Tuesday, 17 January 2012 10:35
Published in Expedition News

Robert Scott Photo - South Pole Centennary January 17 2012

Robert Falcon Scott, CVO (6 June 1868 –  29 March 1912) was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–13. During this second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, only to find that they had been preceded by Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition. On their return journey, Scott and his four comrades all perished from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold.

The march south began on 1 November 1911, a caravan of mixed transport groups (motors, dogs, horses), with loaded sledges, travelling at different rates, all designed to support a final group of four men who would make a dash for the Pole. Scott had earlier outlined his plans for the southern journey to the entire shore party without being specific about precise roles – no one knew who would form the final polar team. During the journey, Scott sent a series of conflicting orders back to base concerning the future use of the expedition's dogs, leaving it unclear whether they were to be saved for future scientific journeys or were to assist the polar party home. Scott's subordinates back at base were unsure of Scott's intentions, and consequently failed to use the dogs in a concerted attempt to relieve the returning polar party when the need arose.

The southbound party steadily reduced in size as successive support teams turned back. By 4 January 1912, the last two four-man groups had reached 87° 34′ S. Scott announced his decision: five men (Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans) would go forward, the other three (Teddy Evans, William Lashly and Tom Crean) would return. The chosen group marched on, reaching the Pole on 17 January 1912, only to find that Amundsen had preceded them by five weeks. Scott's anguish is indicated in his diary: "The worst has happened"; "All the day dreams must go"; "Great God! This is an awful place".

scotts_party_at_the_south_pole

More below...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Falcon_Scott

Friday, 10 June 2011 14:24
Published in TV & Video News
The Secret of the Stone. (film/tv) documentary

Patrick Morell international film maker, French director living in the US for the last 35 years and his assistant Archie Linval, were over with me this week doing a film piece on the Reeks and looking for the Secret of the Stone. I thought this was a crazy notion and yet I was interested in the project. There were times I felt that we were looking for some lost treasure or power like in the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Patrick of course being Indiana Jones.

With camera in hand we investigated some ancient pre-historic sites around Ireland's highest mountains "the Reeks" for a preparation of a treatment for a four part series on ancient Ireland. We recruited one of my best friends, Con Moriarty who has an incredible knowledge of these sites around Kerry as well as a incredible passion for Irish history and culture and folklore. 

 

Before moving onto the second half of the week's filming which was based at the Kildreelig Artist Village, an old stone village dating back to the 6th or 7th century, situated near Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland. At Kildreelig a number of houses have been rebuilt and refurbished and are used by well known artists as artist retreats throughout the year.

Among the local attractions filmed by Patrick with local historian and archaeologist Dan O Meara, were the McCarthy Castle & Abbey (built on the Isthmus to defend the place from pirates), Kilrellig (early Christian monastic settlement ruins located beside the road to Bolus Head), the Kildreelig Alignment (an alignment of four standing stones which is the reputed burial place of the Milesian leader Erannan), Wedge Grave (situated at Coom, Ballinskelligs) and the Irish Romanesque structure Killemlagh Church, built on the site of Saint Finan's original settlement. The majority of the ruins are inside a stout circular rampart which has all the massive appearance of the local circular stone forts. South of this church is the "Pagan's Grave", an enclosure of standing stones.

Before filming on one of the world's most famous monastic sites on the windswept Skellig Rock.

Interesting!


In search of the Secret of the Stone, nuts I thought but what a fascinating week it was, learning about our Irish past.

Patrick Morell has done cultural documentaries in Nepal, Tibet, Russia, Alaska and many more interesting places around the world. I'm really looking forward to the preparation of his vision on our Irish past and we are looking forward to the edit of his filming and his interpretation of our Irish landscape, history and culture. I'm looking forward to working further with Patrick in the future through our TV and Film Production Division.

Special thanks to Noelle Campbell-Sharp for her encouragement towards the project, to Kildreelig Artist Retreat Centre, to Con Moriarty local historian on the Reeks and Dan O Meara archaeologist on the Iveragh peninsula.



Tuesday, 01 February 2011 11:56
Published in Current Projects

After a year in the making, Helen Shaw and here team at Athena Media handed over their latest film series to Setanta Sports Ireland in December 2010. This three part series, which was funded by the BAI, was shot over the last 15 months here in Kerry, Cork and Dublin. Helen weaves a compelling story of Pat's personal endeavour and sacrifice through the years from childhood to the present day, with contributions from his family, friends and mountaineering colleagues. The story is full of archive footage from Pats many exciting expeditions & features amazing photos from the Pat Falvey collection.

Speaking to Pat via Satelite phone about the project, he had this to say:

'Its been an amazing journey for me personally making this documentary and also my team for filming and preparing the archive footage from my earlier life, sifting through the tens of thousands of images which I have in my collection. Even just talking to some of my old colleagues and friends has bought back so many memories to the forefront of my mind. I would like to take this oppurtunity to thank those involved including all contributors, my family, my friends and my own team in helping me on this film. A very special thanks has to go to Helen Shaw and her team who have created a great biography documentary, well done, its been a fantastic journey working with Athena Media. Even though I am in a very remote location in Canada at present, we have arranged a location to see Setanta on Sunday. Its funny as already many locals here want to see it also!!'

You can see more trailers on vimeo.com/channels/falvey

Press release from Athena media:
3 x 24min – documentary series is an Athena Media production for Setanta Sports funded through the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound and Vision funding scheme. The series is due to air on 6th February 2011. It will begin with episode one on 6th February, followed by episode two on 7th February and episode three on 8th February. All episodes will be broadcasted at 10pm on Setanta Sports.

‘Some people say I’m a self publicist, some people say that I can be very arrogant, immediately I think of something, I say it. I’m going to climb Mount Everest, I’m going to become a millionaire. I’m going to be the best motivational speaker in the world. People think, how can he actually say that?. There’s no harm in dreaming and dreaming big,’ Pat Falvey.

Pat Falvey’s life story is the stuff of fiction. The teenage boy who left school at fifteen determined to be a millionaire and built a multi-million property business by his twenties. The serial entrepreneur who lost everything by twenty-nine and nearly took his own life in despair. But a chance encounter took him hill-walking and his first venture to Kerry’s Carrauntoohil made him vow to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. By thirty-four he stood on Everest and soon became one of Ireland’s most celebrated, and controversial adventurers. He has been to Everest four times, reached the summit from both its north and south face and is the only man in the world to have climbed the highest peaks in every continent twice. He has trekked to the South Pole and now planned one last great adventure, this time to the North Pole.

This documentary and biographical series takes us into the psychology of Pat Falvey and finds out what drives him to follow dreams bigger and bolder than anyone else. Production Company, Athena Media, with producer/director Helen Shaw, filmed Pat across a year and interviewed those close to him throughout his life, both in Cork City where he was born and reared and in Beaufort, Co Kerry where he now lives and works at the foothills of McGillycuddy Reeks.

Pat’s journey starts in north Cork where he was born the eldest son of Tim and Abina Falvey. His father Tim was a bricklayer and Pat followed his father’s trade but says his maternal grandmother, Mary B. O’Callaghan, a street trader, was a central influence on shaping him and his life. His grandmother encouraged him to think big and had him running little businesses when he was still a small boy. Her sense of confidence and will-power is what fuelled him to be a millionaire. His property business was worth in excess of €70 million in today’s value but the recession in the mid 1980s hit him hard and his empire began to crumble. By 29 he was broke, bankrupt and he even thought of killing himself. His own marriage suffered. But when a friend took him to the mountains he began to see life anew and mountains became his obsession. It was an obsession which eventually brought him to Mount Everest and to the honour of being the second Irishman to stand on the summit.

This series tracks Pat Falvey’s life and tells his story. We hear from friends like Con Moriarty and Mick Murphy who have known Pat from the early days in Co Kerry when he joined Kerry Mountain Rescue to mountaineers like Dawson Stelfox, the Belfast architect who became the first Irishman to summit Everest in May 1993. We hear from his family from his sisters Majella and Abina and his brother Barry Falvey. His son, Patrick Falvey, shares insights along with those who have journeyed with Falvey through many expeditions including Dr Clare O’Leary. Clare went to Mount Everest with Pat in 2003 and 2004 and her successful summit in 2004 made her the first Irishwoman to climb Everest and since then she has trekked with Pat to the South Pole and now joins him on what he describes as his last great adventure – the North Pole. Pat’s ambition has been to journey to the highest and most extremes points on earth, from Everest to the South and North Pole and this final expedition, in Spring 2011, will complete what he calls the ‘three Poles’.

Pat Falvey: My Private Everest is a series which promises dramatic footage as well as unique revelations including how Pat Falvey’s determination to bring the tricolour to the summit of Everest provoked debate and even animosity with some accusing him of detracting from Dawson Stelfox’s own summit. Pat’s philosophy ‘that everyone has their own private Everest’ has brought him into motivational leadership and mentoring and he now makes a living from motivational speaking both in Ireland and abroad. Contact Athena Media -01 4885851 for more details including press photographs or stills from the documentary series.

Athena Media would like to thank everyone who helped us and supported us during the production particularly the Falvey family, Niall Foley and all the crew who have worked on it in Athena Media particularly Anita Walsh, Paula Cunniffe and Niall Brew. Our cameraman Barry MacNeill has been with us throughout the shoot and we have had excellent support from Lotus Media in post production. John E. Turner did the offline edit while Scott Smith was online and Simon Flanagan did the audio mix. A special thank you to Ella McSweeney who did the voice-over on the series and to the wonderful folk in Seneca, the band who produced instrumental tracks for the documentary mix and who have been great supporters of the project.

