Kite-Ski Ulvetanna trip on offer

K2 Mountain Poles

Ulvetanna, Norwegian for Wolf’s Tooth, is a spectacular peak that dominates the Drygalski Mountains in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Watch this behemoth grow as we kite-ski towards its epic spire on this one-of-a-kind adrenaline-filled expedition.

Antarctica is the ultimate mecca for kite-skiing. Wind, snow, unhindered kiting and breathtaking mountains combine to deliver an experience unparalleled anywhere else on earth.

We meet in Cape Town where we check equipment and make final preparations for our departure. The 5-hour evening flight aboard the Ilyushin-76 aircraft is part of the adventure, taking us over the Antarctic Circle to land at ALCI Airbase close to the coast of Antarctica. Here we stay the night, double checking gear and packing our sleds.

The following day, with the benefit of 24-hour daylight and mild coastal temperatures, we head south-west away from the airbase, and with a prevailing south-easterly wind there’s a good chance we’ll be kiting from the get-go. Our route is a direct line to the iconic peak of Ulvetanna, the Wolf’s Tooth, 165km away. So colossal is this mountain that we will see it’s summit rise above the horizon while still more than 100km away and it remains in sight not only until we set up our base camp at the foot of the mountain, but for much of the journey. Depending on conditions and collective ability, it will likely take 2-3 days to reach Ulvetanna with wind.

Situated in the Drygalski Mountains of Queen Maud Land, this epic destination provides us with myriad opportunities for adventure, from local kite-skiing amongst the imposing peaks to mind-blowing ski touring to moderate climbs and first ski descents to. The one thing we can’t do is get bored.

After exploring the region we make our way east, crossing glaciers, mountain passes and high snow bowls. If we get lucky, as has happened in the past, we can kite during some of our easterly course. If not, we move with the time-honoured polar technique of sled-hauling. Depending on your skill and familiarity it’s your choice as to whether you use your kiting setup (randonee or telemark), or switch to more comfortable ski touring equipment.

The scenery never gets old. To the east and west are mountain ranges of varying height and grandeur, from sheer rock faces to snow-covered alpine summits. To the north lie the snow plains that we already traversed and to the south lies the Antarctic Plateau and the South Pole beyond.

Slowly we make our way east, kiting, hauling, skiing, climbing, exploring, passing the Kurze, Conrad, Orvin and Scherbakov ranges until we are at the northern end of the Humboldt Mountains, due south of the airbase. Here we call up a Twin Otter aircraft and are airlifted out, viewing our stage from the air.

Ulvetanna continues to dominate the skyline as we fly the 65km to the airbase where we spend our final celebratory night before returning to Cape Town.

More information at https://icetrek.com/trips/kite-ski-ulvetanna

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