Ski and snowboard tour inland Antarctica with Mark
Carve first tracks on pristine slopes with unparalleled views in all directions. Explore some of Antarctica’s most spectacular and remote ski and snowboard terrain deep within the Heritage Range of the Ellsworth Mountains in Central Antarctica, hundreds of kilometres from the coast line. Fly down to Antarctica in the Russian Illusion Jet and lane on the famous blue ice runway then spend almost two weeks ski touring inland Antarctica. The touring is in scenic canyons, on silky smooth mountain faces and wide-open valleys. Boot-top cold powder, isolation and maybe even a first descent are all on offer….
I am just starting to offer this trip after going to guide Vinson Glacier several times for Adventure Consultants. Union Glacier is SUCH an amazing place to visit and ALE have made it extremely comfortable and it allows fantastic access to some great skiing. In 2017/18 I crossed Antarctica with kites and skis and spotted some amazing areas with fantastic snow cover that was begging for some ski touring tracks in it. Much of Antarctica is a desert, and it hardly ever snows. But I was blown away by some very specific areas with great snow, limited crevasses and awesome terrain.
2018 Departure is December 18 from Punta Arenas, Chile.
Day 1. Meet in Punta Arenas, gear checks and welcome brief.
Day 2. Fly to Union Glacier camp.
Day 3. Ski tour/glacier rescue day.
Day 4. Ski Tour on Mount Rossman.
Day 5 to 7. Ski tour up Connell Canyon to head of Horseshoe Valley, down Henderson glacier.
Day 8 to 10. Skidoo over to camp on Driscoll Glacier. Comfortable base camp tent for eating and cooking. Personal sleeping tents. Ski tour in region.
Day 11. Skidoo or ski tour back to Union Camp.
Day 12. Fly Punta Arenas, Chile.
Day 13. Trip ends.
The interior of Antarctica has a cold, dry climate. Average mid-season temperatures at the Union Glacier camp range from 10F to 25F (-12C to -4C ). On a sunny windless day it can feel quite warm but, when the wind blows, you will be glad of warm layers and a wind jacket.
Punta Arenas, Chile
Punta Arenas is a city near the tip of Chile’s southernmost Patagonia region. Located on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it’s used as base for our charter flight to inland Antarctica.
It’s best to arrive in Punta Arenas at least two full days prior to the scheduled Antarctic flight in order to fully prepare you for the expedition. These days also allow a buffer for flight and luggage delays should your travels to Chile not go as scheduled. Antarctic flights are not held back for delayed passengers or luggage.
The skiing and boarding opportunities for discovery are endless, whether you are looking for steep lines, first descents, or gentle scenic ski tours. Only a handful of people have passed through this area and it’s exhilarating to think that you may be one of the only people to stand on a summit, leave a set of tracks on a slope, or marvel at the view below.
Numerous valleys grant access to the snowy peaks of the Enterprise Hills, Pioneer Heights, and Soholt Peaks. In recent years, snowfalls have created consistently good skiing conditions with boot-top powder in some areas.
We’ll start with local day trips and return to Union Glacier Camp each evening for dinner then set out on a multi-day expedition to explore various peaks in the Heritage Range.
Once we’ve filled out boots with great turns, awesome scenery and life long memories, we’ll return to Union Glacier Camp to enjoy a celebration dinner, and toast the achievements!
Duration: 13 days.
December 16, to 29, 2018
What’s Not Included?
Length of Trip: 13 Days.