Travel over the sea ice to the top of the world

North Pole - Ski the Last Degree

It is difficult to describe the visual richness of the soft arctic light, the variety and detail in snow crystals and the ever-changing colours of the ice that are features of polar travel.

An expedition to the top of the world is an amazing experience and this is an epic undertaking that really has to be experienced first-hand to be believed.

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Difficulty Level Low ?
Fitness Level Very High ?
Duration 15 or 18 days
Elevation 0M / 0FT
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We ski for 5-7 hours each day hauling our laden sleds - Icelandic Mountain Guides

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The team work together to establish camp each night - Icelandic Mountain Guides

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Route finding across a changing landscape - Icelandic Mountain Guides

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Helicopters transport expeditioners around the Polar Cap - Leifur Orn Svavarsson

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Good clothing and equipment is essential in these cold and clear conditions! - Leifur Orn Svavarsson

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The ever-changing sea ice creates challenging terrain - Leifur Orn Svavarsson

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Celebrating a team effort at the Pole - Leifur Orn Svavarsson

From Apr 03 to Apr 17, 2020
Departs from Longyearbyen, Norway
€65,000 EUR
Private (1 pax): €84,000 EUR
From Apr 08 to Apr 25, 2020
Departs from Longyearbyen, Norway
€43,500 EUR
  • Overview

    • Travel over the sea ice to the top of the world
    • Immerse yourself in extreme wilderness
    • Learn polar travel skills
    • Highly supported option available


    Whilst most of us do not have the time to complete the entire North Pole adventure, we can still participate in a high intensity but relatively short duration journey by skiing the Last Degree to the North Pole. We offer a standard expedition as well as a highly supported option.

    We fly by light aircraft from Longyearbyen in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard to land on the ice at 89º North and the start of the trek. Initially, we partake in a training programme to introduce all the skills you will need to prepare you for the journey ahead, allowing time to attend to last minute details before getting started on the expedition itself.

    The challenge comes from the ever-changing sea ice that moves constantly, making for interesting navigation and physical travel days, with daily journeys of seven to ten hours. We celebrate appropriately on reaching the North Pole and the very top of our precious world. We then arrange a pick-up that will soon see us reunited with a hot shower and the joys of civilisation.

    Standard vs Highly Supported Expeditions
    Adventure Consultants offers two different options for your North Pole - Ski the Last Degree expedition. Our Highly Supported trips allow you to complete your expedition in a shorter 15-day timeframe by providing a more concentrated guiding ratio. These expeditions are run at a maximum 1:2 ratio, whereas our Standard 18-day expeditions are run at a guide-to-client ratio of 1:4. On both expeditions, members are expected to haul both personal and communal gear so must arrive in good physical condition.

  • Why AC?

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to high altitude expedition climbing and polar travel. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition to offer our climbers the best possible chance of success.

    We employ strong and specialised Expedition leaders and support staff, whom are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry. We pride ourselves on operating with small teams, the best back-up and support available. This includes nutritious and ample quantities of food, comfortable base camp facilities, reliable communications systems and the necessary medical back up.

    Many of our expedition members come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make expeditions safe and successful.

  • Dates & Prices

    Dates 2020

    Highly Supported Departure: April 3 - 17, 2020
    Standard Departure: April 8 - 25, 2020

    Pricing Schedule 2020

    The Highly Supported Expedition fee ex Longyearbyen, Norway is €65,000.
    The Highly Supported Private 1:1 Expedition fee ex Longyearbyen, Norway is €84,000

    The Standard Expedition fee ex Longyearbyen, Norway is €43,500.

