South Pole - All the Way

Map & Itinerary

TrekTraka - South Pole All the Way
01 July 2014

 

Day 1

Meet in Punta Arenas, Chile

Days 2-5 

Preparation of food and equipment, review the route and expedition plan, weighing & loading of gear and briefings

Day 6   

Fly to Union Glacier, Antarctica

Days 7-10  

Acclimatisation and training days

Day 11  

Fly to Hercules Inlet to begin ski tour

Days 12-37

Daily ski touring towards the Thiel Mountains

Days 38-58

Thiel Mountains to the South Pole

Day 59-60 

Pick up from the South Pole, return to Union Glacier

Day 61 

Fly to Punta Arenas, Chile

Day 62

Expedition ends, depart for home

Expedition Plan

We meet in Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile. After food and equipment preparations are finalised we fly to Union Glacier, an ice runway on the Antarctic continent.

After final preparations and fine-tuning at Union Glacier we fly by ski-plane to Hercules Inlet to begin our trek south.  Skis will be worn for the entirety of the expedition (with a few possible exceptions) which will be the telemark type with ‘skins’ on the base for traction. When towing sleds, skins are preferable to the waxing method used for cross-country skiing.

This is where the adventure really begins. The plane departs and we are left to the silence of Antarctic and the huge task of walking the 1170km (730miles) over the next two months to the South Pole!

We quickly settle into a routine of 1hr marches, with short breaks in-between. Now and again a rocky summit adds some contrast to the landscape as we reach our halfway point at the Thiel Mountains, approximately 25 days into the journey. Navigation will be accomplished using GPS navigation equipment to ensure an accurate route to the pole.

The terrain between the Thiel Mountains and the South Pole consists of mostly flat travel yet we are climbing eventually to over 9000 feet, the height of the pole itself. For the most part the snow will be smooth and flat interspersed with extensive wind affected sastrugi snowfields. We pass several mountain ranges along the way and navigate through only one major crevasse field for which we have a proven GPS plan. The terrain eventually climbs gradually onto the polar plateau for the final leg through to the South Pole itself. On arrival at the pole and the ensuing photo-fest, an aircraft will be dispatched to pick us up and return us to Union Glacier for the return flight to Chile.

 

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