Further Information:
www.athenamedia.ie

www.setanta.com/ie

www.bai.ie

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

Wednesday, 29 September 2010 13:12
Published in General

Great Endeavour - Ireland's Antarctic Explorers by Michael Smith, author of An Unsung Hero - Tom Crean. It deals with 200 years of Irish exploration to the Antarctic, starting with Bransfield and Crozier in the 19th century, onto Crean, Shackleton, Keohane, etc in the 20th and then onto the modern day travellers such as Pat Falvey, Clare O'Leary and Mike Barry. Details on the publishers website - www.collinspress.ie

Michael Smith is delivering an illustrated talk on Great Endeavour at Killarney Library on Tuesday October 12 (7.15pm) and Cork Central Library on Wednesday, October 13 (7.30pm). Michael is also scheduled to give lectures for Mountaineering Ireland in Dublin and Cork on November 18 and 19 respectively, venues to be decided. For details, check with Mountaineering Ireland website, www.mountaineering.ie

UPDATE:

Children's Book Festival
• Tuesday 5 October: Tipperary: Templemore Library 10 a.m., Thurles Library 1 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
• Wednesday 6 October: Tipperary: Roscrea Library 10.30 a.m., Nenagh 1.30 p.m.
• Thursday 7 October: Waterford Library
• Friday 8 October: Waterford Library

Other talks:
• Saturday 9 October: South Pole Inn, Annascaul, Co Kerry, at 9 p.m.
• Monday 11 October, morning: Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Bandon, Co Cork.The teacher there, Mary Murphy, was involved in translating Tom Crean – Ice Man into Irish and is retiring (and she played Orla Fitzgerald's mother opposite Cillian Murphy in The Wind That Shakes the Barley).
• Monday 11 October, evening: D'Arcy's Restaurant, Kenmare, Co Kerry, at 8.00 p.m.
• Tuesday 12 October: Killarney Library 7.15 p.m.
• Wednesday 13 October: Cork City Library 7.30 p.m. Michael will also be in the library in the morning with the Children's Library, as part of the Children's Book Festival.
• Wednesday 10, Thursday 11 & Friday 12 November: Nenagh, Tipperary. This is part of a literacy promotion project based around Tom Crean – Ice Man.
• Tuesday 16 November: New Ross, Co Wexford. This is part of a literacy promotion project based around Tom Crean – Ice Man.
• Tuesday 16 November: Cloyne Literary & Historical Society, Ballymaloe House, Cork, 8.00 p.m.
• Wednesday 17 November: Lawlor's Hotel, Bridge Street, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, at 8.00 p.m., in association with Waterford Museum
• Thursday 18 November, in association with Mountaineering Ireland: Basecamp Outdoor and Travel Store, 108 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1
• Friday 19 November, in association with Mountaineering Ireland: Cork (venue to be confirmed

 
 
 
Thursday, 10 June 2010 12:43
Published in Asia

 Annapurna

  • Overview

  • Details

  • Route

  • Grade

  • Prices

  • Guides

  • Itinerary

  • Preparation

  • Gear

Trip: Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

 

Altitude: 4,000m/13,123ft

 

Route: KTM - Pokhara - Macchapuchare - Annapurna - Poon Hill

 

Date: Between March and October are best

 

Duration: 12 Days total - Land only

 

Grade: Trekking – Easy to Moderate

 

Price: Please contact us for prices

 

The Annapurna Sanctuary is “high glacial basin lying forty kilometers directly north of Pokhara, Nepal's second city.” This oval-shaped plateau sits at an altitude of over 4000 meters, and is surrounded by a ring of mountains, the Annapurna range, most of which are over 7000 meters. With the only entrance a narrow pass between the peaks of Hiunchuli and Machapuchare, where run-off from glaciers drain into Modi Khola River, the Sanctuary was not penetrated by outsiders until 1956. Because of high mountains on all sides, the Annapurna Sanctuary receives only 7 hours of sunlight a day at the height of summer. The unique combination of heights and depths in the Annapurna Sanctuary give rise to an extraordinary variety of ecosystems. The south-facing slope are “covered in dense tropical jungles of rhododendron and bamboo”, while the north-facing slopes, in the rain shadow, have “a drier colder climate similar to that of the near-by Tibetan Plateau.”

 

This beautiful trek mixes easy to moderate trekking on pathways through stunning local villages full of colour and charm. Overall a great short to medium trek in the stunning Annapurna Sanctuary.

 

 

Our adventure first takes us to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, also known as the City of a Thousand Temples, and where every other day is a festival. Kathmandu is home to over 500,000 Nepalese, living a humble life in this vibrant city, the starting point for many expeditions to the Himalaya. It was once a Mecca for the drop-out hippie generation of the 60’s. However, today, Kathmandu has returned to its former ways, a place alive with the traditions and cultures of its many ethnic peoples. While here, we visit some of the famous Temples of the Hindus and Buddhas. We saunter through the busy streets and markets of the Thamel in the old region of the city and experience at first-hand the hustle, bustle, sights, sounds and smells whilst mixing with the locals of this lively, cultural city.

 

Each day’strek is more spectacular then the day before as we make our way deeper into this mountainous wonderland of a Shangri-La. Mountains project like massive pillars from the deep, river-gorged valleys. We make our way along narrow paths etched from the steep hillsides in a mystical world of mountains. This is the heartof the most beautiful and inspiring mountain range in the world, the Himalayas ‘home of the snows’. They stretch in a great arch across Asia, 150 miles wide and 1700 miles long, from Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east. All along the length of the Himalaya, its mountain tops are revered by the people of the valleys below as the place of their gods. You are in a place that for centuries has been the setting for epic feats of exploration and mountain climbing.

 

The area of Annapurna is famous for its possibilities of trekking and is considered to be the most famous and popular trekking destination in all of Nepal.This area region is mainly famous for beautiful mountains such Annapurnas,Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Machhapuchre, There are three major trekking routes in Annapurna Region: to Jomsom Muktinath , to Annapurna Sanctuary (Annapurna BaseCamp), and a circuit of the Annapurna Himal itself. About two-thirds of thetrekkers in Nepal visit the Annapurna region. The area is easily accessible, hotels in the hills are plentiful, and treks here offer good scenery of both high mountains and lowland villages. Pokhara is also a good starting place for shorttreks of one to four days, such as Ghorepani Trekking, Ghandruk Trekking andothers. Mustang is also geographically a part of the Annapurna region, but treks to Mustang are subject to special restrictions.

 

The entire sanctuary was held as sacred to the Gurung people, the only people to inhabit it before the 20th century.They believed it was the repository of gold and various treasures left by the Nāgas, the serpent-gods known in India. The sanctuary was believed to be the home of several deities, from Hinduism and Buddhism as well the older animistic gods. The peak of Machapuchare at the entrance was believed to be the home of the god Shiva, and the daily plumes of snow were thought the smoke of his divine incense. Until recently, the local Gurang people forbade anyone from bringing eggs or meat into the Annapurna Sanctuary, and women and untouchables were prohibited from going there as well.

 

In recent years, the number of trekkers to the Sanctuary has increased substantially, in part because the Sanctuary forms the base of one of the major routes to the peaks of the Annapurna range. The Annapurna Sanctuary is now part of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, which places restrictions on number of outside travelers, gathering of firewood, and domestic animal grazing.

Kathmandu - Pokhara - Macchapuchare - Annapurna - Poon Hill

See Itinerary for further details

Grade: Trekking - Strenuous

 

This trek is suitable to walkers & hillwalkers and can be achieved by a beginner with training. A good level of fitness and experience on mountain trekking is recommended prior to departure. You will enjoy your trip a lot more if prepared well. Easy to Moderate going on good tracks that most fit people should be able for. Most days will require 4 to 7 hours walking excluding acclimatizing days and a climb day. We also run fitness assessments and hill walking weekends that are ideally suited for those who need a little more preparation, please go to our Training Courses Section. We recommend these options to ensure a good level of understanding of the requirements for the upcoming trek and remeber to contact us if you have any queries or need advice.

 

Acclimatisation:

 

At Pat Falvey Irish & Worldwide Adventures we have agreed to allow for acclimatisation or rest purposes. It is worth spending a bit extra to stay safe and achieve your goals. The pace is key to preventing *AMS. The group will be monitored by the guides at all times for symptoms of the effects of altitude. Only if these symptoms persist that a person should get advice or will be advised to decend. (*Acute Mountain Sickness)

Please contact us for prices. Groups are based on a minimum of 4. We can check availability on dated groups if you are interested as an individual.

Our highly experienced trekking guides have been working with us in Nepal for over 20 years. They will provide you with all information and help during the trek. On selected 'Guided from Ireland' trips (or on request for groups over 4) a guide will escort the group from Ireland. The guide will also arrange the porters role with your bags and any issues that may arise.

 

Info on Porters:

 

We at Pat Falvey Irish and Worldwide Adventures ensure that all our agents in every destination value and treat their employees including porters with respect and ensure their working rates and conditions are adhering to the local employment and Health and Safety guidelines. We have built up a good relationship’s with all of our operators to ensure the welfare of their guides and porters is priority. For more guidelines and information on porters please go to our 'Porter Guidelines'. Bags carried by porters are not to exceed 25kg in weight.

 

Here is a sample daily Itinerary, on booking you will be issued a more detailed version. We can also customise the itinerary to your needs if required.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek:

 

  • DAY 1: Kathmandu. Fly to Pokhara

 

  • DAY 2: Trek to Landrung

 

  • DAY 3: Landrung to Chomrong

 

  • DAY 4: Chomrong to Dovan

 

  • DAY 5: Dovan to Macchapuchare Base Camp

 

  • DAY 6: Macchapuchare Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp

 

  • DAY 7: Annapurna Base Camp - afternoon descent to 'Bamboo'

 

  • DAY 8: Retun to Chomrong

 

  • DAY 9: Chomrong to Ghandrung

 

  • DAY 10: Ghandrung to Ghorepani

 

  • DAY 11: Poon Hill - then trek out to Pokhara

 

  • DAY 12: Pokhara - afternoon flight to Kathmandu

 

Preparation - Passports & Visas

 

Preparation - We have selected a walking weekend to help you adjust to the goal of the trek. The weekend has two walks with advice and techniques for clothing and gear given also. On the Saturday we will climb one of Irelands highest peaks during a day hike and on Sunday morning early we will go on a night hike simulating the requirements on the summit day of a trek which takes you out of your comfort zone prior to the real thing. This method allows your body and mind to adjust to the challenge ahead. For more info on this fitness assessment weekends and day walks, go to our Irish training section. If you are a total beginner to walking/hillwalking then a 12 month training program is recommended.

