Ski South Pole - Messner Start

Test Your Limits

Embark on an expedition that will test your strength, endurance, and resolve to join an elite group who have arrived at the Geographic South Pole under their own power. Ski South Pole is the ultimate challenge, a journey that spans an entire Antarctic season and traverses 566 mi (911 km) from the Ronne Ice Shelf, on the edge of the frozen Antarctic continent, to the Geographic South Pole.

54 Days
Activity Level
Upcoming Departures
Nov. 18, 2024


Embark on an expedition that will test your strength, endurance, and resolve to join an elite group who have arrived at the Geographic South Pole under their own power. Ski South Pole is the ultimate challenge, a journey that spans an entire Antarctic season and traverses 566 mi (911 km) from the Ronne IceShelf, on the edge of the frozen Antarctic continent, to the Geographic South Pole.

This scenic route is inspired by Reinhold Messner’s 1989 epic Antarctic crossing and offers a shorter but more committing alternative to the Hercules Inlet route. Using the Messner Start, you’ll skirt the western flank of the massive Foundation Ice Stream and the Transantarctic Mountains then turn south toward your final goal, the South Pole.

You’ll travel by ski for 7-10 hours a day and pull a sled with all of your supplies that weighs 132-177 lb (60 – 80 kg).You’ll experience all types of weather, facing constant winds, fields of sastrugi, and white-out conditions. The Messner Start route takes up to 50 days and climbs gradually to more than 9300 ft (2800 m). Days are filled with 24-hour daylight and an intense solitude and tranquility that can be found almost nowhere else on Earth.


The interior of Antarctica has a cold, dry, windy climate. Average mid-season temperatures at our base camp range from -12°F to 30°F (-24°C to -1°C ). 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. Temperatures can drop as low as -22°F (-30°C) in early November.

At the South Pole temperatures range from -13°F to -40°F (-25°C to -40°C) with windchill down to -50°F (-50°C).

Activity Level

Extremely Strenuous

Extremely strenuous trips include skiing and climbing expeditions in the most remote corners of Antarctica, where physiological altitude may exceed 11,000 feet (3350m) for many days in a row, and temperatures may drop below (–40°F / –40°C), with severe wind chill and storms. You will be active for 8-12 hours a day carrying or hauling heavy loads for many days in a row. You must have the physical ability to cover a minimum daily distance and the mental stamina to continue in extreme conditions when you are physically tired. Technical skill, a high level of strength and aerobic fitness, and commitment to a dedicated pre-trip training program are required.


What's Included
  • Airport transfers in Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Round trip flight to Antarctica from Punta Arenas
  • Flight to Messner Start from Union Glacier
  • Flight to Union Glacier from South Pole
  • Meals and tented accommodation in Antarctica
  • Camping equipment, sled, and harness
  • Expedition Guide
  • Celebration event and Certificate of Achievement
  • Checked luggage up to 66 lb (30 kg)
What's Not Included
  • Insurance coverage—personal, medical,evacuation, or otherwise
  • Commercial flights to and from Punta Arenas
  • Airport transfers outside of Punta Arenas
  • Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
  • Additional flights within Antarctica
  • Vehicle pick-up and transfer to South Pole if you are unable to complete the expedition
  • Personal equipment and clothing
  • Expenses incurred due to delays
  • Luggage over 66 lb (30 kg)
  • Satellite phone charges
Arrival Day: Punta Arenas, Chile

Please arrive 6 nights before your trip start date

Pre-departure Days: Equipment Checks, Food Packing, Welcome and Safety Briefing

Day 1: Fly to Antarctica

Day 2-3: Expedition Preparations

Day 4-23: Messner Start to Thiel Corner Skiway

Day 24-51: Thiel Corner Skiway to South Pole

Day 51: Arrive at the South Pole

Day 52: Return to Union Glacier

Day 54: Return to Chile

Flexible Departure Day: Fly Home

*Subject to change based on weather and flight conditions.

Trip Code SKSP-ME
To Antarctica Nov 18 2024
From Antarctica Jan 10 2025
Duration 54 Days
Cost $86,100
Availability Available
Pricing Note

We reserve the right to revise our prices in the event of significant changes in the price of aviation kerosene and aircraft charter rates.

Ski South Pole - Messner Start Maps



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Our Camps

Union Glacier Camp


South Pole Camp


Field Camps

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