It’s Worth the Climb: Antarctic Mountaineering with Guide Jean Cane

March 9, 2015

What’s more unique than journeying to the bottom of the world? Climbing to the top when you get there! 

blog_mountaineering_JeanCaneMountaineering is an exhilarating activity and Quark makes it possible on your Antarctic expedition. We recently spoke with mountaineering guide Jean Cane about what it feels like to see the southernmost continent from the side of a mountain. Jean, an experienced mountaineer, has been climbing for over 25 years.   

Mountain climbing is an incredibly popular Quark adventure option. And on each outing, safety is the top priority for our guides and group. Experienced guides like Jean ensure passenger safety, but also bring their unique Antarctic passion and perspective on each new adventure. We asked Jean to answer some of your frequently asked questions, to help you prepare for mountaineering in Antarctica.

 blog_mountaineeringCarloBelliniPhoto credit:Carlo Bellini, Jan 2013

What to know about mountaineering in Antarctica

 Should guests have some level of climbing training or expertise?

“We require average fitness, which we say means walking up a steep hill for two to three hours carrying a 10- to 15-kilogram backpack easily.” 


What should a guest wear while going for a climb?

“A thermal base layer, mid layer and waterproof pants and your Quark jacket. Always wear sunscreen and hat and gloves. A small backpack is essential for water and spare clothing, as it will be warm if the sun is shining and very cold if windy.”


Does Quark supply gear to guests for climbing? 

“We supply boots, crampons, ice axe, helmet and harness for climbers.”

How much time should guests set aside for climbing? 

"Between four to six hours."

 Will guests encounter a variety of mountains?

“There are some more technical climbs. We usually warm up with easy short routes and then later negotiate some pitches with steeper snow and ice and also ice and rock.”


Do you have favorite spots where you like to climb, in Antarctica or elsewhere?

“Bananarama, a climb near Neko Harbor with stunning glaciers at both sides, whales and flat water full of ice. The climb is long and hard and very, very spectacular.”

What could be better than climbing a mountain at the bottom of the world? Jean is just one of the experts you’ll meet, and mountaineering is only one of the many fun adventure options you’ll enjoy on an Antarctic adventure with Quark. Contact one of our Polar Travel Advisers today to plan your polar expedition! 

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