Antarctica is widely considered the wildest place on the planet to go skiing. Not only is it the highest, driest, and coldest place on earth it’s also a huge pain in the ass to get to. That being said, Antarctica is truly an unbelievable place that at times is hard to believe is even real. The mixture of wildlife, terrain and remoteness make skiing the White Continent a highlight of any ski career.
Most modern skiers who have skied the White Continent have followed these four steeps.
Steep 1: Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina.
Steep 2: Take three day boat trip from the tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Steep 3: Climb heavily glaciated terrain.
Steep 4: Ski.
“Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised.” Apsley Cherry-Garrard states in the opening sentence of the Introduction to The Worst Journey in the World
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.” From an advertisement preceding Shackleton’s Nimrod expedition.
- The Antarctic continent wasn’t even actually seen until 1820. No man set foot in Antarctica until 1895.
- Antarctic holds 90 percent of all the world’s ice and 70 percent of all the world’s fresh water.
- At its thickest point the ice sheet is 15,669 feet deep.
- There are no land mammals and no native peoples.
- There are no Polar bears in Antarctic.
- Fifty million years ago Antarctica had a temperate climate with evergreen forests.
- The mean annual temperature at the South Pole is -56 degrees F.
- The sun sets in March and rises in October.
- The continent is roughly 14 million square kilometers. The USA is only 9.36 million square kilometers.
- Antarctica is the highest, driest, and coldest place on earth.
Info provided by faculty.umf.maine.edu
Photos by Tim Konrad
Thanks to Ice Axe Expeditions for the amazing trip!
UnofficialNetworks.com presents, Skiing the Seven Continents, a seven part web series bring you a unique story from each or the worlds seven Continents. Here is a look at Season 1.