Europes Largest Mountain - Elbrus

Pressure ridges, open leads, sastrugi and ice rubble are natural features of the Arctic Ocean and we may experience them all as we head north to the top of the world on your North Pole Extreme ski expedition.

  • Gateway Longyearbyen, Norway
  • Distance 112km
  • Nights on Ice 10
  • Ski days 7-10
  • Daily Distance 14km
  • Sled Weight 45kg
  • Temp. Range -20 to -30°C
  • Challenge 4 What's this?
  • Conditions Cold climate, ice pressure, open water, 24hr daylight
  • Challenges Skiing against drift, cold management

 

The Elbrus Extreme Adventure Details

Please click on the links below to review the find detail of the Elbrus Adventure.

This is the real way to the North Pole.

In about 10 days you will experience everything the Polar Sea has in it’s armour:

The cold, the pressure ridges, the leads, the drifting ice, the stunning light, the team spirit, how to survive and conquer the harshest environment on earth! To reach the 90° North will fill you with both pride and immense happiness – this is a world and an experience for the very few.

The Last Degree trip offers a raw and unique experience. You are sure to return home with real stories to tell. In the course of two weeks you will be able to join this small and exclusive community of people who have reached the North Pole on skis. Børge Ousland had his first acquaintance with the Arctic Ocean in 1990. In 1994 he started a project in cooperation with the Norwegian Polar Institute to measure the thickness of the ice and snow-cover on his way to the North Pole.

This project has now been extended to be a part of the Last Degree trips, as the scientists need data from the ground. Snow-cover depth in particular can provide valuable insight in understanding the effect of climate change in the Arctic. We take these measurements daily – quickly and efficiently – it will not slow us down or reduce our chances of reaching our goal. On the contrary, we believe that contributing to a greater understanding about our melting Arctic is an important and valuable contribution to our common future

Day 1: This is when our program starts and this is the latest day you can meet up in Longyearbyen. Our team will be there a few days in advance, and we highly recommend arriving  before time to familiarize yourself and be rested for the big trip.  The reason we have to show up early is that we need to prepare, pack sleds, food and go through the procedures and equipment. We will also do a thorough brief and go through all issues and questions regarding the trip.

Day 2: If we need to stock up on anything, this is the day. There are great outdoor stores in Longyearbyen with no v.a.t. We finalize packing and preparing for both the team and for our selves. In the afternoon all our equipment has to be checked in at the airport, weighed and stowed into the airplane.

Day 3: planned for 4th April 2017. From the morning we will be on ‘stand-by’. We will only be flying out if the pilots are sure that the weather will not be changing on our way further North. Sometimes these may be some exciting and long hours, where we try to relax in our hotel just waiting. When the call comes, it’s all hands on deck and off to the airport! After the security check, we enter the Antonov 74 airplane; wait for the very last weather check-up – and off we go! Two and a half hours later we will have flown over ice, ice and more ice, realizing this even is bigger than ever imagined. The runway comes into sight, then a few coloured spots, some bigger ones appearing to be tents, and we are touching ground – on the ice runway, in a huge plume of snow at Barneo, a floating Arctic Ice Camp situated at 89 degrees latitude.

Day 4: What happens after arrival at Barneo depends on the weather and the availability of a helicopter. Usually we are greeted with a hot meal and a fascinating tour around the Barneo Base – but our aim is to get going as soon as possible. If all goes well, we fly out to our drop off point only hours after arriving. We need to fly into the starting position, as the Barneo icecamp is drifting with winds and currents and seldom are at 89 degrees sharp. Packed into a cramped MI8 helicopter, we are flown to our carefully planned drop-off point. Where we start off, is crucial and needs to be well prepared, as we do not want to be struggling against the current and the wind. As soon as the helicopter leaves, we are surrounded by a roaring silence. It is stunning, it is wild, and so isolated that you will get goose bumps! This is a moment you will savour for the rest of your life. We get on our skis headed northwards, or as close to due north as possible. The first day on the ice we familiarize to the challenge and settle into a good routine. We learn, adapt and adjust, in order to make our experience as good as possible. The following days we ski ever closer to the North Pole. These will be long days, but we can ensure you that up here, time flies. To challenge the ice is like a huge game of chess – and we are up against Mother Earth herself. She is a cunning player and we might be set up by her many challenges along the way. It will be enjoyable, frustrating and rewarding. The evenings in our comfortable tent are social, with good food and chats. After long days of skiing and all these impressions, you will sleep like a baby.

The Geographical North Pole: It is impossible to foresee our exact day of arrival. On average the Last Degree requires seven days – sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. It all depends on ice conditions, weather and drift. What we do know is that we have always succeeded in reaching our goal. The feeling of realizing you have succeeded and are standing on the northernmost point on top of the world is impossible to describe. It has to be shared and savoured – and we will.

Last Day:  As you will appreciate, it is difficult to predict exactly which day this will be, but usually we camp out on the North Pole itself to await the arrival of our helicopter. It may be half a day, perhaps two days, all depending on our timing before schedule or not. When the helicopter arrives, we return to the Barneo Base to continue our celebration inside the comfort of heated tents. This is when you will be awarded the North Pole Diploma. Depending on our schedule we, might board a plane back to Longyearbyen the same day.  

Back: Being back is like landing in the tropics. Life feels good. First we get all equipment out to get dry, then we waste no time in heading for the shower of our life. Again clean and refreshed, we hit the best restaurant in Longyearbyen for a bit of a celebration dinner – depending on what time we land, of course.  

The End: We do the last bit of personal packing and organizing, before our focus changes to the homeward journey. Family and friends will have followed your challenges and daily adventure on our expedition blog – but they will surely be eager to hear your own stories, and to see your photos and videos.

Takk for turen - Safe journey home!

 

Quick Facts

Mount Elbrus

Duration: Approx. 10 days + 5 extra (preparations and delays)

Price: 37.900 € for 2017.

Sheduled for: 2017, 2018

Participants: Bookings open for 2017.

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Inclusions

  • Longyearbyen transfers
  • Welcome dinner in Longyearbyen
  • Longyearbyen local ski training
  • All plane and helicopter flights associated with the expedition program
  • Food and stove fuel during the expedition
  • Icetrek guide(s)
  • Use of specialist equipment including tents, sleeping bags, sleds, skis, boots. This equipment is returned to Icetrek after the expedition (see equipment list)
  • Safety/navigation/communications equipment
  • 40kg weight allowance (inc. food and group equipment)
  • Expedition blog including updates and livetracking
  • Satellite telephone call from the North Pole or Barneo (2 mins)
 

Exclusions

  • Hotel accommodation in Longyearbyen (we can help you find appropriate accommodation at your preferred budget).
  • Accommodation and meals at Barneo other than indicated
  • Excess baggage (€25/kg)
  • Additional costs (accommodation, meals etc.) due to changes beyond our control ie. weather delays
  • Evacuation, hospitalization and repatriation costs and/or insurance

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