Tuesday
Nov112014

Climb the Glaciers: Hiking in Antarctica

The polar ice cap is one of the most amazing sights on earth with scenery and wildlife like nowhere else on the planet. An Antarctica luxury safari can bring storied images to life. Imagine yourself tracing the footsteps of the legendary explorers of old, such as Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton, as you embark on an Antarctica hiking expedition. Gaze out over the Southern Ocean where majestic turquoise icebergs, fluking whales and tobogganing penguins set the stage for inland trips across the unspoiled ice- and snow-covered landscape towards the ancient mountains, snow-capped black volcanoes and 100-mile-long glaciers of the Great White Continent. Discover the rookeries of the region’s diverse birdlife as well as scientific research stations and historic sites as you trek cross-country on short walks along the shoreline or on extended hikes inland. 

Antarctica travel climbing glaciers

Some of the best trails are found on the Antarctic Peninsula and the surrounding islands. Unlike much of the rest of the continent, Deception Island is not completely covered by ice. One of the world’s most incredible islands, it is actually a caldera, which is the summit of a still-active volcano. Hikers leave Whalers Bay and head towards the 130-meter-high summit viewpoint above South East Point and Neptune’s Window. Witness spectacular views of Port Foster and the rocky outcropping known as the Sewing Machine Needles. Paradise Harbor is the destination of choice for those who want to witness the amazing natural phenomenon known as glacial calving in which massive blocks of ice break away from the larger ice shelf. The surrounding glacial mountains provide numerous opportunities for capturing the photos of a lifetime. The nearby Shetland Islands offer the chance to view a variety of wildlife up close, including penguins, fur seals and giant petrels. The islands’ mountains provide marvelous overlooks for spotting pods of whales offshore. 

Trails also head to McMurdo Sound and the famous Ross Ice Shelf. In addition to views of Mount Erebus, the southernmost active volcano in the world, visitors to McMurdo Sound are presented with stunning scenery and a range of fascinating animals. A trek to Observation Hill provides a bird’s-eye-view of the research station. Hut Point is the setting for the historic Scotts Hut, a relic from the early 20th century. The Dry Valleys are one of Earth’s most extreme deserts. The Ross Ice Shelf is a frozen floating mass of ice the size of France. Special craft enable visitors to go ashore and investigate the unique glacial formations. 

Experience every mountaineer’s dream as you survey magnificent panoramic vistas of an endless horizon while climbing Antarctica glaciers and scaling the summit of rocky peaks. Explore the awe-inspiring untouched alpine terrain, including icy crests, hidden valleys, ridge traverses and rock pyramids that feature unlimited climbing potential. Feel the breathtaking serenity of this ice- and snow-covered wilderness and the thrill of what polar expeditions must have felt like while hiking in Antarctica. Adventurers have made amazing climbs on Linder Peak as well as Mounts Dolence, Rossman and Sporli. The quintessential hiking and climbing experience is the ascent of Mount Vinson. Part of the Ellsworth Mountains, the mount is unparalleled in its beauty. This highest peak on the continent is 600 miles from the South Pole and rises majestically from the Ronnie Ice Shelf. 

Once the purview of only the most intrepid explorer, hiking in Antarctica can now be enjoyed by almost anyone in good health. 

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