Very few people have ever stood at the southernmost point of our planet. To join their ranks requires facing some of the most inhospitable conditions this planet has to offer, but with the right physical and mental training, this goal can become attainable. At WWTrek we are eager to help you accomplish this lofty goal of skiing the last degree to the south pole. We are proud to offer a comprehensive and well-rounded suite of trips to prepare you for your expedition. Once you sign on for this trip we will begin our training in Utah’s Wasatch Mountain Range the summer before the trip, we will meet again for a second training trip in Minnesota a month before the official trek to the South Pole Begins.

SUMMARY

TRIP TYPE: Trek

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Strenuous

TRIP LENGTH:

Utah Training: 4d/ 3n

Minnesota Training: 5d/ 4n

South Pole: 16d/15n

SPACES AVAILABLE: 16

TRIP COST: Contact us for pricing

DATES

December 31 – January 15, 2019 (Stanford)

Custom Dates Available

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the Southern most point of the planet
  • Experience a place that few humans have ever seen
  • Benefit from consistent support and thorough preparation & training

 UTAH TRAINING ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive in Salt Lake City, UT

  • Guests will be met by a WWTrek representative at the airport
  • Transfer to Snowbird Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon
  • Welcome orientation and presentations: Goals for South Pole Training & Antarctica Overview
  • Overnight: Lodging at Snowbird
  • Meals: D

Day 2: Indoor Skills Training Day

  • Morning Training:
    • Daily route for skiing the Last Degree
    • Teamwork & team movement
    • Safety protocols: subjective & objective hazards
    • Arctic weather, cold weather, hypothermia, & frost bite
    • Cold weather camping skills, pulling sleds, low impact camping
    • Crevasse rescue
  • Mid-day hike with picnic lunch
  • Afternoon Training:
    • Setting up camp, tents, snow-block wall protection, making water, cooking
    • Staying comfortable and warm in the Arctic
    • Altitude acclimatization process & travel pacing
    • Gear check & fitting
    • Taste testing & preference selections on freeze dried foods, bars, etc.
  • Group Dinner
  • Overnight: Snowbird Lodging
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 3: Outdoor Field Training Day

  • After breakfast, we will embark on a guided hike.
  • We will carry packs with weight and travel from approximately 8,000′ – 11,000′
  • We will work on team building as we set up camp, cook, dinner, and other tasks
  • Learn camping techniques and proper utilization of the stoves and freeze dried food
  • Overnight: Mineral Basin Camping
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 4: Hiking | Departure

  • Enjoy a morning hike up to the top of Hidden Peak (11,000′)
  • Return to Snowbird tram for departures and head to the airport
  • Meals: B

TRAVEL NOTES

Arrivals & Departures:

This trip will begin and end at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) in Utah.

Recommended Flights:

There are many flight options into and out of Salt Lake City, UT (SLC). WWTrek has an expert travel agent that can help you with all of your travel arrangements. We utilize Danny Genung at Harr Travel to book all of our flights. He can be reached at: danny@harrtravel.com or 909.266.0117. The benefit of using a travel agent is in the event of itinerary changes, the travel agent will find the best flight connections, and land arrangements, for you. Though third-party travel websites are convenient, they are not recommended, due to instability in the itineraries.

We recommend that you protect your flight with travel insurance and a refundable ticket.

Accommodations:

We will begin this trip staying up Little Cottonwood Canyon at the beautiful Snowbird Resort. We will spend a night camping in the pristine Mineral Basin, where we’ll have a chance to try out our gear for the South Pole Trek. 

Transportation:

Guests will be transported in our private van. 

Gratuities:

Gratuities are a symbol of a job well done. Your guides will take care of any service style tips throughout the trip.

WWTrek Staff: At the trails-end you will have the opportunity to contribute to a group tipping pool that will be presented as we say our goodbyes. 

Time Zone:

Mountain Time (UTC -6)

Weather:

This trip will occur during the summer before the South Pole trip. Although the weather will be nothing like what you can expect in the Arctic, the focus of this trip is learning skills and fitness training. The weather will be warm and dry with chances of thunderstorms. Please prepare for high sun exposure, as we will be at altitude.

