Skiing on a continent covered in ice and snow, without a single person will get mixed reactions. For those who prefer not to venture far from ski lifts it seems unthinkable. However, for people who enjoy taking on the backcountry and exploring the wilderness, it’s the dream. With equipment advancing and more and more skiers venturing into the backcountry, it’s an exciting time to be a skier. Places such as Alaska, which were seen as truly wild years ago, are now routinely skied by heliski services and film crews. This has forced the wave of exploratory skiing outward to places such as Greenland, Svalbard, Patagonia and of course Antarctica.
The White Continent is not easy to get to by any means, so we still live in a world where more people have climbed Everest than skied Antarctica. Being an adventurer at my core, the draw of such a place was irresistible. After meeting with the Ice Axe Expeditions crew in Ushuaia, where we skied a beautiful glacier, we crossed the notorious Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula. Here we had 5 incredible days of adventure on heavily glaciated mountains, unique ramps and whale filled oceans. Every morning we would ride to shore in zodiac boats, rope up and ascend the wild, glaciated slopes. Much of the time we knew we were on snow bridges, which made roping up so essential. The objective hazards of this environment are different than anything back in the States. While I was expecting to enjoy the skiing more than anything else, I learned quickly that just being there was enough to make your jaw drop. The scale of the environment is massive, the colors are so deep and clear. The wildlife is abundant and unique. We spent time around hundreds of penguins, saw whales within 30 feet of our zodiac and leopard seals on floating icebergs. On our return home the excitement continued, with a proper Drake Passage storm. We experienced hurricane force winds and waves reminiscent of a “Deadliest Catch” episode. I believe this to be one of my best edits and I hope you all enjoy as well. This took longer than I thought to put together, but seeing the finished product made it worth it. I think I managed to capture the experience as best as possible, enjoy!