  • Payment Conditions

    STANDARD EXPEDITION

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Flights to and from Barneo camp in the Arctic
    • Flights from the North Pole back to Barneo
    • All group equipment including sleds, cooking gear etc
    • Tents and food while in the Arctic
    • Guides
    • Access to our satellite telephone for outgoing calls
    • Dispatch webpage updated throughout the trip for friends & family to follow
    • Transport of 23kg/51lbs of personal equipment


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Air travel to and from Longyearbyen, Norway
    • Hotel accommodation and meals in Longyearbyen
    • Norwegian visa and airport fees
    • Personal insurance – full travel, medical and rescue insurance is required as well as personal trip cancellation insurance. Medical evacuation insurance cover of US$300,000 is required.
    • Personal clothing and equipment (a full equipment list is provided on booking)
    • Excess baggage transportation charges exceeding the personal equipment weight limit.
    • Cost of satellite telephone calls whilst on expedition
    • Personal expenses incurred on the expedition
    • Gratuity

     

    HIGHLY SUPPORTED EXPEDITION

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Flights to and from Barneo camp in the Arctic
    • Flights from the North Pole back to Barneo
    • All group equipment including sleds, cooking gear etc.
    • Tents and food while in the Arctic
    • Guide
    • Access to our satellite telephone for outgoing calls
    • Dispatch webpage updated throughout the trip for friends & family to follow
    • Transport of 23kg/51lbs of personal equipment


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Air travel to and from Longyearbyen, Norway
    • Hotel accommodation and evening meals in Longyearbyen
    • Norwegian visa and airport fees
    • Personal insurance – full travel, medical and rescue insurance is required as well as personal trip cancellation insurance. Medical evacuation insurance cover of US$300,000 is required.
    • Personal clothing and equipment (a full equipment list is provided on booking)
    • Excess baggage transportation charges exceeding the personal equipment weight limit.
    • Cost of satellite telephone calls whilst on expedition
    • Personal expenses incurred on the expedition
    • Gratuity

    Account Information

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

    Bank of New Zealand
    Offshore Branch
    42 Willis Street
    Spark Central
    Wellington
    New Zealand

    for the account of Adventure Consultants Limited

    Account number 1000 594771 0002
    Account Type: EUR
    Swift Address: BKNZNZ22

    Note: All bank transfer charges are for the remitter's account.

    We can accept your deposit payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) plus a 3% card charge.

    Deposit

    A non-refundable deposit of EUR10,000 is payable to secure a place on the expedition.

    Balance

    The balance is payable 150 days prior to the commencement of the trip.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    An expedition member may cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

    Cancellations outside of 150 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
    For cancellations made within 149 - 90 days of the trip commencement date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the balance payment fee.
    For cancellations within 89 days of the departure date a cancellation fee of 100% of the full fee applies.

    Trip Cancellation Insurance

    Team members should take out private cancellation insurance if they wish to be covered against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons. This is called trip cancellation insurance and can be obtained through your normal travel agent. We will also provide advice regarding travel and rescue insurance and trip cancellation insurance.

  • Trip Notes

    North Pole SLD Standard 2020 CoverNorth Pole Highly Supported 2020 CoverWe offer two North Pole Ski the Last Degree expeditions. The Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for the Adventure Consultants' North Pole Ski the Last Degree Expedition and the North Pole Ski the Last Degree Highly Supported Expedition.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the link below:

    North Pole - Ski the Last Degree Trip Notes
    North Pole - Ski the Last Degree Highly Supported Trip Notes

     

    Team Membership

    The standard team will have a minimum size of 4 members and 1 guide and a maximum size of 12 members and 3 guides.

    The highly supported team will have 2 members and 1 guide.

    Our Guides

    The Adventure Consultants team includes experienced Arctic/Antarctic travellers whose knowledge and expertise is imperative in making these expeditions a success. The guides for each trek are confirmed 6 months prior to departure time.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Amelia Crofut-BrittinghamAmelia Crofut-Brittingham, Client Liaison

    Amelia has been with Adventure Consultants since October 2017 in the role of Client Liaison. Having spent many years working in the ski industry, Amelia brings a wealth of experience to her role.


    AC Team 2016 Landscape

    Difficulty Rating

    Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.

    Preparing for Your Trip

    Effective work at high latitudes requires a good (and specific) physiology for the activity and a solid outdoors background. Of course, there is much we can do to enhance the physical attributes we have and these are best achieved by specific training. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for the expedition.