 

We suggest a training program of at least 6 months to comfortably trek to 4000-6000m.

 

  • Months 1-2, this should include fortnightly hillwalking for 3hrs+ with a small/medium pack of weight of 5-10kg approx.
  • Months 3-4, this should be increased to include longer days (6hrs+) and pack weight of 10kg approx. Attend our Free Meet Day!
  • Month 5, Two days walking back to back twice giving 4 days total. Example: Saturday 7hr & Sunday 6hr = 13hrs walking. Avoid injuries at all costs!!
  • Month 6, Continue with some walking but reduce to lower peaks and durations of 4hrs, avoid injuries at all costs!

 

Passport & Visas


You will need a valid passport. Please ensure the expiration date is six months past your travel date. Before applying for Visa please check dates on passport. Please bring 4 passport photos for visas at departure.

 

We will need to get a visa and this can be got on upon entry to Nepal.

Gear:

For general wear on trek:

  • Cotton pants, t-shirts and if you have light thermals these will be ideal.

  • One pair of trekking boots for trek. These boots can be used for good wear also. If you have a hillwalking pair of boots you can also bring them. If you like comfort we recommend boots with extra insulation in sole around €150 with Vibram or similar sole.

  • Four pairs of warm trekking stockings. (Thorlo or similar)

  • Adjustable ski poles: these take a lot of pressure off the body and makes walking less tiring. Some use two spring loaded ones as it takes 36 ton of pressure off your knees per day as well as allowing you to have a crutch to lean on when you are tired.

  • Thermal under-wear heavy gauge: 2 Tops and 2 bottoms. Dryflo etc.

  • 1 fleece or pile jacket. Windproof is good.

  • Wind and water proofs (Gortex or similar): Top jacket and bottoms.

  • Sleeping bag range to -5/-15C degrees- make sure it packs small. Also for sleeping it is important to bring an insulating sleeping mat. I usually bring a Thermarest full-length non-slip. There is insulating mattresses provide on trek but for extra comfort bring a Thermarest.

  • 1 water bottle with wide neck and 1 with narrow neck (Nalgene or similar) or one Platypus container, the platypus is ideal for trekking as you can stay hydrated by drinking from a tube as you walk.

  • Gloves: 1pair of thermal and 1 pair over gloves or mitts, no harm in bringing spare sets.

  • Headtorch, Petzl with spare batteries and bulbs. I cannot stress the importance of this to have in good working order. (New LED versions are also lighter and smaller)

  • Peak hat for the lower regions to protect your head from the sun. (bandana or neck gaiter also)

  • Ruck sack 30 liters daypack for the mountain to carry your camera food and day gear. For traveling, 70-100 liters rucksack or strong gear bag- this will also do to give to porters on trek to carry your general gear.

  • Optional for night up high for the cold, a light down top or extra fleece.

  • Personal first aid and medicine kit. (All our guides will have these for emergencies only)

  • UV sunglasses – Cat. 3 or Cat. 4 recommeded if there is a lot of time in or near snow.

  • 2 x Earplugs pairs – If you have an inside pocket in sleeping bag, leave one there full time.

 

 

Miscellaneous items:

 

  • Sun-block (very important and use it!)

  • Backpacking towel and general toiletries.

  • Insect repellent

  • Extra Clothes for travelling and/or socialising.


Tips on Gear

 

  • Make sure your boots are well broken in.

 

  • For the mountain, a layering system works best to allow you to cool down or warm up with ease - t-shirt or thermals, shirt or warm top, a good fleece and good heavy-duty waterproofs if you intend doing more treks in future.

 

  • Gloves and hats are vital. Bring waterproof gear that is made of breathable material. You can use a normal 3 season sleeping bag. If you tend to get cold very easily, you can add in a sleeping bag liner. Remember that sleeping bags work on trapping layers of air so wearing clothes in your bag doesn't help.

 

  • If you wear contact lenses take plenty of saline and comfort drops as the paths are dusty. Also glasses are essential for summit night as temperature and altitude may effect eyes if contacts worn.

 

  • Common first aid complaints are headaches, dehydration, stomach bugs, diarrhoea, sunburn and occasional mouth ulcers. Looking after yourself with plenty of fluids, rest and enjoying the gentle ascending pace will assist in avoiding these. Your personal first aid kit should contain treatments for these minor aliments. Please get advice from your GP before departure.

 

  • Money can be left in the hotel safe. All currency can be easily changed to local currency in the cities you will be staying in. The only money you will need to carry for your treks will be to cover porter and guide tips and bottled water if you choose to purchase. (Hotels offer Launderette facilities if you wish to wash clothes following trek otherwise there is no opportunity to wash clothing.

 

  • Digital cameras will cope fine with the conditions if you keep them warm close to your body where possible especially on summit morning or when reaching you highest day, otherwise batteries can run down. Spare batteries are a must.

 

Thursday, 10 June 2010 10:28
Published in Asia

Ramdung

  • Overview

  • About

  • Details

  • Grade

  • Prices

  • Guides

  • Itinerary

  • Preparation

  • Gear

Trip: Rolwaling Trek & Ramdung Peak

 

Altitude: 5,925m/19,439ft

 

Route: KTM - Barabise - Pheriche - Kala Patthar - Basecamp

 

Date: Between March and May, then Sepember to October are best

 

Duration: 29 Days total - 2 Days Rest/Acclimatisation

 

Grade: Trekking – Strenuous

 

Ramdung Peak lies in the upper Rolwaling area, Ramdung is one of a cluster of peaks around the Yalung La, a pass giving access to the upper Rolwaling from the south, via the Khare Khola. Although the mountain, by it's normal route of ascent, is straightforward, it's virtues lie in it's magnificent position and splendid summit panorama that ranges from Langtang to Everest and provides a splendid view of Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse. This beautiful trek mixes moderate trekking on pathways through stunning local villages full of colour and charm with steeper streuous trekking and snow trekking to reach Ramdung Peak. It also crosses some glaciers requiring the group to be roped up. Overall a great long trek with a high altitude peak and everything else that surrounds this trek as you ascend and descend in the Rowaling region.

 

 

The peaks in the area were first explored by Scottish Himalayan expedition, led by Bill Murray in 1952, when three of the peaks near the pass, Yalung Ri (5,630m/18,471ft), Chhugyima Go (6,259m/20,534ft), and Ramdung were climbed. In 1955 the peak had its second ascent by members of the Merseyside expedition. Since then Ramdung has been climbed numerous times is an ideal summit for groups wanting to trek and climb in the still little visited Rolwaling Himal area.The trek starts from the busy bazaar of Barabise on the highway to Tibet. Leaving the civilisation behind our trek head towards in the tranquility of the mountains, alpine forest of rhododendron and magnolia amidst the hidden land of Rolwaling Valley. The trek leads to the last village of this area Rolwaling at Beding. Journey continues farther east to scale the 5,925 meter Ramdung Peak. The climb is not technically hard, but it is certainly challenging on account of the altitude and the peak's remoteness. Ramdung offers an excellent view of Everest, Melungtse and Gaurishankar and array of other snow peaks.

 

Our adventure first takes us to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, also known as the City of a Thousand Temples, and where every other day is a festival. Kathmandu is home to over 500,000 Nepalese, living a humble life in this vibrant city, the starting point for many expeditions to the Himalaya. It was once a mecca for the drop-out hippie generation of the 60’s. However, today, Kathmandu has returned to its former ways, a place alive with the traditions and cultures of its many ethnic peoples. While here, we visit some of the famous Temples of the Hindus and Buddhas. We saunter through the busy streets and markets of the Thamel in the old region of the city and experience at first-hand the hustle, bustle, sights, sounds and smells whilst mixing with the locals of this lively, cultural city. Each day’s trek is more spectacular then the day before as we make our way deeper into this mountainous wonderland of a Shangri-La. Mountains project like massive pillars from the deep, river-gorged valleys. We make our way along narrow paths etched from the steep hillsides in a mystical world of mountains. This is the heart of the most beautiful and inspiring mountain range in the world, the Himalayas ‘home of the snows’.

 

They stretch in a great arch across Asia, 150 miles wide and 1700 miles long, from Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east. All along the length of the Himalaya, its mountain tops are revered by the people of the valleys below as the place of their gods. You are in a place that for centuries has been the setting for epic feats of exploration and mountain climbing. The Rolwaling region is a valley which contain several small villages and Beding, the largest town in the area. Access to the valley and the mountains of the range is made on foot through an established trail system starting at Charikot (80 km east of Kathmandu). A western style trek from Charikot to Beding will normally take seven to ten days.The preferred approach to enter the region is to walk in from the bus terminus at Dolakha (near Charikot), about 7 hours from Kathmandu. The trail is very well defined and used by porters and shepherds going up to the summer kharkas or grazing pastures at Beding. There was a customs check at Jagat where the climbing permit was vaguely inspected. The last habitation is at Na (4180m).

 

From here on in it can and will snow at any time so patience is required )which also will help with the essential acclimatisation). The Tsho Rolpa is an awesome ice lake held back by terminal moraine. The unmarked route goes along the Trakarding Glacier, then climbs steeply up onto the Drolambau Glacier. The scenery is tremendous every inch of the way! On the east side of the glacier is a range of mountains well over 6000m. The Teshi Lapcha La goes through these mountains by the footslopes of Patchamo. The descent on the other side is steep and very rough through boulder fields. Sometimes the trail is difficult to find until you reach Thyangbo Kharka, a very lonely dwelling on the route to Thame, and thence on to Namche Bazaar. From Kathmandu, over the Teshi Lapcha and down to Lukla airstrip took 18 days, before the interminable wait for a flight back to Kathmandu. It is possible to reverse the route but the climb up to the pass from the Solu Khumbu is very steep and long. The essential acclimatisation days in this wild terrain would be uncomfortable and frustrating and higher up, there is danger from falling rocks loosed off by the sun as it works its way around.

