- Geoff Somers
Geoff Somers has completed several "firsts," including the then-longest unsupported Arctic journey of 1,400 miles and the first and only crossing of the entire Antarctic continent by its greatest axis, a seven-month, 4,000-mile journey. During both these epic adventures, Geoff oversaw logistics.
- Country Name
- 90 00 S, 0 00 E
- Total: 14 million sq km
- Land: 14 million sq km
- Water: 13.72 million sq km ice-covered
- Elevation Extremes
- Low: Bentley Subglacial Trench -2,555 m
- High: Vinson Massif 4,897 m
- Approximately 1,000
Month High Low Rain Jan 32 22 .59 Feb 15 11 .83 Mar 7 -6 .95 Apr 1 -13 .72 May -2 -17 .93 Jun -2 -17 .98 Jul -17 -22 .61 Aug -9 -25 .45 Sep -5 -21 .46 Oct 4 -10 Nov 20 9 .38 Dec 31 21 .62
- Time Zone
- Calling Code
The South Pole: Conquering the Final Degree
- Expedition Type [ Arctic Expeditions ]
- Difficulty [ Strenuous ]
- Activities [ Cross-country Skiing, Winter Camping ]
- Duration [ 18 Days ]
We unload our gear and the plane disappears into the sky, leaving only the polar wind to howl in our ears. Now alone on the polar plateau, our small expedition team surveys the landscape: blue-white snow and ice as far as the eye can see, a stunning but sobering sight. If anyone on our team has doubts, they go unspoken. We take up our poles and begin the trek to the South Pole.
Our guide starts us out slowly, giving our bodies a chance to adapt to this unfamiliar environment and new form of travel. Once acclimated, our team establishes its rhythm, and the skiing becomes a kind of meditation. Then we hit the sastrugi: the sharp ridges of windblown snow that plagued the Scott and Amundsen expeditions. Attempting to weave through the two- and three-foot-high formations, we struggle to keep our 120-pound sleds from tipping over or getting stuck, but the inevitable happens. We don't make distance that day. But we make up for it the next, winning one small contest in an arena where Nature has the overwhelming advantage. The sense of satisfaction is strikingly primal.
With 24 hours of sunlight, there is no dusk to signal the end of a day's exertions. And never has a tent seemed such a luxury, a warm, dry refuge at the end of the earth. Sleep is instantaneous. The South Pole is within our reach. Anything is possible now.
- Day 1
Arrive Santiago, Chile/Punta Arenas
On arival in Santiago please claim your luggage before proceeding to customs and immigration. Once through customs and immigration check in for your connecting flight to Punta Arenas, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
This evening meet your fellow expedition members for a welcome dinner.Hotel Cabo de Hornos [ D ]
- Day 2
Prepare for your journey to the interior of Antarctica, one of the most difficult places in the world to reach by air. Days of delay are part of the experience and should be expected. Attend an expedition briefing regarding life at Patriot Hills and what you are likely to encounter while travelling to the final degree.Hotel Cabo de Hornos [ B ]
- Day 3
Punta Arenas/Patriot Hills, Antarctica
You are on call for your international flight to Antarctica, and once the weather is suitable, you fly five hours south to Patriot Hills. Nestled within the heartland of Antarctica, Patriot Hills is the only private camp in Antarctica. Settle in to your expedition-style camp and, after your first meal, attend an orientation briefing about daily life in Antarctica, followed by a brief tour of Patriot Hills.Base Camp [ B L D ]
- Day 4
Meet in the morning for a group breakfast and briefing regarding the upcoming journey. Your guide explains expedition logisitics, as well as safety and environmental consideration for your time on the ice. Before leaving Patriot Hills, staff ensures that everyone is familiar with the equipment to be used.
This afternoon embark on a short ski trip to an overnight camp to practice pulling your sled, setting up your tent and learning the essentials for keeping warm and dry in extreme polar weather conditions. During this time, your guide observes your skiing skills and level of fitness. Then, pack all essentials and wait for suitable weather to fly to 89° south.Base Camp [ B L D ]
- Day 5
Patriot Hills/Thiel Mountain/89° South
Today — or on the first suitable day — fly by ski-equipped plane to the Thiel Mountains, where your aircraft refuels, then continue to 89° latitude for your 69-mile trek to the South Pole.Field Camp [ B L D ]
- Days 6-14
The Final Degree
Cover an average of six to 10 miles per day, beginning with shorter distances and increasing daily as you acclimatize and develop your travelling rhythm.
Travel under your own power, the same way explorers did on polar expeditions a century ago. Days are varied with vast, surreal landscapes formed by the harsh elements of wind, ice and snow. The altitude, cold, wind and terrain all have an effect on your daily progress. Training prior to the expedition is essential, and conquering these hurdles is a powerful feeling.
Ski for about eight hours each day, with five- to ten-minute snack/rest breaks every hour. Finish by 7 p.m. to set up camp, have dinner and socialize.Field Camp [ B L D ]
- Day 15
The South Pole
Today marks your final steps to a very challenging goal: reaching the geographic South Pole. At 15 miles out, the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station becomes visible. When you arrive, you join an elite group of only a few hundred individuals ever to arrive at this point on foot.
Later, enjoy a guided tour of the scientific research station and visit their store for mementos of your achievement.South Pole Base Camp [ B L D ]
- Day 16
The Final Degree/Patriot Hills
If the weather cooperates the twin otter plane picks you up today and you return to Patriot Hills for a celebration dinner and toast.Base Camp [ B L D ]
- Day 17
Patriot Hills/Punta Arenas
Today you’re scheduled to fly back to Punta Arenas. On arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel where the balance of your day is at leisure to relax and enjoy the hotel’s amenities.Hotel Cabo de Hornos [ B ]
- Day 18
Punta Arenas/Depart Santiago
Your adventure ends today when you fly to Santiago and connect to your international homebound flight.[ B ]