 14, 2021 (Messner Start)
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.
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 FULL Expedition Testimonials
Many thanks to everyone at PolarExplorers for making this expedition possible for me. I enjoyed every minute of it (even though I didn't expect to) and that was in part due to our guide's leadership.Bryony Balen
If you are seriously considering this trip you should do it. Make sure you have an iPod that has lots of fast, upbeat music. Train until it hurts for at least 6 months before departure. Take Jelly Babies and insist on lots of beer nuts from PolarExplorers.Dennis Woods
Don't undertake this expedition lightly. Be prepared, put some weight on and get your head in the right place before you start.Bryony Balen