Grade: Trekking - Strenuous

 

This trek is suitable to most experienced hillwalkers and can be achieved by a beginner with training. A high level of fitness and some experience on high mountain passes or ridges in snow is recommended prior to departure. You will enjoy your trip a lot more if prepared well. Moderate going on good tracks that most fit people should be able for. This trek is mostly strenuous due to its duration and alitude gain, experienced trekkers may find it moderate. There is 2 climb days in the itinerary for summiting Ramdung and at least 1 day of glacier travel which you will be briefed and basically trained on during the trek. Most days will require 4 to 7 hours walking excluding acclimatizing days and a climb day. We also run fitness assessments and hill walking weekends that are ideally suited for those who need a little more preparation, please go to our Training Courses section. We recommend these options to ensure a good level of understanding of the requirements for the upcoming trek and remeber to contact us if you have any queries or need advice.

 

Acclimatisation

 

At Pat Falvey Irish & Worldwide Adventures we have agreed to allow 2 extra days for acclimatisation or rest purposes. It is worth spending a bit extra to stay safe and achieve your goals. The pace is key to preventing *AMS. The group will be monitored by the guides at all times for symptoms of the effects of altitude. Only if these symptoms persist that a person should get advice or will be advised to decend. (*Acute Mountain Sickness)

 

Please contact us for prices. Groups are based on a minimum of 4. We can check availability on dated groups if you are interested as an individual.

Land Only:

 

Inclusions

  • Airport transfers
  • Local transportation
  • Hotel Accommadation B&B 4 nights (min. 3 *)
  • Park fee’s (€10-€20)
  • Camping, Meals & boiled water on mountain
  • Guides, Porters & Cooks

 

Exclusions

  • Fully escorted from/to Ireland
  • Flights from/to Ireland
  • Nepal Visa (€20-€30)
  • All transfers
  • Meals en route before and after trek
  • Bar Bills & laundry
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra's for porterage taken on

 

Our highly experienced trekking guides have been working with us in Nepal for over 20 years. They will provide you with all information and help during the trek. On selected 'Guided from Ireland' trips (or on request for groups over 4) a guide will escort the group from Ireland. The guide will also arrange the porters role with your bags and any issues that may arise.

 

Info on Porters:

We at Pat Falvey Irish and Worldwide Adventures ensure that all our agents in every destination value and treat their employees, including porters, with respect and ensure their working rates and conditions are adhering to the local employment and Health and Safety guidelines. We have built up a good relationships with all of our operators to ensure the welfare of their guides and porters is a priority. For more guidelines and information on porters please go to our 'Porter Guidelines'. Bags carried by porters are not to exceed 25kg in weight.

Route

Kathmandu - Barabise - Beding - Ramdung - Charikot

Here is a sample daily Itinerary, on booking you will be issued a more detailed version.

 

We can also customise the itinerary to your needs if required.

 

Rolwaling Trek:

1. Kathmandu to Barabise

2. Barabise to Kabre

3. Kabre to Dolangsa

4. Dolangsa to Tinsang La Pass

5. Tinsang La Pass to Bigu Gompa

6. Bigu Gompa to Chilankga

7. Chilangka to Bulung

8. Bulung to Gongar

9. Gongar to Simigaon

10. Simigaon to Gyalche

11. Gyalche - Rest Day

12. Gyalche to Kharka

13. Kharka to Beding

14. Beding to Na

15. Na - acclimatization day

16. Na to Yulung Base Camp

17. Yulung Base camp to Yulung La

18. Rumdung Peak

19. Yalung La - Sangma Kharka

20. Sangma Kharka to Tshobug

21. Tshobug to Tarkarding Glacier

22. Glacier Training

23. Na

24. Na to Donang

25. Donang to Simigaon

26. Simigaon to Suri Dovan

27. Suri Dovan to Ratmatey

28. Ratmatey to Dolakha or Charikot

29. Kathmandu.

Preparation, Passports/Visas Preparation 

 

We have selected a walking weekend to help you adjust to the goal of the trek. The weekend has two walks with advice and techniques for clothing and gear given also. On the Saturday we will climb one of Irelands highest peaks during a day hike and on Sunday morning early we will go on a night hike simulating the requirements on the summit day of a trek which takes you out of your comfort zone prior to the real thing. This method allows your body and mind to adjust to the challenge ahead. For more info on this fitness assessment weekends and day walks, go to our Irish Training Section. If you are a total beginner to walking/hillwalking then a 12 month training program is recommended. We suggest a training program of at least 6 months to comfortably trek to 4000-6000m.

 

  • Months 1-2, this should include fortnightly hillwalking for 3hrs+ with a small/medium pack of weight of 5-10kg approx.

  • Months 3-4, this should be increased to include longer days (6hrs+) and pack weight of 10kg approx. Attend our Free Meet Day!

  • Month 5, Two days walking back to back twice giving 4 days total. Example: Saturday 7hr & Sunday 6hr = 13hrs walking. Avoid injuries at all costs!

  • Month 6, Continue with some walking but reduce to lower peaks and durations of 4hrs, avoid injuries at all costs!

 

Passport / Visas:

 

You will need a valid full passport, please ensure it has at least have six months before expiring, before we leave. Before applying for Visa please check dates on passport. Please bring 4 passport photos for visas at departure. We will need to get a visa and this can be got upon entry to Nepal.

 

For general wear on trek:

  • Cotton pants, t-shirts and if you have light thermals these will be ideal.

  • One pair of trekking boots for trek. These boots can be used for good wear also. If you have a hillwalking pair of boots you can also bring them. If you like comfort we recommend boots with extra insulation in the sole around €150 with ibram or similar sole.

  • Four pairs of warm trekking stockings. (Thorlo or similar)

  • Adjustable ski poles: these take a lot of pressure off the body and makes walking less tiring. Some use two spring loaded ones as it takes 36 ton of pressure off your knees per day as well as allowing you to have a crutch to lean on when you are tired.

  • Thermal under-wear heavy gauge: 2 Tops and 2 bottoms. Dryflo etc.

  • 1 fleece or pile jacket. Windproof is good.

  • Wind and water proofs (Gortex or similar): Top jacket and bottoms.

  • Sleeping bag range to -10/-20C degrees make sure it packs small. Also for sleeping it is important to bring an insulating sleeping mat. I usually bring a Thermarest full-length non-slip. There is insulating mattresses provide on trek but for extra comfort bring a Thermarest.

  • 1 Water bottles with wide neck and 1 with narrow neck (Nalgene or similar) or one Platypus container, the platypus is ideal for trekking as you can stay hydrated by drinking from a tube as you walk.

  • Gloves: 1 pair of thermal and 1 pair over gloves or mitts, no harm in bringing spare sets.

  • Headtorch, Petzl with spare batteries and bulbs. I cannot stress the importance of this to have in good working order. (New LED versions are also lighter and smaller)

  • Peak hat for the lower regions to protect your head from the sun. (bandana or neck gaiter also)

  • Rucksack 30 liters daypack for mountain to carry your camera, food and day gear. For traveling, 70-100 liters rucksack or strong gear bag- this will also do to give to porters on trek to carry your general gear.

  • Optional for night up high for cold, a light down top or extra fleece.

  • Personal first aid and medicine kit. (All our guides will have these for emergencies only)

  • UV sunglasses – Cat. 3 or Cat. 4 recommeded if there is a lot of time in or near snow.

  • 2 x Earplugs pairs – If you have an inside pocket in sleeping bag, leave one there fulltime.

  • Miscellaneous items: Sun-block (very important and use it!!)

  • Backpacking towel and general toiletries.

  • Insect repellent

  • Extra Clothes for travelling and/or socialising.

  • Climbing on Ramdung A climbing gear list will be supplied on enquiry.

 

Tips on Gear- Make sure your boots are well broken in. For the mountain, a layering system works best to allow you to cool down or warm up with ease - T-shirt or thermals, shirt or warm top, a good fleece and good heavy-duty waterproofs if you intend doing more treks in future.

Gloves and hats are vital. Bring waterproof gear that is made of breathable material.

You can use a normal 3 season sleeping bag. If you tend to get cold very easily, you can add in a sleeping bag liner. Remember that sleeping bags work on trapping layers of air so wearing clothes in your bag doesn't help.

If you wear contact lenses take plenty of saline and comfort drops as the paths are dusty. Also glasses are essential for summit night as temperature and altitude may effect eyes if contacts worn.

Common first aid complaints are headaches, dehydration, stomach bugs, diarrhoea, sunburn and occasional mouth ulcers. Looking after yourself with plenty of fluids, rest and enjoying the gentle ascending pace will assist in avoiding these.Your personal first aid kit should contain treatments for these minor aliments. Please get advice from your GP before departure.

Money can be left in the hotel safe. All currency can be easily changed to local currency in the cities you will be staying in. The only money you will need to carry for your treks will be to cover porter and guide tips and bottled water if you choose to purchase. (Hotels offer launderette facilities if you wish to wash clothes following the trek otherwise there is no opportunity to wash clothing.

Digital cameras will cope fine with the conditions if you keep them warm and close to your body where possible especially on the summit morning or when reaching your highest day, otherwise batteries can run down. Spare batteries are a must.

Friday, 14 May 2010 00:00
Published in Arctic/Antarctica

Artic

  • Overview

  • Activities

  • Grade

  • Prices

  • Guides

  • Food & Water

  • Itinerary

  • Preparation

  • Gear

Trip: Arctic Watch wilderness experience, Nunavut, Canadian High Arctic

 

Altitude: Sea level with some small hilltops climbed max. 150m

 

Route: Yellowknife - Somerset island - Arctic Watch Lodge

 

Duration: 7 Days from Yellowknife - 5.5 Days Activities

 

Grade: Trekking & Tours – Easy to Moderate

 

Cunningham Inlet is one of the best spots in the world to observe beluga whales. Arctic Watch was initially built as a whale-watching lodge. Two thousand beluga whales congregate in Cunningham Inlet from approximately early July to August 10th or so. The majority of the whales group at the mouth of the Cunningham River to molt, play and nurse their young. The premier whale watching locations are only a fifteen-minute walk from the lodge. Beluga whale watching can be done at any time.