 MINNESOTA TRAINING ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive to Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Transfer to the hotel
  • Welcome orientation and presentation: Goals for the South Pole Training
  • Group Dinner
  • Overnight: Minneapolis Hotel
  • Meals: D

Day 2: Indoor Skills Training | Outdoor Practical Training

  • Seminar: Setting up Camp and Cold Weather Camping
    • Tents, tent etiquette, snow-block walls
    • sleeping below zero, down vs synthetic, staying warm
    • Low impact camping, cold weather camping skills
  • Seminar: Traveling
    • Pulling a sled, teamwork and team movement
    • Safety protocols: subjective & objective hazards
    • Hypothermia/frostbite/ first aid overview
    • Ski techniques and practice
  • Seminar: Cooking and expedition technology
  • Lunch
  • Seminar: Food, Navigation, & Safety
    • Stoves, making water, stove/tent safety
    • Morning and evening routines
    • Tracking beacons and SOS
    • Satellite phone, remote blogging/posting
    • Food is fuel, expedition nutrition, and meal planning
    • Whiteout travel, reading maps, compass, and GPS
    • Gear check and packing
  • Group dinner
  • Overnight: Remote Cabin
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 3: Outdoor Field Training Day

  • After breakfast, we will embark on our training trip
  • We will spend time practicing the skills needed for our trek to the South Pole
  • We will get to know our team members and teach individuals all the skills necessary to be safe and successful during the expedition.
  • 6-8 hours of skiing on the lake each day of the expedition
  • Overnight: Campout
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 4: Field Day Two

  • After breakfast we will break down camp and head back to the cabin
  • Training Seminar Debrief:
    • Recap the skills learned, provide personal evaluation, & preparation goals for the South Pole Expedition
  • Transfer to the Hotel in Minneapolis
  • Group dinner
  • Overnight: Minneapolis Hotel
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 5: Departures

  • Final briefing and overview of South Pole Expedition – 4 weeks countdown
  • Departures to airport
  • Meals: B

TRAVEL NOTES

Arrivals & Departures:

This trip will begin and end in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

Recommended Flights:

There are many flight options into and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). WWTrek has an expert travel agent that can help you with all of your travel arrangements. We utilize Danny Genung at Harr Travel to book all of our flights. He can be reached at: danny@harrtravel.com or 909.266.0117. The benefit of using a travel agent is in the event of itinerary changes, the travel agent will find the best flight connections, and land arrangements, for you. Though third-party travel websites are convenient, they are not recommended, due to instability in the itineraries.

We recommend that you protect your flight with travel insurance and a refundable ticket.

Accommodations:

We will begin and end this trip with nights at Minneapolis Hotel, we will then transfer to a more rustic cabin before we make our way out onto the lake for our first winter camping experience.

Gratuities:

Gratuities are a symbol of a job well done. Your guides will take care of any service style tips throughout the trip.

WWTrek Staff: At the trails-end you will have the opportunity to contribute to a group tipping pool that will be presented as we say our goodbyes. 

Time Zone:

Central Time Zone (UTC -5)

 SOUTH POLE ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile

  • Transfer to the hotel
  • Welcome orientation and presentation: Goals for South Pole!
  • Group Dinner
  • Overnight: Cabo de Hornos
  • Meals: D

Day 2: Preparation

  • Preparation Day: Gear check, weigh gear loads, & orientation
  • Group Dinner
  • Overnight: Cabo de Hornos
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 3: Outdoor Field Training Day

  • After breakfast, we will pick up our baggage and begin our training day
  • Overnight: Cabo de Hornos
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 4: Travel to Antarctica!

  • Fly to the ALE base at Union Glacier Antarctica (80˚ South) on a Llyushin 76 aircraft
  • We will head to the ALE’s basecamp where we will sleep overnight in our expedition tents and gather for meals in the dining tents, which have wooden floors and kerosene heat.
  • Overnight: Union Glacier Base Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 5: Training

  • Team training day, ALE Base, Union Glacier
  • Overnight: Union Glacier Base Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 6: Training

  • Team training, ALE Base, Union Glacier
  • Overnight: Union Glacier Base Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 7: Depart for the 89th Degree

  • Once the weather forecasters give us the green light we will load into a ski-equipped Basler (ex-DC-3) aircraft for the 6-hour flight. This will take us into the heart of Antarctica.
  • Along the way, we will stop at the Thiel Mountains to refuel the aircraft at a fuel cache.
  • Fly the remainder of the distance to the 89˚ South.
  • Overnight: Glacier Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 8: Ski to the South Pole

