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Sweitzer Leads Epic Antarctic Trek Across South Georgia Island, Following Footsteps of 1916 Journey

Story by The Northwest Passage

Posted: November 16, 2012

Rick Sweitzer of Polar Explorers has just returned from an epic expedition, retracing the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton's historic 1916 trek across South Georgia island. A true tale of Antarctic endurance and perseverance, Shackleton crossed the Antarctic island in a mere 36 hours in an attempt to reach rescue.

This October, Sweitzer led a team of 10 individuals from all backgrounds and traversed the island by ski and sled, facing white-outs and freezing rain, crevasses and avalanche dangers. Traversing one of the most difficult and technical sections of the route (The Trident Ridge), the guide team created a 300-pound "wheel" of snow and ice measuring approximately one meter in diameter and rolled it over the steep slope, carving a path down the slope as it rolled. Thus, partially relieved from fear of avalanches or snow-hidden crevasses, the team was able to make their way down the slope and continue their journey. Wildlife viewing abounded with sightings of albatross, king penguins, elephant seals, and even an extremely rare sighting of a "Type D" Orca whale! Despite the challenges and arduous conditions, the trip was a great success, and we are offering this rare opportunity again. From October 15- November 3, 2013 join PolarExplorers on our second expedition to explore South Georgia Island. For more information, or to view the South Georgia Expedition Blog, please visit:

South Georgie Island Crossing