    The physical issues endured by polar travellers are the sheer amount of physical output required on a daily basis, and repetitive strain injuries incurred from said activity. Weight loss often occurs through the sheer inability to eat the amount of calories you burn up in a day. There are ways to try to minimise this through diet, pace and regular snacks throughout each working day. However, on the longer trips, the result of all the effort is a lower level of performance and, consequently, the muscular system deteriorates through a calorific deficit. It is worth anticipating muscle loss and therefore you should train to ensure you have a bit extra before you leave.

    Being generally fit, healthy and strong is paramount to doing well on these travels. Training should focus on developing cardiovascular capability and strength training for specific muscle groups. There is no training for pulling sleds like pulling sleds! Sport specific training will ensure your ligaments and tendons are conditioned for the stresses of expedition work so if you can get an old tractor tyre out and drag it around behind you in a field then that will ultimately be of some benefit. However, this can be difficult to do and many polar travellers have focused on other ways to simulate the strains to be experienced in the polar regions. Being overweight places more stress on your system so ensure that you are not putting yourself at a disadvantage before you start. It is recommended that you focus on strength development and stamina training as your body is constantly stressed through sled hauling and dealing with the cold. Lots of gym work is recommended and a physical trainer will assist in working on any areas of weakness you may have. Additionally, a lot of long-duration exercise like hill walking (with a pack), mountain biking on hills and swimming are beneficial. Be careful not to over-train just prior to the trip as you will need all your reserves and you don’t want to 'peak' too early. The fact that you are looking at losing (sometimes) considerable body mass indicates the need to be quite heavy at the start of the trip so do not over-do it prior to the expedition.

    Aerobic exercise should not be ignored either as you do not want to turn up fully bulked, but not able to perform short duration bursts of energy expenditure where necessary, like when you set out and are feeling cold. During aerobic training, it is necessary to monitor your heart rate to ensure you are training your cardiovascular system. This can be achieved by using a heart rate monitor or by manually measuring heart rate during exertion. A basic formula is 220-Age=heart rate (HR) maximum. Operating at 70-85% of your HR max will ensure you are exercising to enhance cardiovascular fitness.

    For all the effort that goes into training the body, the mental attributes are worth some analysis and attention also. The most important of these are a strong work ethic, an ability to pace one’s self for a long duration project, strength of character and—above all—the ability to get on with others. If you are not a 'team player' or you find that you often come into conflict with others (even if you do think it is their fault) then you should not consider taking part in polar expeditions, unless you do it solo!

    Adventure Consultants also offers a specific Polar Training Course to introduce the essential skills and techniques you’ll need to prepare for a polar expedition. Based in the New Zealand mountains, this is a 4-10 day course designed to give you greater confidence in the judgment and decision making aspects of polar travel. While no course can prepare you fully for the real thing, this course offers a variety of terrain that enables you to develop the essential skills you will need.

    Accommodation

    On our Standard expedition, we stay in a small and modest hotel in Longyearbyen. If you would prefer a greater degree of comfort during your stay we can arrange this for you, please advise us at the time of booking of your preference. Meals and Hotel expenses in Longyearben are not included in the trip cost.

    On our Highly Supported expedition, we stay in a three star hotel in Longyearbyen prior to and following the expedition. If you would prefer a greater degree of comfort during your stay we can arrange this for you - please advise us at the time of booking of your preference. Evening meals in Longyearbyen are not included in the trip cost.

    Clothing & Equipment

    A full clothing and equipment checklist will be sent to all expedition members once their booking is confirmed. The expedition leader will be available prior to the trip to discuss individual equipment questions.

  • Itinerary

    Day  
    1 Meet in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway
    2-5 Polar training
    6 Expedition preparation
    7 Fly to Polar icecap
    8-15 Ski towards North Pole
    16 Arrive North Pole!
    17 Helicopter pick up North Pole, return to Longyearbyen
    18 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.

    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 During 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 (6-10 miles). 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.
    2-4 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.
    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. We do a final equipment review, ready our kits, review expedition expectations and procedures. This is the last chance to work out any kinks before we take to the ice!

    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.

    6 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.
    7-15

    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.

    16

    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.

    17 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!
    18 Breakfast at Longyearbyen lodge. Transport to airport. Flights home!
    Day  
    1 Meet in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway
    2-3 Polar training
    4 Fly to Polar icecap
    5-12
    Ski towards North Pole
    13 Arrive North Pole!
    14 Helicopter pick up North Pole, return to Longyearbyen
    15 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.