  • Ski 8-10 hours daily
  • Overnight: Glacier Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 9: Ski to the South Pole

  • Ski 8-10 hours daily
  • Overnight: Glacier Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 10: Ski to the South Pole

  • Ski 8-10 hours daily
  • Overnight: Glacier Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 11: Ski to the South Pole

  • Ski 8-10 hours daily
  • Overnight: Glacier Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 12: Ski to the South Pole

  • Ski 8-10 hours daily
  • Overnight: Glacier Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 13: South Pole!

  • Arrive at the Last Degree! South Pole Station Tour
  • Overnight: Glacier Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 14: Fly from the South Pole back to Union Glacier

  • Overnight: Glacier Camp
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 15: Departure to Punta Arenas

  • Return via airplane to Chile
  • Celebration Dinner!
  • Overnight: Cabo de Hornos
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 16: Departures

  • International Departures
  • Meals: B

TRAVEL NOTES

Best time of the year to travel:

Antarctica is only accessible for tourism from November to March, during the southern hemisphere summer. Although these summer days have 24 hours of daylight, you can expect temperature highs in the 50’s(F). These temperatures feel welcome compared to the winter months, when the sun never shines and temperatures can plummet below -40˚F.

February through March are when many penguin chicks can be spotted.

Arrivals & Departures:

This trip will begin and end in Punta Arenas, Chile. After trip preparation, the whole group will then fly into the ALE base on Union Glacier (included).

Recommended Flights:

There are many flight options into and out of Puntas Arenas Airport (PUQ). WWTrek has an expert travel agent that can help you with all of your travel arrangements. We utilize Danny Genung at Harr Travel to book all of our flights. He can be reached at: danny@harrtravel.com or 909.266.0117. The benefit of using a travel agent is in the event of itinerary changes, the travel agent will find the best flight connections, and land arrangements, for you. Though third-party travel websites are convenient, they are not recommended, due to instability in the itineraries.

We recommend that you protect your flight with travel insurance and a refundable ticket.

Customs, Visas, and Immigration:

U.S. Citizens are not required to obtain a visa for travel in Chile. Since no country owns Antarctic, no visas are required.

*Please Note: You will need a passport valid for more than six months after your trip. Make two copies of your passport. Leave one at hime and bring the other with you to Chile in case of an emergency. Ensure you provide a color copy of your passport to WWTrek 90-days prior to your departure date. Carry two extra passport photos when you travel.

Accommodations:

We will begin and end this trip with nights at a beautiful hotel in Punta Arenas. Once we land on the Antarctica Continent we will be staying in top-of-the-line expedition tents. Each day of the expedition we will work as a team to set up tents, build protective snow walls, and contribute to snow melting and meal preparations.

Transportation:

All of our flights are operated by Antarctica Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), which is the sole operator of aircraft access into the region. We will fly on a Llyushin 76 aircraft from Punta Arenas to the Union Glacier on Antarctica. From the base we will take a ski-equipped Basler (ex DC-3) aircraft into the heart of Antarctica. During the expedition we will travel on skis, pulling sleds.

Gratuities:

Gratuities are a symbol of a job well done. Your guides will take care of any service style tips throughout the trip.

WWTrek Staff: At the trails-end you will have the opportunity to contribute to a group tipping pool that will be presented as we say our goodbyes. 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Continent:

Antarctica is governed by the 1958 Antarctic Treaty, which establishes the continent as a cooperative international research zone. There are no true cities or towns on the continent, though there are about two dozen research stations and one private seasonally operated camp. The laws of each nation apply at their research station.

Population:

Depending on the time of year, the total population of all research stations combined range from 1000-4000.

Flora & Fauna

This is the only continent on earth with no significant plant life and little animal life. With no native land mammals, reptiles, or amphibians most of life lies below the ice sheets and in the frigid waters surrounding the continent. This continent is most notably known for the adorable waddling birds, penguins are the most prevalent life to be found on the Antarctic ice sheets. There are no polar bears in Antarctica, those are only found at the north pole.

Time Zone:

The ALE base uses the time zone of Punta Arenas, Chile (UTC -3)