North Pole - Ski the Last Degree

ITINERARY


Standard

 

Highly Supported

Day(s)

 

 

Days(s)

 

 

1

 

Meet in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway

1

 

Meet in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway

2-5

 

Polar training

2-3

 

Polar training

6

 

Rest day

4

 

Fly to Polar icecap

7

 

Expedition preparation

5-12

 

Ski towards North Pole

8

 

Fly to Polar icecap

13

 

Arrive North Pole!

9-16

 

Ski towards North Pole

14

 

Helicopter pick up North Pole, return to Longyearbyen

17

 

Arrive North Pole!

15

 

Leave for home destination  

18

 

Helicopter pick up North Pole, return to Longyearbyen

 

 

 

19

 

Leave for home destination  

 

 

 


Flights to and from the Arctic are subject to weather. Delays can, and often do, occur therefore it is important to allow some flexibility with airline travel arrangements at the end of the expedition.

Every effort will be made to ensure the expedition itinerary is adhered to but the Arctic is amongst the most remote and isolated regions on earth. The above program is subject to change as we may be affected by weather conditions and aircraft serviceability and other factors out of the hands of Adventure Consultants or its staff and contractors. While every effort is made to ensure the expedition is run to schedule, acceptance onto the expedition is based on your acceptance of those conditions. Having stated that, our expeditioning track record is unparalleled but it is a sign of our respect for the Arctic’s environmental omnipotence that we alert you to the possibilities.

STANDARD EXPEDITION DETAILS

GETTING STARTED

We meet in the town of Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen in the far north of Norway. After introductions, we prepare for the journey by running a 5 day polar training program to get the group skilled in all the techniques you will use on the expedition. On completion of this phase the group is well equipped to take on the challenge. We finalise packing and fly by fixed-wing aircraft towards the North Pole. 

The flight takes us to `Barneo’ camp, a major tent camp that is established each season on the ice to support the aircraft activities. This becomes our staging point for the expedition from where we depart as weather and logistics allow.

DAILY ROUTINE ON THE EXPEDITION

Each team member will be towing a sled loaded with their personal gear and a share of the expedition equipment. We will begin slowly on the expedition to bring everyone up to an optimum pace for remainder of the journey. There will be no rushing as it is vital that we avoid injury and burnout and that we have the stamina to finish the expedition. Each day we will awake around 7.30am for breakfast and hydration before we begin to break camp and pack our belongings. We travel for around 8-10 hours with a break every hour for food and drink. Everybody travels together and the pace will be slow and steady and not hurried. The objective is to maintain an optimum body temperature; too cold and we burn too much energy - whilst too hot will cause sweating that promotes hypothermia when you stop. At the day’s end you will have travelled 10-15km (6-10miles). On arrival at a camp site the group will set up tents and it is important to manage your body temperature well, especially hands, as you have stopped pulling the sleds and will cool down quickly. Everyone is involved and must contribute to snow melting and meal preparations. Once inside your tent you will be sheltered from the wind..

Team members will share tents in either 2 or 3 person tents and each tent ‘team’ will have their own stove for cooking and snow melting.

DAY BY DAY PROGRAMME

Day 1:

Arrive in Ely or Longyearbyen, shuttle to the lodge. You’ll have time to unpack and relax before our official welcome reception and dinner. Over dinner you'll have an opportunity to meet the other members and discuss the program with your guide the upcoming days. After dinner your guide will perform an in depth review of Polar equipment and closely review each participants clothing and equipment.

Days 2 to 4:

After breakfast your guide will conduct classes in how to operate safely in the polar environment and then it's time to hit the trail! For two days & nights you'll experience what it’s like to survive (and thrive!) in extremely cold temperatures. We'll cover all sorts of important information that is designed to keep you self-sufficient and safe in this environment and enable you to gain invaluable experience prior to your expedition. On our final night we'll make our way back to our lodge for hot showers.

Day 5:

Each person will have an individual review with their guide with feedback on what areas to focus on for the upcoming journey to the North Pole. This review is designed to help you focus on certain aspects of personal preparations.

This is also the first day of the expedition for polar experienced members or those who have completed the training previously and you will all congregate at a welcome reception and dinner.

Day 6:

Final equipment review, warm-up ski in Spitsbergen. A busy day as we ready our kits, review expedition expectations & procedures. This is the last chance to work out any kinks before we take to the ice! We’ll review your personal kits and ready all our equipment for the flight. The late afternoon and evening are your final opportunity to grab last-minute necessities in town.

Day 7:

From Longyearbyen we will travel by charter aircraft to the eclectic Russian research camp “Barneo” located at approximately 89 degrees North latitude. This flight takes approximately 2 ½ hours. Upon arriving at Barneo we will either strap on our skis and depart immediately for the North Pole or set up our tents and depart the following morning. Barneo is located on the floating pack ice and its precise location varies. Depending on the location we will either depart directly from Barneo or we may opt to get flown to our departure point. Our guides will review ice conditions and recent drift to determine the best departure point.

Days 8 to 16:

Ski North towards the North Pole! Days are spent skiing and taking relatively short breaks, evenings are spent setting up camp, preparing meals and relaxing with fellow expedition team members.