    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 Routing During 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   

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

    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 arctic travel.

    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.

    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

    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.

     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.

    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.

    15

    Breakfast at the hotel. Transport to airport. Flights home!

  • Add Ons

    Polar Training CourseOur New Zealand-based Polar Training Course has been designed to introduce you to the skills and techniques you’ll need to prepare for a polar expedition and will give you greater confidence in the judgment and decision making aspects of polar travel. You will learn skills such as food preparation, navigation, camp management and even how to go to the toilet in a storm! While no course can prepare you fully for the real thing, this course offers a variety of terrain that enables you to develop the skills you will use in polar environments.

    Please click on the image to view the trip notes online, visit our Polar Training Course page or contact us for more information.

  • Travel & Rescue Insurance

    Finding the right travel and rescue insurance for your adventure to Antarctica or the Arctic's North Pole region can be tricky! Rest assured when you book with the expedition specialists here at Adventure Consultants we'll help by sending through advice on what you'll need, including:

    • Travel insurance including trip interruption and cancellation cover
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance


    For further information check out our Travel and Rescue Insurance page or contact us.

  • FAQ

    • Contact Us

      The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our North Pole Expeditions. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Choosing a Provider

      How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
      Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since. You can read more on the history of Adventure Consultants here.

      A few outfitters claim to have the same level of experience and prestige as Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you the first choice for expeditioners to the North Pole?
      Adventure Consultants have been expeditioning in the polar regions for over two decades. We employ experienced and professional guides, use the latest in communications and weather forecasting technology and nutritious and tasty food to ensure you have the best experience on our trips.

    • Standard vs Highly Supported

      I see there are Standard and Highly Supported options for my North Pole - Ski the Last Degree Expedition—what's the difference between these?
      Adventure Consultants offers two different options for your North Pole - Ski the Last Degree expedition. Our Highly Supported trips allow you to complete your expedition in a shorter 15-day timeframe by providing a more concentrated guiding ratio. These expeditions are run at a maximum 1:2 ratio, whereas our Standard 18-day expeditions are run at a guide-to-client ratio of 1:4. On both expeditions, members are expected to haul both personal and communal gear so must arrive in good physical condition.

    • Food, Accommodation & Facilities

      What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the expedition?
      Showers are available at the hotel prior to and after the trip but there are no showers or laundry facilities available during the expedition. We advise people to bring wet-wipes for impromptu washes.

      What food will be available?
      Food is one of the most crucial factors for a successful polar expedition. We serve nutritious and filling food that will sustain you well for the journey. Typical meals include warm muesli for breakfast, crackers with cheese, salami or dried fish for lunch and freeze-dried meals for dinner. These meals are supplemented with plenty of snacks including chocolate, cookies, dried fruit and nuts plus hot drinks. As food and equipment has to be hauled in sleds by each team member, the weight-to-calorie value of food is critical. For example, at the start of our North Pole All The Way Expedition, each member will consume about 4,000kcal of food daily and this will increase to 6,000kcal by the end of the expedition! 

      What are the hotels like?
      Hotel nights are not included in the trip fee but we are happy to arrange bookings on your behalf. Through our local agents, we book centrally-located comfortable mid-range hotels. Once on your expedition program, you will be staying in tents and sharing with one other.

      Is a single supplement available?
      Single tents are not generally available during the expedition due to the heavy load carrying requirements. We would, however, be happy to arrange single hotel rooms on your behalf. Please contact our office for pricing.

    • Travel

      Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts?
      Please arrange to arrive on Day 1 of the itinerary to allow sufficient time for your equipment check and briefing prior to youe flight to the icecap.

      When should I book my ticket?
      We generally ask you to wait until the balance payment date for your expedition to ensure minimum numbers have been met and the trip will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights earlier then ensure you can make changes to your tickets and it is a good idea to purchase trip cancellation insurance in the event that you need to cancel.