 

Hiking and Walking: With mountains to climb and numerous canyons to explore on Somerset Island, hiking and walking are one of the most popular activities. It is an excellent method to approach the local wildlife, view wild flowers and hunt for fossils.

 

Historical Site Viewing: Dotted throughout Somerset Island and within the vicinity of Arctic Watch, numerous historical and archeological sites are easily accessible by foot, ATV or kayak. The majority of the sites, being Thule (AD 1000 – 1400) and paleo-eskimo, are well known for their simple stone construction.

 

Fishing: Inuskshuk lake, located within a two hour ATV drive from Arctic Watch, is a well known place for Arctic Char. Char, “the best tasting fish”, is a member of the trout and salmon family. The fish at Inukshuk lake generally run from 3 to ten pounds. Several other locations are easily accessible from arctic watch where one can fish for char. Creswell Bay, located on the southern tip of Somerset Island, boasts world-class char fishing. On a four-hour time period, several hundred char have been cought and released-All ranging from 15 to 25 pounds.

 

Birding: For the avid birder at Arctic Watch; special trips are made by foot, sea kayak and ATV. A summer home for many species of marine and land birds, Northern Somerset is home to nearly 50 different species:

  • Loons: Common, Arctic, Red-throated
  • Geese: Snow, Canadian, Brant
  • Ducks: Northern Pintail, Eider
  • Rough legged hawk
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Plovers: Black-bellied, American Golden
  • Sand Pipers
  • Jaegers: Parasitic, Long-tailed, Pomarine
  • Gulls: Herring, Black-legged Kittiwake, Sabine’s, Ivory
  • Arctic Tern
  • Black Guillemot
  • Snow Owl
  • Snow Bunting

 

Kayaking: A pleaseant and highly popular choice of excursion amongst guests at Arctic Watch, we offer two different kayak tours. Both are offered with the safest and most reliable equipement; Current Design fiberglass kayaks, Seavivor folding kayaks, paddles, life-jackets and dry suits.

 

The first tour, starting on the banks of Cunningham Inlet, runs along the bay amongst the ice, seals and beluga whales. A guest can photograph belugas swimming underneath the boats, watch seals bob amongst the ice and view the various marine birds fly past.

 

The second option, equally popular, is to paddle the lower section of the Cunningham River. The river, crystal clear, snakes through a large canyon. A pair of rough-legged hawks nest along the cliffs, enabling us to get a good view. The canyon, teaming with fossils, bends a magnificent 180 degrees and heads towards Arctic Watch. The river is deemed class 1 and 2, meaning swift water, with no rapids. The easy paddle takes roughly 3 hours.

 

Rafting: Arctic Watch raft trips are run with two inflatable rafts. The first tour runs through the lower canyon of the Cunningham River. A remarkable canyon, carved through the hillside makes for stunning photos. Muskox are frequently seen grazing along the banks and cliff tops. Again, the tour runs along a swift flowing, safe and rapid free route. This voyage takes approximately three hours.

 

All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs): At Arctic Watch, we are equipped with 9 ATVs, including several auto shifting vehicles. The Island is home to rolling terrain, and packed gravel-like surfaces. The condtions are ideal for traveling on ATVs. The vehicles are used to reach interesting places to hike, reach birding sites, visit archeological sites, find muskox and explore the vast island.

 

Grade: Trekking – easy to walk the Arctic plains.


Easy trek at group pace, with many stops to observe arctic mammals and flora. Day hiking only.

Land Only - tbd for 2015 - contact us for details. Please contact us to discuss flights, and additional accomadation required for getting to Yellowknife. (Cork, Shannon or Dublin Departures)

 

Inclusions:

  • All transfers

  • Hotel accommodation in Calgary 1 night

  • Hotel accommodation in Yellowknife , 2 nights

  • Private charter from Yellowknife to Somerset Island, Nunavut

  • 7 days at Arctic Watch lodge

  • Chef, meals & all equipment at Arctic Watch

  • Guides

 

Exclusions:

  • Fully escorted from/to Ireland

  • Flights from/to Ireland

  • Meals en route

  • Bar Bills & laundry

  • Travel Insurance

  • Bar bills at Arctic Watch

*Optional Extra’s: Whale watching trip and hiking in Charlevoix, Quebec - 4 days - for pricing please contact us

 

- Return flight with a Transit to Quebec or Montreal airport

- Shuttle to Charlevoix

- Whale watching tour or sea kayaking guided tour with the St. Lawrence whales

- Guided trek to Les Hautes Gorges, park entrance fees included

- 3 nights Hotel Accommodation - we only use the best hotels with excellent rooms and food.

 

Richard Weber and Josée Auclair

Richard and Josée started arctic tourism with the world’s first commercial North Pole trek in 1993, hiking and kayaking trips on Baffin Island. In 2000, they opened “Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge”, Canada’s most northerly lodge on Somerset Island in Nunavut. Arctic Watch Lodge is Nunavut’s largest and most unique tourism operation.

 

Josée and Richard both started skiing at an early age. Richard was competing by age six and a member of Canada's National Cross Country Ski Team by age eighteen. He retired in 1985 with twenty national titles. Richard has a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont. Richard has co-authored two books about his adventures. Josée also spent some years competing for Canada on the National ski team. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from the University of Vermont and a teaching certificate from the University of Quebec. Richard and Josée met while ski racing.


Richard’s Expedition Highlights:

Richard made his first arctic expedition in 1985, his first North Pole journey in 1986. In 2007, he completed his sixth journey to the North Pole, starting from land. He has made more successful treks to the Pole than any one in history.

• First North Pole trek with no re-supplies; 1986 Steger International Polar expedition
• First surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Canada; 1988 Polar Bridge Expedition
• First commercial North Pole Trek; 1993 North Pole Dash – last degree
• First and only journey to the North Pole and back with no outside assistance; 1995 Weber-Malakhov Expedition
• First snowshoe trek to the North Pole; first guided unsupported North Pole trek; North Pole classic 2006
• Richard has participated in more than 50 arctic and North Pole expeditions

 


Josée’s Expedition Highlights

Josée made her first Arctic expedition in 1988, a first crossing of the Penny Ice Cap on Baffin Island. Her first North Pole experience was in 1999.

• 1999 – 2004 Annual treks covering the last degree to the North Pole
• Woman Quest; an all woman trek to the North Pole in 2001
• South Pole; 2007 an all woman trek covering the last degree to the South Pole

 

Food & Water- Nutritionally Balanced (Vegetarian Food Available). Water purified daily for trekkers.

Here is a sample daily itinerary, on booking you will be issued a more detailed version. We can also customise the itinerary to your needs if required. Contact us

Day 1: Leave Ireland - Arrive in Calgary Airport in the afternoon- Hotel & Rest Day

 

Day 2: Flight to Yellowknife - Cultural tour, country specialty food - Hotel

 

Day 3: Early morning private charter to Arctic Watch - 4 hours flight with a stop in Cambridge Bay Inuit airport for refueling, welcoming activities at the Arctic lodge, great meal, evening walk to the whales, and rest.

 

Day 4 to Day 10: All different day trips depending of the weather conditions
- Sea kayaking with the belugas
- Hiking and bird watching in the canyons
- Scenic rafting in Cunnigham river and muskoxs observation
- ATV to Polar Bear point
- Fly fishing at Inukshuk lake
- Hiking the Cunningham Bay and Day 10: Half day activity of choice, and private charter back to Yellowknife.

 

Day 11: Flight back to Ireland - option to transit by Montreal or Quebec for the whale watching option (4 additional days)

 

Day 12: Arrive Ireland

 

Preparation:

A person looking at this trip will already be able to walk/trek comfortably for at least 2 hours. The trip does not require previous experience for the activities involved and is quite relaxed. If you are a total beginner to walking then a 3-6 month training program is recommended and would require notifying us prior to booking this trip. Please discuss this progression with us if you are a total beginner prior to booking this trip. For more info on our Fitness Assessment and day walks, go to our Ireland Section.

 

Passport:

You will need a valid full passport, please ensure it has at least have six months before expiring, prior to our departure.

 

Vaccinations and Medical Precautions:

Please ask your doctor about traveling to Canada, they should be able to offer you the most sensible and up-to-date advice. A dental check-up before you go is also most important, as facilities on the trip are non-existent.

 

Gear - for further information on gear, please contact us

  • A light down top or extra fleece.

  • Personal first aid and medicine kit. (All our guides will have these for emergencies only)

  • UV sunglasses – Cat. 2 or 3 recommended.

  • 2 x Earplugs pairs – If you have an inside pocket in sleeping bag, leave one there full-time.

 

Miscellaneous items:

  • Sun-block (very important and use it!)

  • Backpacking towel and general toiletries.

  • Extra Clothes for traveling and/or socialising.

  • Camera with wide lense and telephoto of 200-600mm, extra memory and battery. Battery depletes faster in the cold.

  • Binoculars


Friday, 07 May 2010 15:07
Published in Travel & Training News

Check out our Inca Trail & Macchu Picchu Treks for 2015 in our travel section click here at www.patfalvey.com

 


Available All Year round.

 

The Inca Trail is one of the shortest and most accessible treks you can take while in Cusco. It is a really exciting experience for getting to Machu Picchu after a few days of hiking in the High Andean Mountains and the beginning of the Amazonian Jungle. You will be crossing ancient Incan Towns and walk over the original cobbled path. This is also a great opportunity for appreciating the natural environment of the different ecological levels of the Inca Trail.

 

Machu Picchu is the highlight of any trip in South America. Located by the beginning of the Amazonian Jungle, it was one of the power nucleuses dependent from Cusco. That Incan City was very effectively protected by its difficult topography and the elements built for that purpose. It was supposed to house the Inca King, his family and close friends. Its population was about 1,000 people and 80% were women, so perhaps it had one of the most important houses for the Virgins of the Sun (something like a nunnery). It was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham who took all it's artifacts to Yale University. Over here you will be able to admire many temples including that of the Sun, the Three Windows Temple, the Main Temple, the Temple of Condors, an imposing Intiwatana (sun fastener), etc. Staying overnight in any of the many hotels in Machu Picchu is a great idea, that will give the opportunity to explore the environment and perhaps take walks to Wiñaywayna, the Draw Bridge or maybe climb to the very top of the Waynapicchu Mountain.

