In the footsteps of Shackleton: an expedition for real explorers!
Retrace Shackleton’s heroic footsteps across the island. Ski explorers and mountain guides will attempt to traverse on an unsupported and self-supplied ski trek across South Georgia. The skiers will cover a total distance of 40 – 50 km retracing sections of the historic Shackleton route from 1916.
Information and requirements - Shackleton Crossing
A group of up to 12 ski explorers and 2-3 mountain guides will attempt to traverse, unsupported and self supplied, the island of South Georgia with skis hauling their own pulkas (sledges). On arrival day at King Haakon Bay, the expedition members will spend a night close to the shore preparing for the crossing. The expedition will then embark on their ski trek across alpine passes and glaciers aiming for reunion with the ship at Stromness Bay. After both expeditions have rejoined, all passengers will then continue to enjoy the latter part of the South Georgia cruise itinerary.
The expedition will move through steep, deep snow-covered, glaciated, crevassed and potentially dangerous alpine terrain. Good physical condition and health is essential for this demanding polar expedition and must be backed up by a medical certificate. Participants must be able to master the basic techniques of alpine skiing (ascent and descent). Each participant is asked to submit a personal tour report (climbing, mountaineering and ski touring log book).
Ski trekking operation: Self sufficiency, insurance and resources ashore
At the end of the South polar winter the heavily glaciated interior of South Georgia is covered with deep winter snow. Therefore, the expedition will be carried out with touring skis and lightweight sledges which allow rapid and comfortable progress and easy transport of the expedition equipment (about 30-35 kg per person). The ski trekkers will pull their own sledge with personal and shared equipment (food, stoves, fuel) in mountainous terrain. The sledge can be carried as a backpack on stretches without snow.
The expedition will move through steep, deep snow-covered, glaciated, crevassed and potentially dangerous alpine terrain. Good physical condition and health is essential for this demanding polar expedition and must be backed up by a medical certificate. In general participants must be physically conditioned and experienced in order to participate in this strenuous exercise in alpine environments facing sometimes extreme weather. In addition, ski trekkers must be familiar with skiing and crevasse rescue techniques which can be learned in Alpine Introductory Courses. Each participant is asked to submit a personal tour report (climbing, mountaineering and ski touring log book).
The group will access sometimes difficult, glaciated, heavily crevassed and potentially hazardous alpine terrain. There is no real climbing on this trip, but the extreme weather conditions and very strong winds can make this crossing a very challenging undertaking. There is a possibility that due to stormy weather the expedition must remain in tents for several days at a time. Ski trekking involves elements of ski mountaineering, glacier travel and winter camping.
Fully approved UIAGM mountain and ski guides are responsible for safety and will lead the group during this multiple day expedition. A medically qualified person will be appointed. The minimum client to guide ratio is 1 guide to 4 clients. Basic equipment is available onboard (sledges, snowshoes, field camp and alpine mountaineering essentials). Ski trekkers only bring their own ski equipment (Randonées or Telemark skis, skiing boots) and personal expedition clothing. In order to be considered for this ski trekking expedition all participants are required to fill in a Personal Information / Medical form.
Furthermore participants need to submit a report summarizing their personal ski mountaineering/trekking history preferably in an expedition setting. Applications will be reviewed. For more details (equipment list) please refer to the activity manual or special itinerary.