Strenuous Trekking

This expedition is unusual in that it offers participants the opportunity to employ many of the qualities that Shackleton embodied as a leader. Shackleton was a master of the unknown, and of handling the unexpected. To this day the route on South Georgia is largely unknown. Also unknown is the weather; it has the potential to be severe, with blizzards, gales and heavy snowfall. This means that participants should be prepared to handle the unexpected and the unknown, in the tradition of Shackleton. We expect that the group that comes together to attempt this trip will be excited about meeting this challenge.

The party retracing the Shackleton traverse of South Georgia will take advantage of a window of opportunity in weather conditions. We expect the traverse to take from 3-6 days; however it could take longer. The distance is 38km as the crow flies. Shackleton covered this distance in 36 hours.


Temperature at this time of year is usually above freezing, and rain, sleet or snow may be expected. The statistics indicate that there is 15cm of precipitation in the month of March on average. There are 23 days in a month which experience rain or drizzle. There are also 11 days in the month that receive some snow or sleet. The temperature statistics are as follows: March monthly mean temperature: +4.8C; maximum +22.C; minimum -4.3C.

Route description

This description is drawn from the best available map of the island and from written accounts of people who have been on the ground, or who have attempted the route. We cannot rely totally on the reliability of this information, as the glaciers on South Georgia are changing size, shape and crevassing from year to year, generally with a recessional pattern.

The route traverses the island from west to east, starting at King Haakon Bay. This bay can be difficult to enter by ship if the weather is bad as the entrance is narrow. Once in the bay, the land route traverses a glacier for three miles to a broad pass called Shackleton Gap, with a view down a glacier to Possession Bay on the east side of the island. The Murray Snow field is five miles across to a pass at approximately 600 metres. The next feature is the Crean Glacier, 10km across, leading to a pass at approximately 750 metres. Following this is the Fortuna Glacier, 6.5 km across leading to a pass at 750 metres. From here the last glacier is visible, the Konig. This glacier is 4 km across, and drops to approximately 65 metres above sea level. The last pass is an ascent to 350 metres approximately over 3.5 km before dropping down 2.5 km to the abandoned settlement, Stromness. There are a number of crevasses on all the glaciers varying in size from 40cm to 6 meters wide. The travelling surface of the glaciers is expected to be mainly hard snow and rough crystalline ice on the lower sections. Snow storms can occur which would change this surface to soft snow. We may have to cross fast flowing glacier meltwater streams, which could be knee deep.

Time October - November
Duration: 34 Days
Land Cost: Please Call

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