 

Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:58
Published in South America

Peru

  • Overview

  • About

  • Route

  • Grade

  • Prices

  • Guides

  • Food & Water

  • Itinerary

  • Preparation

Trip: Peru - Inca Trail & Machu Picchu

 

Altitude: 4,000m/13,123ft approx.


Route: Lima-Cusco-Machu Picchu-Lima


Date: All Year Land Only (May-Sept preferred) Group: Aug 15-23rd 2012


Duration: 8 Days from Lima - 4/5 Days Trekking - Group: 9/10 days from Ireland


Grade: Trekking – Moderate


Price: From €1750 Land only - from €3250 Group as above dates

 

Sandwiched between the driest desert and the largest rainforest in the world, the Andes of Peru contain some of the worlds most spectacular mountain scenery. Within these mountains, ancient civilisations, of which the Incas are the most famous, built cities, temples and roadways (of which there are known to be more then 25,000km) using precision construction techniques that continue to baffle scientists today. The most famous short hike in Peru is the Inca Trail in order to get Machu Picchu; the whole trek takes from 3 to 5 days depending on where it is started. The attraction of the Inca Trail is in the environmental scenery you can get; there are places over 4,000 meters where there is not so much oxygen and the flora is scarce, but after half an hour of walking you will be able to get a semitropical environment in the rain forest. But at the end of those hiking days, as a prize for your efforts, you will get to the marvelous Machu Picchu. There are also some other famous hiking areas such as the Salkantay and Ausangate Mountains and the Cordillera of Urubamba in the Cusco region. Both our tours to The Inca Trail enable you to explore the impressive relics of these civilisations, while enjoying some magnificent walking through the diverse scenery in the mountains and valleys of the Eastern Cordillera.

 

We have two trip options available - Traditional and Alternative. The traditional option has to be booked well in advance due to it following the more restricted original Inca Trail, while the alternative is more readily available and it offers a very close alternative with more scenery, advantage points which was awarded one of the best Treks in the world, by National Geographic Travel magazine. We can also arrange other options for longer or shorter trips including tour or activity add-ons to the itineraries posted here in Cusco, Puno, Arequipa, Peru, the Andes and Amazon.

 

Please read through the options following or contact us to discuss a custom itinerary. 

 

The Republic of Peru is the third largest nation in South America and has a population of over 24 million people. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean on the West coast up into the Andean mountains to the East, where it shares a border with Brazil.

 

History:

Human habitation in Peru dates back to at least 8,000 BC. Several advanced cultures had developed in different parts of Peru by the middle of the 13th Century. About 1480 AD, the Incas set out on a 50 year period of conquest, ultimately controlling what is present-day Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and northern Argentina. The Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro landed in Peru in 1527. He returned in 1632 with a small army, conquered the Inca Empire and in 1533, killed the Inca King, Atahuallpa. Peru remained under Spanish jurisdiction for almost 300 years.

 

Culture:

The ancient culture of Peru can be seen, not only in its Spanish-Inca cities, but also in the remains of Machu Picchu, the “lost city of the Incas” which is situated on an 8000’ (2450m) high mountain 50 miles (80Km) from Cuzco. Peruvian Folk Culture is rich in elements of pre-Hispanic and Mestizo traditions. The ancient Peruvians were great builders, adapting their architecture cleverly to the landscape. The oldest colonial work is the Cathedral of Lima, and the most important is the Convent and Church of San Francisco, which is also located in the city of Lima. In the city of Cuzco, the art of painting reached it’s zenith in the 17th and 18th Centuries, with the formation of the famous “Cuzco School”.

 

Cusco is one of the most famous cities in South America, because of being the oldest continuously inhabited metropolis in this Continent. The city itself was probably founded by 1,000 BC, but in 1534 the Spanish Conquerors re-founded it according to the European way. Wherever you stop in Cusco you will find remains of ancient civilizations. As this was the Capital of the Incas, Cusco is the place where most of their superb works were done. This city is considered as the Archaeological Capital of South America and was declared by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Mankind. The Cathedral, a colonial massive built in almost a century using stones of the Incan Palaces and Temples surrounding the ancient Main Plaza, and the hard work of the descendants of the Incas. It is one of the richest and the most magnificent work of Colonial Architecture and Art in South America. It contains canvasses of famous Quechua Painters such as Antonio Sinchi Roca Inka, Basilio Santa Cruz Pumacallo, Marcos Zapata, etc. Diego Quispe Tito was the founder of the cusquenian school of painting (developed by local artists); and he painted the well known canvas of the Last Supper in which central portion is a plate containing the most representative Andean dish: a roasted guinea pig.

 

Machu Picchu is the highlight of any trip in South America. Located by the beginning of the Amazonian Jungle, it was one of the power nucleuses dependent from Cusco. That Incan City was very effectively protected by its difficult topography and the elements built for that purpose. It was supposed to house the Inca King, his family and close friends. It's population was about 1000 people and 80% were women, so perhaps it had one of the most important houses for the Virgins of the Sun (something like a nunnery). It was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham who took all it's artifacts to Yale University. Over here you will be able to admire many temples including that of the Sun, the Three Windows Temple, the Main Temple, the Temple of Condors, an imposing Intiwatana (sun fastener), etc. Staying overnight in any of the many hotels in Machu Picchu is a great idea, that will give the opportunity to explore the environment and perhaps take walks to Wiñaywayna, the Draw Bridge or maybe climb to the very top of the Waynapicchu Mountain.

 

The Inca Trail is one of the shortest and most accessible treks you can take while in Cusco. It is a really exciting experience for getting to Machu Picchu after a few days of hiking in the High Andean Mountains and the beginning of the Amazonian Jungle. You will be crossing ancient Incan Towns and walk over the original cobbled path. This is also a great opportunity for appreciating the natural environment of the different ecological levels of the Inca Trail.

 

We have 2 standard trail options available but can arrange options and add-ons if required.

 

Traditional Route:

Day 1: Arrive LIMA - Pickup & transfer to Hotel


Day 2: LIMA - CUSCO - Flight & transfer to Hostel


Day 3: CUSCO - CHILCA - WAYLLABAMBA - Trekking & Camp


Day 4: WAYLLABAMBA - WARMIWANUSCA - PACAYMAYO - Trekking & Camp


Day 5: PACAYMAYO - PUYA PATAMARKA - WINAY HUAYNA - Trekking & Camp


Day 6: WINAY HUAYNA - MACHUPICCHU - Trekking & Hostel


Day 7: AGUAS CALIENTES - CUSCO - Free day then transfer & Hostel


Day 8: CUSCO - LIMA - Transfer & Flight

 


Alternative Route:

 

Day 1: Arrive LIMA - Pickup & transfer to Hotel

 

Day 2: LIMA - CUSCO - Flight & transfer to Hostel

 

Day 3: CUSCO - MOLLEPATA - SORAYPAMPA - Transfer, Trekking & Camp

 

Day 4: SORAYPAMAPA - KELKAMACHAY - COLCAPAMPA - Trekking & Camp

 

Day 5: COLCAPAMPA - HYDROELECTRIC - Trekking & Camp


Day 6: HYDROELECTRIC LLACTAPATA – AGUAS CALIENTES - Trekking & Hostel


Day 7: AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHUPICCHU - CUSCO - Trekking, Transfer & Hostel


Day 8: CUSCO - LIMA - Transfer & Flight

 


Grade: Trekking - Moderate

This trip is considered a moderate trek and suitable for all who get out walking regularly, especially hill-walking or trekking. A good level of fitness is required, although the trek days are not long days and overall the trip is short. If you are a total beginner to walking/hillwalking then a 3-6 month training program is recommended and would require notifying us prior to booking this trip. A person looking at this trip will already be able to walk/trek comfortably for 4-6 consecutive hours for a couple of days. Previous trekking experience at altitude is a benefit.

 

Acclimatisation:

The City of Cusco is at an altitude of 3,300m, giving people a good general acclimatisation before heading to the trail. We will be ascending 2 high passes during the trek taking you gradually up to 4,000m approx. The pace is key to preventing AMS. The group will be monitored by the guides at all times for symptoms of the effects of altitude. Only if these symptoms persist that a person should get advice or will be advised to descend.

 

Group from Ireland - Alternative - From €3250 (Cork or Dublin Departures) Bookings before 30th May.

 

Land only from Lima - Traditional - €1800

 

Land only from Lima - Alternative - €1750

 

Group from Ireland Inclusions:

 

  • Fully escorted from Ireland
  • Flights Ireland - Lima return
  • Flights Lima - Cusco return
  • All transfers
  • Hostel Accommodation B&B
  • Park fees
  • Camping, meals & water on mountain
  • Guides, Porters & communal gear

 

Group from Ireland Exclusions:

 

  • Meals en route before and after final destination
  • Bar Bills & laundry
  • Travel Insurance

 

Land Only Inclusions:

 

  • Flights Lima - Cusco return
  • All transfers
  • Hostel Accommodation B&B
  • Park fees
  • Camping, meals & water on mountain
  • Guides, Porters & Communal gear

 

Land Only Exclusions:

 

  • Flights from/to Ireland
  • Meals en route before and after final destination
  • Bar Bills & laundry
  • Travel Insurance

 

 Cancellation:

Full refund applies if cancellation is received and acknowledged more than 20 weeks prior to event.


Desposits will not be refunded for cancellations received within 20 weeks.

 

For bookings made where flights have to be paid for in advance, the flight cost is non- refundable once paid.

 


 

Our professional guides in Peru have over 20 years experience in Cusco and the surrounding areas. They are fluent in English and will provide many insights to the local history and cultures while providing in depth knowledge of the area and it's people. Further information will also be available from your tour leader during the trip. Some Peruvian staff may be used during the trip, all of which adhere to local Health & Safety guidelines. For our group option you will be escorted by an experienced guide from Ireland.