      Can I get a cheap ticket online?
      We highly recommend purchasing an open, fully changeable air ticket, as trips can be extended by a week or more. Given the remote nature of where we operate, the weather must fall within certain parameters to be able to fly so delays can occur. In today’s world there are few places where the environment still affects our plans and the Arctic is one of them!

      Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
      For our North Pole Ski The Last Degree Expedition, we fly into Svalbard Airport (LYR) in Norway and for our North Pole All The Way Expedition we fly into Resolute Bay in Canada (most flights routes are through either Ottawa or Iqaluit). Where possible, there will be an Adventure Consultants representative waiting to meet you and transfer you from the airport to the hotel.

      What if I am arriving early or departing late?
      We can assist you with booking extra hotel room nights if you arrive early. However, on this trip YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO ARRIVE LATE. If you are delayed or your bags get lost, you will not be able to come on the expedition!

    • Clothing & Equipment

      Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
      Yes, you will be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit. We do also have a dedicated equipment coordinator who is happy to provide advice and answers to any questions you may have.

      Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
      Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared and you must bring everything on the list, as there are very limited options if additional equipment needs to be purchased in Longyearbyen or Resolute Bay.

      How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be?
      This will be clearly stated in your recommended gear list. For camping on the ice, you will need a sleeping bag warm enough for you in conditions that can be as cold as -35°C (-31°F). We highly recommend buying a sleeping bag big enough to allow you to wear extra clothes in if it is especially cold.

      How much weight do we carry on the expedition?
      All baggage is transported in sleds made of plastic and members will haul both personal and communal gear (i.e. clothes, sleeping bag, food, fuel, stoves, tents etc.). The weight of the loads will gradually decrease as the expedition proceeds and food is eaten and fuel burnt.

      For our Ski The Last Degree expedition, members should expect to haul approximately 45kg (100lbs) at the start, reducing to about 30kg (66lbs) by the end.

      For our All The Way Expedition, we will likely pre-place two or three resupply caches which will reduce the total weight of food that needs to be carried at each stage. Team members should therefore expect to haul approximately 90kg (190lbs) at the start, reducing to about 60kg (132lbs) by the finish.

    • Guides & Team Members

      How many guides will be assigned to our group?
      Our Standard expeditions usually have four members and one guide. The Highly Supported expeditions have one guide to two members.

      Can I contact other expeditioners or guides on this expedition?
      Sure! Before the expedition, contact our office and we can pass on your details to the other expeditioners. Due to our privacy policy, we leave it up to individual team members as to whether they want to get in touch.

      Who goes on your trips?
      Our expeditioners come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels ranging from those seeking skill development to those seeking assistance with the world's most remote regions, or purely adventure.

      I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
      We are happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice, and even to remote destinations such as the North Pole. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost-effective. Please contact the office for more information or visit our Private Customised Expeditions page.

    • Health & Fitness

      What are the skills/prior experience required for this expedition?
      Prior experience in winter travel, glacier crossings and cross-country skiing is important, as well as the ability to work well within a team environment. The nature of this expedition demands strong team cohesion and commitment. An essential ingredient for participants is physical fortitude for working hard in a cold weather environment, hence each member must be strong and healthy. Contact us regarding recommended training programmes for this expedition including our Polar Training Course.

      What kind of physical condition should I be in for the expedition?
      You should train on a regular basis for at least 3 months prior to your expedition start (up to 6 months for our All The Way expedition). We recommend focusing on cardiovascular training as the cardiovascular system is constantly stressed whilst on the move. Running and hiking combined with strength, core stability and flexibility training are the best types of exercise to incorporate into your programme. It is important to ensure long duration aerobic exercise, gradually increasing your endurance to maintain 8 hours of vigorous activity a day for up to the length of your expedition. Core strength is important to make sled hauling easier, as well as shoveling snow when the necessity for building protective walls for the tents arises.

      How do I know this is the right trip for me?
      We offer trips to suit all levels of ability and ambition, from your first mountain experience to extreme ascents and everything in between. To help you navigate the choices available, our trips are graded by both the level of physical exertion and the level of skill required, allowing you to find your perfect expedition match. These ratings are displayed in the icons at the top of each expedition page, with a further explanation available by clicking on the accompanying question mark. A full run-down of the categories can be found on our Difficulty Ratings page and our team is more than happy to discuss your experience to find the right trip for you.

