Ulvetanna, Norwegian for Wolf's Tooth, is a spectacular mountain that dominates the Drygalski Mountains in Queen Maud Land. Watch this behemoth grow as we kite-ski towards its epic spire on this one-of-a-kind adrenaline-filled expedition.
Late evening flight on the Ilyushin-76 to ALCI Airbase in Antarctica. Stay the night
Kite-ski to Ulvetanna, set up base.
Travel east, crossing mountain ranges and glaciers. Aircraft pick-up. Night at the airbase
Return to Cape Town.
is the ultimate mecca for kite-skiing. Wind, snow, unhindered kiting
and breathtaking mountains combine to deliver an experience unparalleled
anywhere else on earth.
meet in Cape Town where we check equipment and make final preparations
for our departure. The 5-hour evening flight aboard the Ilyushin-76
aircraft is part of the adventure, taking us over the Antarctic Circle
to land at ALCI Airbase close to the coast of Antarctica. Here we stay
the night, double checking gear and packing our sleds.
following day, with the benefit of 24-hour daylight and mild coastal
temperatures, we head south-west away from the airbase, and with a
prevailing south-easterly wind there's a good chance we'll be kiting
from the get-go. Our route is a direct line to the iconic peak of
Ulvetanna, the Wolf's Tooth, 165km away. So collossal is this mountain
that we will see it's summit rise above the horizon while still more
than 100km away and it remains in sight not only until we set up our
base camp at the foot of the mountain, but for much of the journey.
Depending on conditions and collective ability, it will likely take 2-3
days to reach Ulvetanna with wind.
Situated in the Drygalski Mountains of Queen Maud Land, this epic destination provides us with myriad opportunities for adventure, from local kite-skiing amongst the imposing peaks to mind-blowing ski touring to moderate climbs and first ski descents to. The one thing we can't do is get bored.
exploring the region we make our way east, crossing glaciers, mountain
passes and high snow bowls. If we get lucky, as has happened in the
past, we can kite during some of our easterly course. If not, we move
with the time-honoured polar technique of sled-hauling. Depending on
your skill and familiarity it's your choice as to whether you use your
kiting setup (randonee or telemark), or switch to more comfortable ski
scenery never gets old. To the east and west are mountain ranges of
varying height and grandeur, from sheer rock faces to snow-covered
alpine summits. To the north lie the snow plains that we already
traversed and to the south lies the Antarctic Plateau and the South Pole
Slowly we make our way east, kiting, hauling, skiing, climbing, exploring, passing the Kurze, Conrad, Orvin and Scherbakov ranges until we are at the northern end of the Humboldt Mountains, due south of the airbase. Here we call up a Twin Otter aircraft and are airlifted out, viewing our stage from the air.
Ulvetanna continues to dominate the skyline as we fly the 65km to the base where we spend our final celebratory night before returning to Cape Town.
See Eric Philips' video from his solo kite-ski expedition to Ulvetanna