Skiing in Antarctica
NEW to our Antarctica and South Georgia expeditions, Ski Touring offers keen adventurers a chance to take on some of the world’s most incredible slopes. Experienced skiers will have the chance to enjoy day-trips to traverse across remote, snow-capped peaks to descend into pristine bays filled with floating bergs, penguin rookeries or even a breaching whale! Those interested in a multi-day ski adventure can opt to attempt Shackleton’s route across South Georgia.
From alpine bowls and crevassed glaciers, to long open slopes, join us to summit and ski a range of Antarctic landscapes, venturing to some amazing wild and remote corners. A spirit of adventure is a must. After all, when you strap on your skis, you’ll be exploring places where few have ever skied before!
Our Antarctic Ski Touring program requires a reasonable level of fitness and previous skiing experience. The snow conditions will be varied and the terrain can be challenging at times. While you don’t need to be a back-country athlete to participate, and there are opportunities to develop skills during the expedition, please note we do enforce the below minimum ability requirements:
- Advanced level of skiing or snowboarding ability (ability to ski blue or black resort runs is required)
- Off-piste experience in a variety of snow conditions
- Previous ski touring experience is an advantage, but not essential (depending on your off-piste experience and overall ability)
Our guides can teach you the required ski touring skills from day one, as well as important mountaineering skills including ice axe and crampon use, roped glacier travel, constructing snow and ice anchors, assessing and moving in avalanche terrain, personal avalanche equipment and rescue, constructing emergency shelters, navigation and interpreting weather.
You can expect to tour from two to six hours each day, some of which will include an ascent of a small peak or two. Participants must be fit and prepared for this activity. Ideally, you will have trained with outdoor carry packs, however uphill walks or riding bikes is also ideal for back country training.
You will enjoy your ski touring much more if you have prepared adequately. If you have any queries regarding your suitability or fitness please don’t hesitate to contact us. One of our mountain guides will be able to assess your ability and offer advice on training and preparation.
The minimum age for this activity is 14.
Group size is limited to 10 skiers in Antarctica and 8 skiers on the South Georgia Crossing, plus two guides.
Ski Touring Outings
While we aim to get out as often as possible, the number of outings will be dependent on weather and other factors. The average number of outings is usually six or more per voyage – depending on your itinerary. Every voyage is different but some of our typical landings spots have been:
- Tour up and ski off Mt Tennant, Ronge Island – 700m descent
- Mt Hoegh down to Andvord Bay – 800m descent
- Mt Pond to Whalers Bay – 540m descent
- Port Lockroy from Doumer Peak – 550m descent
Our highly-qualified guides have many years of climbing and ski touring experience in Antarctica and South Georgia and have an extensive knowledge of the areas we plan to ski. They aim to provide a personalised and unique experience for every participant whilst managing safety to the highest standards. Group sizes are limited to ten, with the average group size between 4 and 10.
Good quality equipment is essential and Aurora Expeditions will supply you with a comprehensive checklist for what you need and what we can provide. We require you to bring where possible:
- Touring skis – for those who do not have these, we can supply on request
- Touring boots – in some cases your regular ski boots will fit our touring bindings however you will need to contact our guides about this prior to your departure
- Telescopic touring poles
- Climbing harness – regular sit style climbing harness
- Carabiners – two or three screw gate or twist locks/three snaplinks
- Ski straps x 2
- Ski Crampons
- Ice axe and crampons
- Prussiks – Leg (belly button to nose) and waist (belly button to ground)
- Hydration system and a bottle to carry a minimum of two litres
- Backpack – 45L
- Waterproof pack liner
Aurora Expeditions will supply all ropes, snow stakes, ice screws and survival equipment.
If you would like to participate in our new ski tour activity please request a Ski Touring Activity Form at the time of booking for submission. Our ski guide will review your form for suitability and experience before approving your place in the activity.
Wind, Ice and Weather in Antarctica & South Georgia
You can expect to experience a variety of weather, from blue skies and sunshine through to snow, rain and grey clouds. The weather in some places can change extremely fast, ranging from sunshine to gale force winds. We usually begin our tours from sheltered landings, however wind and ice build up at higher altitudes may disrupt, change or cancel planned outings.
Travel insurance, including emergency evacuation coverage, is mandatory on all Aurora Expeditions voyages. You will need to ensure that your insurance policy covers you for Ski Touring activity and related equipment. An additional policy or premium may be required to ensure you have adequate coverage. Please contact Aurora Expeditions if you need assistance with your insurance policy.
Ski Touring is available for an additional surcharge and includes your guide, permits, outings and some equipment.
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