    • Communication & Electronic Devices

      What type of communication is available on the expedition?
      Your expedition guide will have an Iridium satellite phone and you are welcome to use this at US$4 per minute. As we rely on solar power and cannot guarantee that the phone will be available 24hrs a day. Cold severely affects the system and delays can occur for re-warming. If you anticipate that you may need to make frequent or long calls then please make arrangements before the expedition through our office.

      I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
      Your guide will send daily internet dispatches, and the Adventure Consultants New Zealand office receives updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our office.

      Will there be any power source for charging appliances during the trip? What are the voltage requirements?
      We take a small solar charging system on the expedition. This is used to charge the satellite phone as a priority, but may be used for other gadgets if sufficient power is available. Ensure your gadgets are able to be charged by USB or 12V car charger. We do NOT recommend bringing rechargeable digital cameras as they tend to run out when power is not available. Use cameras with replaceable batteries and we recommend lithium batteries. We can cater for special power requirements at an extra cost - please enquire with our office.

    • Weather Forecasts

      Which weather report service do you use and how often do you receive weather reports?
      During the expedition, your guide will receive weather updates from our local team as well as updates from the Adventure Consultants office.

    • Insurance

      What insurance do we need to get?
      In addition to evacuation and medical insurance we recommend that all our expedition members buy trip cancellation insurance upon sign up for their expedition. We also highly recommend purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance policy to provide cover for trip interruption, baggage loss, damage or theft, delayed flights or other such incidents that may occur during your trip. Contact us for expedition insurance advice.

      Do I need evacuation insurance?
      Absolutely! Evacuation from the North Pole can cost up to $300,000 and you need to be insured accordingly, as well as having coverage for repatriation and travel medical expenses.

      Who do you recommend for insurance?
      You will be sent information specific to your expedition as part of your welcome package. Requirements differ depending on where you are travelling and your home location, so be sure to discuss cover with your Client Liaison before purchasing a policy.

      What is trip cancellation insurance?
      Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all expeditions. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (e.g. minimum numbers are not reached) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.

    • Fees & Payments

      Can I pay by credit card?
      We can accept both the trip deposit and balance payment on credit card. Please note that there is a 3% fee for all card transactions. Please contact our office or visit our online payment system.

      What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
      Please see the 'Payment Conditions' section above for the inclusions and exclusions for this particular trip. There is also a downloadable pdf document in the 'Trip Notes' section above. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents with whom we have worked should you require help with arranging your international flight.

      Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
      Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are internationally qualified Western guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client-to-guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.

      How do I sign up for a trip?
      The best way to reserve your space on the expedition is to contact our office or complete our online booking form (click 'Book Now' below). Your deposit can be submitted by bank transfer (please see 'Payment Details' in the 'Payment Conditions' section above) or via our secure online payment system.

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Photography

      I love the photographs in your brochure and on your website, are they for sale?
      Yes, our images are available for licensing or purchase. Please contact our office for more information.

      What is the best equipment for photography in alpine environments?
      Remember photos are wonderful records of your expedition but keep camera gear simple and light to best enjoy the trip you are on. Disposable and digital cameras are the lightest weight, but all cameras have maintenance issues that need to be carefully considered before bringing them to polar regions.

    • Employment

      I want to become a mountain guide, where do I start?
      Those with limited experience generally start by taking an alpine climbing course and then go out and climb for a few years. You generally should have at least 5 years of climbing and/or teaching/guiding experience. You need avalanche and medical training and then you can apply to do an NZ Mountain Guides Course or the equivalent in your country, aligned with the IFMGA.

      Please see Adventure Consultants Mountain Guide Scholarships on our Career Opportunities page and check the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association for more information.

Book Now

Carol McAlwee

I have had this dream since I was 13, and it is only with your help that I have been able to achieve it. Adventure Consultants is a company, a business, but it is something that also goes well beyond that and I thank you immensely for helping me with my dream.
South Pole Ski the Last Degree Expedition

Carol McAlwee
Australia


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