Ski South Pole from Messner Start

A South Pole ski classic

Ski from Ronne Ice Shelf to South Pole

The Messner Start, named after the famed mountaineer Reinhold Messner, lies on the edge of the Ronne Ice Shelf and extends 911km to the South Pole. Test your limits on this demanding Antarctic expedition.

  • Gateway Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Distance 911km
  • Nights 47
  • Trek days 42
  • Daily Distance 20+km
  • Sled Weight 70kg
  • Temp. Range -10 to -35°C
  • Challenge 6 What's this?
  • Conditions Altitude, wind, cold
  • Challenges Daily distance, cold management, altitude, sastrugi, crevasses

Trip Itinerary


Arrive Punta Arenas. Check-in to hotel


Meet with Icetrek guide. Review itinerary, equipment and food. Preparations for departure to Antarctica.


Briefing with ALE

Day 1

Fly to Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica (weather dependent). Stay at Union Glacier and finalise preparations, including sled packing and pulling, skiing, camp procedures, equipment tweaks.

Day 5

Flight to Ronne Ice shelf coast, begin ski expedition to South Pole

Days 6 to 43

Ski across the Antarctic plateau to the South Pole

Day 44

Arrive South Pole. Depending on flight schedule, we may remain at South Pole camp for a night or two.

Day 45

Flight to Union Glacier

Day 46

Rest day

Day 47

Flight to Punta Arenas


  • Punta Arenas transfers for Antarctic flights
  • Return flight Punta Arenas to Antarctica
  • Meals at Union Glacier Camp
  • Flight to Hercules Inlet
  • Food and stove fuel during the expedition
  • Professional guide
  • Use of technical equipment including tents, sled, harness (see equipment list).
  • Safety/navigation/communications equipment
  • 25kg personal gear weight allowance (does not include food, fuel, technical/group equipment or anything else issued to you).
  • 20% discount on selected Icetrek Equipment


  • Travel to and from Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Hotel transfers for non-Antarctic flights
  • Hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas (we can help you find appropriate accommodation at your preferred budget).
  • Excess baggage above the allowance
  • Additional costs (accommodation, meals etc.) due to changes beyond our control ie. weather delays
  • Evacuation, hospitalization and repatriation costs and/or insurance
  • Satellite telephone airtime

After final preparations at Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica we fly by Twin Otter aircraft to our start point on the edge of the Antarctic continent, Hercules Inlet.

From Hercules Inlet we ascend sharply away from the coast through crevasse fields before swinging south towards the Thiel Mountains and South Pole.

With 70-80kg sleds we slowly make our way up the Foundation Ice Stream and onto the Antarctic plateau covering 20-25 km's daily. After a few days we find our rhythm and become a part of Antarctica, skiing, resting, eating and sleeping to a routine that has been time honoured by over a century of explorers. We aim for the Thiel cache where we pick up a resupply of food and fuel before heading onto the high plateau.

The Antarctic plateau is a forbidding place - cold, windswept and remote, with rarefied air. This of course is part of the attraction of skiing to the South Pole, to experience one of the most exacting environments on earth. By now we are a well-oiled team, we have developed specific skills to match the challenge and our professional equipment serves us well. We rely implicitly on all that surround us.

This 911km expedition should only be considered by the most committed adventurers, willing to undertake a rigorous daily training schedule for several months prior to their trip. Messner Route to South Pole is a serious undertaking requiring supreme skill, fitness, mental strength and teamwork. 

Icetrek Antarctica Map Ski Ld To Coast

Latam Airlines fly daily to Punta Arenas, Chile.


Ski South Pole from Messner Start

November 10 - December 29, 2021 Availability: Available
per person ex-Punta Arenas, Chile (price listed is for 2019. 2020 season not yet released)
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