For the next seven to nine days we’ll travel by ski and sled, manoeuvring our way around open water leads and over pressure ridges. We’ll ski between six and ten hours every day (actual length depends on weather and ice conditions). At night we’ll camp on solid ‘old’ ice and cook meals in our tents. Your family and friends will be able to follow your daily progress, as well as share messages with the team using our online Expedition Tracker. All team members will be required to participate in all aspects of the expedition, including setting up camp, cooking and using the stoves to melt water, etc. (we will help you learn these skills). On a personal level, the extreme conditions of the Polar environment demand that each person is well organized and able to maintain both an appropriate body temperature and adequate reserves of energy. This is where all of your physical training, mental preparation, and time spent acquiring the best clothing and equipment will pay off.

Day 17:

Arrive at the geographic North Pole! Enjoy a Polar celebration with champagne and plenty of photos. Call home and share the moment with friends or family!

Standing at the top of the world, where everything on Earth lies south of your location, we’ll make toasts to celebrate our accomplishment. Many people bring flags, banners, or signs to plant at the top of the world and photograph. Camp in the vicinity of the North Pole.

Day 18:

Weather depending, we’ll get picked up by helicopter that same day and head back to Barneo, then on to Longyearbyen. (We may end up spending the night at Barneo depending on timing and conditions.) Back in Longyearbyen you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy hot showers, fine cuisine, access to phones and internet, and time to meander through town. A farewell dinner and a comfortable night at the lodge will be a memorable occasion!

Day 19:

Breakfast at Longyearbyen lodge. Transport to airport. Flights home!

HIGHLY SUPPORTED EXPEDITION DETAILS

For those wishing to ski the Last Degree to the North Pole in a shorter timeframe and with a higher level of support Adventure Consultants offer exclusive ski expeditions to this iconic destination. 

To make the trip as safe and comfortable as possible we only take two participants on each trip and a maximum of four each year.

GETTING STARTED

We meet in the town of Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen in the far north of Norway. After introductions, we prepare for the journey by running a 2 day polar training program to get the group skilled in all the techniques you will use on the expedition. On completion of this phase the group is well equipped to take on the challenge. We finalise packing and fly by fixed-wing aircraft towards the North Pole. 

The flight takes us to `Barneo’ camp, a major tent camp that is established each season on the ice to support the aircraft activities. This becomes our staging point for the expedition from where we depart as weather and logistics allow.

DAILY ROUTINE ON THE EXPEDITION

Each team member will be towing a sled loaded with their personal gear and a share of the expedition equipment. We will begin slowly on the expedition to bring everyone up to an optimum pace for remainder of the journey. There will be no rushing as it is vital that we avoid injury and burnout and that we have the stamina to finish the expedition. Each day we will awake around 7.30am for breakfast and hydration before we begin to break camp and pack our belongings. We travel for around 5-7 hours with a break every hour for food and drink. Everybody travels together and the pace will be slow and steady and not hurried. The objective is to maintain an optimum body temperature; too cold and we burn too much energy - whilst too hot will cause sweating that promotes hypothermia when you stop.

At the day’s end you will have travelled 10-15km (6-10miles). On arrival at a camp site the group will set up tents and it is important to manage your body temperature well, especially hands, as you have stopped pulling the sleds and will cool down quickly. Once inside your tent you will be sheltered from the wind.

Expedition members will share a tent with your guide who will manage the stove and cook meals for you.

DAY BY DAY PROGRAMME

Day 1:  Arrive in Longyearbyen, shuttle to the hotel. You’ll have time to time to unpack and relax before our official welcome reception and dinner.

Day 2: In the morning the expedition leader will conduct a full briefing and gear check and answer any questions about the upcoming programme. After lunch we will begin our polar training course, learning the basics of artic travel.

Day 3: A full day of polar training covering sled hauling, camp management and thermal regulation, focussing on dressing according to the conditions to stay warm, but not sweating as we walk.  We return to the hotel for a third night to prepare our equipment for the expedition.

Day 4: We fly to first to the blue ice runway and then transfer by helicopter to the 89th degree, our starting point for our North Pole journey

Day 5-12: Ski to the North Pole.  The surface ranges from large, old flat and snow covered ice sheets to newly broken surfaces.  Pressure ridges form when large ice sheets press together and pile on top of each other.  In some places we may find sections of open water, or recently frozen sea ice that force us to take a detour in order to find a safe way to continue.  As much as possible we try to walk with the natural drift of the sea ice, although this changes with the wind as we get closer to the Pole.    On the first day we walk for about 5 hours, gradually increasing this to 7 hours over the coming days.  Temperatures are typically -30oC (-22oF) so we put the skills learnt during our training into practice.  After setting up camp we settle into our tents and enjoy a hot chocolate with a warming dash of rum, and enjoy a three course meal cooked by your guide. 

Day 13: Arrive at the geographic North Pole! Enjoy a Polar celebration, call home and share the moment with friends or family and of course take plenty of photos!  We enjoy our final night at camp on the ice close to the North Pole.

Day 14: We fly by helicopter back to the Barneo base before taking the charter flight back to Longyearbyen for a well-deserved hot shower and celebratory meal.

Day 15: Breakfast at the hotel. Transport to airport. Flights home! 

 

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