 

 

Nutritionally Balanced (Vegetarian Food Available). Water purified daily for trekkers

 

This is a sample daily Itinerary, on booking you will be issued a more detailed version. We can also customise the itinerary to your needs if required.

 

Day 1: Arrive LIMA: Pick up at the airport and transfer to the hotel in Lima.

 

Day 2: LIMA - CUSCO: Early rising. Return to Lima airport for your flight to Cuzco, where you will be met and transferred to your hostel. Meet with your guide for your Inca Trail. This afternoon has been deliberately kept free of any organized activity, to allow you time to acclimatize to the altitude. In the P.M.: An easy walking tour of Cuzco, to familiarize you with this wonderful town, where the original, ancient Inca walls and cobblestone streets blend with the colonial Spanish architecture of the 16th Century European invaders. Visit the Temple of the SUN or QORICANCHA (the ‘Enclosure of Gold’). It's perfect architecture and stonework demonstrate that this was the most important Temple in the entire Inca Realm, the sacred hub of the ancient, mystical Incan Empire. The Cathedral is well worth a visit, with its fabulous paintings and works in gold leaf, carved wood and silverware, as is the artisan area of San Blas.

 

DAY 3: CUSCO-MOLLEPATA-SORAYPAMPA: You wil be picked up very early of the hotel at 5:30am to go by highway until Mollepata 2,950m. On the road we will stop in the archaeological complex of Tarawasi an Inca Temple, continue until Mollepata from where we will appreciate the Snowy Humantay (5,917m), continuing until Soray Pampas to the beginning of the walk for the pastizales, appreciating the Snowy of Salkantay 6,270m, the whole walk is an ascent until Salkantaypampa (Lunch) then we will retake the walk to ascend the first step to the Lagoon Soroy Cocha (camp). From this point we will be able to appreciate the Salkantay very closely and to appreciate the flora and Andean typical fauna.

 


DAY 4: SORAYPAMAPA - KELKAMACHAY - COLCAPAMPA: After the breakfast we will begin the walk in ascent for one hour until the Huayrapamapa Abra 4,420m, then to descend until the community huayraqmachay (lunch) where we will be able to share some viventials with the residents and to continue until the camp of Colcamachay. This day the walk is to the contour of the snowy one of Salkataypampa, where we will be able to appreciate some agricultural tasks, tropillas of llamas, lagoons and a typical Andean flora. You can use the bathrooms of waters, the hot medicinal water heater of Colcapampa.

 


DAY 5: COLCAPAMPA - HYDROELECTRIC: Contrary to the other days, this day we will descend and the climate varies because we are entering to the forest brow, where we will be able to appreciate a vegetation very dense, big cascades of water of approximately 80 meters, a variety of orchids and to share some vivences with the residents of the place then to enter to the beach (Camp).

 


DAY 6: HYDROELECTRIC LLACTAPATA – AGUAS CALIENTES: Very early in the morning we will begin the walk with directions to Patallacta, where we will be able to appreciate a part of the impressive citadel of Machu Picchu to descend until the hydroelectric of Machu Picchu where we will approach the trains with direction to Aguas Calientes.

 


DAY 7: AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHUPICCHU - CUSCO: Very early we will approach the buses with the address to the citadel of Machu Picchu. The guide will spend two hours explaining the citadel, then you can spend the remaining time in the citadel to explore by yourself. At a suitable hour you will approach the buses with directions to Aguas Calientes and then you will aboard the train to Cusco where you will meet the representative of our company for your transfer to the hotel.

 


DAY 8/9: CUSCO - LIMA - IRELAND Transfer to Airport , Fly to Lima, International flight to Ireland arriving Day 09/10 pending flight times (to be confirmed upon booking)

 

Preparation: 

A person looking at this trip will already be able to walk/trek comfortably for 4-5 consecutive hours. If you are a total beginner to walking/hillwalking then a 3-6 month training program is recommended and would require notifying us prior to booking this trip. Please discuss this progression with us if you are a total beginner prior to booking this trip. For more info on our Fitness Assessment and day walks, go to our Ireland Section. Our group trips have a Free Meet Day in Kerry to discuss the trip and go for a hillwalk with an experienced guide, please contact us for more details. www.patfalvey.com

 

Passport:

You will need a valid full passport, please ensure it has at least have six months before expiring, prior to your departure date.

 

Vaccinations and Medical Precautions:

There are currently no statutory requirements for entering Peru unless you are traveling from an area designated as infected e.g. for cholera or yellow fever. We recommend however, that you are protected against TB, typhoid, polio, tetanus and hepatitis A, ecephalitis, meningitis, hepatitis B and rabies as they can all be contracted in Peru. You may wish to be inoculated against these four; however, they are expensive injections, so please ask your doctor about all these inoculations, and he/she should be able to offer you the most sensible and up-to-date advice. Since we are visiting the high and coastal regions of Peru, malarial prophylactics are not required. A dental check-up before you go is also most important, as facilities on trek are non-existent.

 

Customs:

 You are allowed to import duty free into Peru as long as it is a 'reasonable quantity' of alcohol, tobacco and perfume.

 

Currency:

The local currency in Peru is the Sol. In recent years the currency has been stable compared the turmoil that preceded 1990. Euro, Sterling and US dollar traveler’s cheques are easily exchanged in Peru. Many prices are expressed in US$, and some cash dollars are useful for purchases in the main cities. Cash can also be obtained from ATM machines in Lima and Cusco.

 

Electricity:

240 volts AC

 

 

 

 

Friday, 29 January 2010 18:06
Published in Arctic/Antarctica

Antarctica

  • Classic Antarctica

  • Classic South Georgia

  • Polar Circle Quest

  • Polar Circle Quest

  • The USHUAIA

  • Dates & Rates

Trip: Classic Antarctica

 
Route: Expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands. Aboard the USHUAIA


Duration: 11 Days aboard plus travel time


PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS AND AVAILABLE DATES

 

Visit the last pristine region of the world. Our Classic voyage is the ultimate introduction to the White Continent.

Itinerary:

*Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

*Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

*Day 4 to 8: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.

The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers.

We plan to make at least two landings per day and possible landing sites may include:
Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.

Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.

*Day 9 & 10: At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

*Day 11: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

classic antarctica trip map

 

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

 

Trip: Classic South Georgia

 
Route: Expedition cruise to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia, Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands. Aboard the USHUAIA


Duration: 20 Days aboard plus travel time


PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS AND AVAILABLE DATES

 

A truly memorable trip to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and South Georgia. Amazing wildlife, spectacular scenery and the fascinating history of the early explorers.

Itinerary:

*Day 1: Ushuaia

In the afternoon we will board the USHUAIA. A welcome drink and then an introduction to the crew and expedition staff will follow, and we will have time to get to know our new shipmates. The ship will then set sail towards the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas), known for their rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds and waterfowl.

*Day 2: At Sea

The open bridge policy on the USHUAIA allows us to join the officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for marine life, and enjoy the views of the open ocean. These waters are also home to an interesting group of seabirds, which often ride the currents created in the wake of the ship, such as albatrosses and petrels. Join the expedition staff and naturalists on deck whilst we are at sea as we search for seabirds and other local wildlife, such as orcas and dolphins. An interesting selection of lectures will help us to prepare for our first excursions in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

*Day 3: Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas)


On the western coast we might visit the following islands:

West Point Island
West Point Island lies off the most north-westerly point of mainland West Falkland (Malvinas). The attractive settlement sits on the edge of a small harbor on the eastern side of the Island, in the lee of Black Bog Hill and Michael´s Mount. The valley between these two peaks rolls over the center of the island to the dramatic Devil´s Nose, one of the Island´s main attractions. From here visitors are treated to splendid views of Cliff Mountain, the Island´s highest point at 1,250 ft (381 m), and the highest cliffs in the Falklands. This is where we will encounter a vast colony of Rockhopper Penguins and Black-browed Albatrosses, nesting together in close vicinity.

Carcass Island
Carcass Island lies to the north-west of the Falkland archipelago (Malvinas). A mature tussac plantation covers much of the lower ground below Jason Hill to the east. The availability of abundant cover and the absence of cats, rats and mice throughout the island have made for a spectacularly large population of small birds, which is one of Carcass Island´s most delightful features. Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins do also nest here. Peale´s and Commerson´s dolphins come frequently close to the shoreline to get a glimpse of the visitors as well. At the settlement with its beautiful gardens, we are invited to enjoy tea and cookies with the locals.

Overnight we will sail around the northern islands of the archipelago in easterly direction to reach the capital, Stanley, in the following morning.

*Day 4: Eastern Falkland Islands (Malvinas) / At Sea

In the morning hours we will have time to explore the quaint little town of Stanley and its wonderful Museum, souvenir shops and pubs. The town was established in the early 1840´s. Isolation and the weather conditions made life hard, but progress was gradual and punctuated by the extremely eventful times of involvement in two world wars. For those who are more interested in the outstanding wildlife the Islands have to offer, you do not even have to leave town to enjoy it. Southern Giant Petrels often fly close to the shoreline. The endemic Falkland Steamer Ducks abound on the shorelines while Kelp Gulls can often be seen flying together with Dolphin Gulls. The less obvious but frequent visitors to Stanley area are Black-crowned Night Herons, Red-backed Hawks and Peregrine Falcons. Turkey Vultures are regularly seen on top of any prominent building. Many pairs of Upland Geese frequent the park and it might be nice to take a stroll around the gardens of town to see some of the singing birds as well.
In the early afternoon it is time to set sail, heading for South Georgia.

*Days 5 & 6: At Sea

An extensive lecture program will be offered during the days at sea. Expert naturalists share their knowledge of the wildlife and unique ecosystems we will encounter throughout our voyage. South Georgia is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and inspiring places on earth with more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on the planet.

*Day 7: At Sea / South Georgia

South Georgia will come in sight! Though extremely isolated, it has amazing scenery ranging from high mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grassland.

