North Pole Extreme Ski (Last Degree)
Ski the Last Degree to the North Pole
Duration: 10 days/9 nights on the Arctic ice
Temperature Range: -20 to –35C
Challenge Level: 5
Pressure ridges, open leads, sastrugi and ice rubble are natural features of the Arctic Ocean and we may experience them all as we head north to the top of the world on your North Pole Extreme Ski expedition. Your guide is Icetrek director Eric Philips, an experienced polar adventurer and guide with over a dozen North Pole expeditions to his credit. Eric has been exploring the High Arctic since 1992.
We meet in Svalbard’s capital Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitsbergen (Norway). After preparations and outfitting you with your Polar Clothing and Equipment Pack, we fly 2.5 hours by Antonov-74 aircraft to Barneo Ice Camp. The position of Barneo changes with the movement of the ice so our expedition may either start from here or we fly by Mi-8 helicopter to a preferred location close to 89 degrees north, approximately 100km from the North Pole. Temperatures range between -20° to –35°C but comfortably so in state-of-the-art polar clothing. Towing our own sleds the challenge is finding a suitable route through the pressure ridges and around the leads of open water. This is true Arctic Ocean expeditioning, alone against the elements, challenging the drift, overcoming the constant obstacles.
Teamwork is essential as there is much to do - navigating, camp selection, tent pitching, communications. Inside the tent the atmosphere is warm and comfortable and 24-hour daylight allows for a wide range of extra activities such as photography, reading, writing and exploring.
Skiing 10–15 kilometres per day there is no shortage of time to explore the real Arctic Ocean. Click here for a typical day on one of our North Pole expeditions. Everything before us is as it was centuries ago, when early explorers first ventured into this truly remote region. Yet the feeling is one of isolation and exclusivity, as if we are the first to discover the North Pole. After 7-8 days we reach 90 degrees north and celebrate our arrival at the top of the world. To top it off we may spend the night at the North Pole and are then collected by helicopter the next day. We return on the 40-minute flight to Barneo where we celebrate with champagne and ceremony. If time permits we may spend the night at Barneo. Fly on the AN-74 back to Longyearbyen, transfer to hotel, then commemorate with fine Norwegian hospitality..
North Pole Extreme Ski is an outstanding stand-alone adventure, full of challenge and discovery. It can also be used as training and familiarisation for those considering a full-length North Pole expedition from Canada or Siberia.
Medical Evacuation Cover
The carbon emissions of all polar flights north of Longyearbyen have been offset automatically and are included in the price. We encourage you to offset the remainder of your travel from home to Longyearbyen, including flights and accommodation, using our calculator.
"I think Eric was born to do this and did a tremendous job in balancing the need to maintain safety, push us to achieve our goal and have a good time. I gained valuable experience and a greater clarity in the direction of my life, good friends, an experience to tell my grandchildren about in 60 years and buns of steel."
Rob Knight. Hobart, Australia.
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