*Days 8 to 10: South Georgia

Our exact itinerary will depend on local land and sea conditions but the following destinations are among those that we would like to explore:

Salisbury Plain
Sometimes called the "Serengeti of the South", Salisbury Plain is a wildlife site without parallel. Several large glaciers provide a dramatic backdrop for the tens of thousands of King Penguins that nest in the tussac grass of this remarkable ecosystem. The wide beach makes for excellent walking as we visit the colony, where we are literally surrounded and delightfully outnumbered by throngs of curious, gentle penguins. Elephant and fur seals also abound, as well as Southern Giant Petrels and the occasional wandering Gentoo Penguin. Prepare for an awe-inspiring experience, as the elephant seals are giving birth on the beaches.

Prion Island
Prion Island is a beautiful tussac-grass covered islet. If we are lucky we will get the opportunity to see a breeding colony of Wandering Albatross on top of it. We will climb to the summit on a wooden boardwalk, which takes us close to their nests and offers comfortable viewing platforms.

Grytviken
Grytviken lies within King Edward Cove, a sheltered harbor tucked between Hope Point and Hobart Rock on the western shore of Cumberland East Bay. The rusting ruins of the Grytviken whaling station are situated on a level plain at the head of the cove, backed by steep hills and mountains. Now the site of the South Georgia Museum, the station remains a focal point of interest for many visitors, as does Sir Ernest Shackleton´s grave in the nearby whaler´s cemetery and his memorial cross on Hope Point.

The scenery in this area is exceptionally beautiful even by South Georgia standards: the glaciers and snow covered peaks of the Allardyce Range - Mt. Sugartop, Mt. Paget, Mt. Roots, Nordenskjöld Peak, Mt. Kling and Mt. Brooker - form a magnificent backdrop to the cove, and the views from King Edward Point in particular, must be among the finest on earth.

Godthul
Situated 9km east of Cumberland East Bay on the eastern shores of Barff Peninsula, Godthul is a 3km long inlet that lies between Cape George and Long Point. Gentoo Penguins are abundant on the tussac plateau and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses echo off the natural cliff amphitheater that encircles the harbor. A floating factory ship serviced by two whale catchers was stationed here each summer between 1908 and 1929. A small shore depot supporting the whaling operations was established close by the stream in the southeast corner of the harbor, and the rusting barrels, wooden shed and boats are fascinating relics of the whaling era, as is the impressive collection of whale and elephant seal bones scattered along the beach.

St Andrews Bay
The surf beaten coastline at St. Andrews Bay runs north-south in a 1.86 mile (3 km) long uninterrupted sweep of fine dark sand, covered in penguins and seals and bounded in the interior by the Cook, Buxton and Heaney Glaciers. The bay hosts the biggest colony of King Penguins on South Georgia. Early in the season, the beach is also carpeted with fur and elephant seals. Such a large assemblage of wildlife attracts an entourage of persistent and voracious scavengers. Sheathbills dart in and around the penguin colony. Cape Petrels nest in a small number on the cliffs north of St. Andrews Bay. Leopard seals patrol the rocks at this end of the beach too, hunting for penguins along the edge of kelp beds. A few White-chinned Petrels and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses nest on the tussac slopes. Brown Skuas and Antarctic Terns breed on the outwash plain and scree slopes at the north end of the beach, defending their nest sites with their characteristic noise and vigor.

Cooper Bay
Cooper Bay is found at the southeast extremity of South Georgia. There is a wealth of wildlife at this site, in a spectacular setting. Chinstrap, Gentoo and maybe one or two Macaroni Penguins dot the tussac slopes and there are plenty of fur seals on the beaches. Fascinating volcanic rocks tower over small fjords, giving a stunning invitation for a thrilling zodiac cruise to watch wildlife from the waterfront.

Drygalski Fjord
Drygalski Fjord is also located in the far south east of the island. The glaciers found in this dramatic fjord have retreated significantly in recent decades, but they still remain one of the most striking features of this coastline, particularly the Risting and Jenkins Glaciers. With a little luck, we might see the glaciers calve and witness the birth of a new iceberg from on board the ship.

*Days 11 & 12: At Sea

We spend the next two days crossing the Scotia Sea towards the Antarctic Peninsula offering opportunities to be out on deck, catch up on some reading, check through and edit our photos, or simply reflect on the magical experiences of the last days on South Georgia. Lectures and other activities will be offered throughout these days.

*Day 13:  Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

We hope to have a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

*Day 14: At Sea

Our expedition team will prepare you for our experience in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.

*Day 15 to 17: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

In the area of the Antarctic Sound, we will try to visit the following sites:

Argentine Antarctic Station Esperanza
We will try to sail the passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, which traverses the Antarctic Sound and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza are located on the western side of the Sound.

Brown Bluff
Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie Penguin population.

Paulet Island
Paulet and the already mentioned sites, might give us ample proof of this. The numbers of penguins are breathtaking. The region also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjöld. Four visitor sites have links to this expedition: Hope Bay, Paulet Island, Snow Hill Island, and Cape Well-Met on Vega Island. Our expedition staff will be pleased to share their exciting story with you. Nordenskjöld´s expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula. His ship the Antarctic, under the command of the famous Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations and even managed to carry out significant scientific research in the area.

Our plan is to sail through the Gerlache Strait into the Northwest Antarctic Peninsula area.

Gerlache Strait
This region of broad straits, mountainous islands, protected bays, and narrow channels offer moments of solitude. A profusion of tall peaks humans have never climbed and vast glaciers flowing inexorably seaward are the physical features here.

Hydrurga Rocks
We might visit Hydrurga Rocks, a small group of islets, which lie east of Two Hummock Island in the Palmer Archipelago, at the northern entrance of the Gerlache Strait. Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags and Kelp Gulls are confirmed breeders here.
Cuverville Island

We might also go to Cuverville Island, which lies in the scenic Errera Channel, in the center of the Gerlache Strait. A well-defined raised beach forms a nesting site for many Gentoo Penguins here. On our way north we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands.

Deception Island
Deception is the largest of three recent volcanic centers in the South Shetlands. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. Once inside, the rising slope of the black, cinder-covered volcanic rim can be walked uphill to a rather spectacular vantage point.

Half Moon Island
This crescent-shaped island, in the entrance of Moon Bay between Greenwich and Livingston Islands, is home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

*Days 18 & 19: At Sea

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales. We will also enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures we have had over the past days.

*Day 20: Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

 

 

classic south georgia trip map

 

 Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Trip: Polar Circle Quest

 
Route: Expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, & endeavor to cross the Polar Circle. Aboard the USHUAIA


Duration: 12 Days aboard plus travel time


PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS AND AVAILABLE DATES

 

Exploring the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and endeavoring to cross the Polar Circle which few have ever crossed.

Itinerary:

*Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

*Day 2 & 3: At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.

The USHUAIA's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

*Days 4 to 9: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, and endeavor to cross the Polar Circle

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula's remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.
 
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.

As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.
On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

*Days 10 & 11: At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

*Day 12: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

 

classic antarctica trip map

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Trip: Weddell Sea Quest

 
Route: Expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands & the Weddell Sea. Aboard the USHUAIA


Duration: 12 Days aboard plus travel time


PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS AND AVAILABLE DATES

 

Follow in Shackleton's footsteps and join us for a truly unique trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands & the Weddell Sea.

Itinerary:

*Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

*Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA´s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

*Days 4 to 6: Exploring the Weddell Sea

This is where huge tabular icebergs roam. In some years, the Erebus & Terror Gulf and Weddell Sea are chock-a-block full with ice, making for exciting ice navigation. Get up early and go out on deck. It may be 3:30h in the morning, but the sunrises will be unlike anything you´ve ever seen. Huge tabular bergs break from the Larsen, Ronne, and Filchner ice shelves and combine with one-year-old and multi-year sea ice to produce a floating, undulating panorama of rugged ice scenery. All-white Snow Petrels are likely to be coursing over the floes, often joined by Pintado Petrels.

The usual passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula traverses the Antarctic Sound, which is 30 miles (48 km) long and 7-12 miles (11-19 km) wide and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza, are located on the western side of the Sound. Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie Penguin population. Devil Island, Paulet Island and the already mentioned sites, might give us ample proof of this. The numbers of penguins are breathtaking. Sometimes juvenile Emperor Penguins have been sighted, riding ice floes but are by no means regular in the area.

This region also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjöld. Four visitor sites have links to this expedition: Hope Bay, Paulet Island, Snow Hill Island, and Cape Well-Met on Vega Island. Our expedition staff will be pleased to share their exciting story with you. Nordenskjöld´s expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula. His ship the Antarctic, under the command of the famous Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations and even managed to carry out significant scientific research in the area.

*Days 7 to 9: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel and Neumayer Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office at Port Lockroy.

Further exploration will lead us to the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

There might also be a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

*Days 10 & 11: At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

*Day 12: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

 

 

classic antarctica trip map

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

The USHUAIA has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites.

ushuaia ship

 

Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the USHUAIA has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites.

The ice-strengthened polar vessel USHUAIA is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.

All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a changing room and a small infirmary.

Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.

 

Accomodation

*Suites: 4 Outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private facilities,   two lower berths, lounge, TV, DVD player and fridge. Suite 201 features two double beds, Suite 202 one double bed and a sofa bed. Suites 204 and 207 feature three lower single beds.

*Superior: 9 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private  facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 301 has one double and one single bed.

*Premier: 6 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private  facilities, two lower berths;
2 Single cabins with portholes (view obstructed by lifeboat) on the upper deck G, private facilities.

*Standard Plus: 11 Twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 640 has one double bed.
2 Triple outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, three lower berths.

*Standard: 12 Twin outside cabins with portholes on deck E, semi-private facilities,  two berths (upper/lower).

N.B. Semi-private facilities: Two cabins share one bathroom accessible from both cabins (shower and wc). Each cabin is also equipped with its own washbasin.

Ushuaia deck plan

 

Expedition cruises on board the USHUAIA

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