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Alaska, Greenland or Antarctica by boat?

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  • Alaska, Greenland or Antarctica by boat?

    I'm not sure where to put this post, as technically it's not just about the USA. We have an idea (bexplorer.com) which we need feedback on. Essentially we want to take people like your good selves to your dream locations for telemarking and touring. The mobile basecamp will be an exploration yacht which we plan to buy as a community, in part using crowdfunding. We have already got backers to cover the rest of the setup costs. We have an experienced skipper, guides, and instructors to get around the hurdles of organising expeditions.

    The sorts of places we are thinking are Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Spitzbergen, Antarctica, Patagonia, Kamchatka. The best ideas will be selected and added to the annual sailing route from Northern to Southern polar regions. People taking part will be able to get on and off the boat at various points along the way. Most people will only be on the boat for 1-3 weeks. The creator of a trip idea currently gets a free trip. Go here to suggest one now!

    The whole ethos of the organisation is not for profit. We will of course have to make some to guarantee the livelihoods of the few full time staff we will require to run something like this. We are doing this because we love remote places and want to share these experiences with likeminded people who are ready to travel. We are simply trying to get people who can, to places where they can do amazing things, regardless of their financial background. We don't like that adventure and exploration these days is increasingly only achieved by the super rich or well sponsored. The wildest places should be available to all that can.

    As part of our team we have experts in exploration logistics, guiding and sailing. All our trips will be as safely conducted as possible. You don't need to be a seasoned explorer to join our trips. Typically these types of trips take many months to organise and cost the earth until you learn a few lessons. We will take care of the necessary headaches that surround this type of travel and reduce your commitment in time to the bare minimum to enjoy the skiing.

    What I'd like you to do?
    If you've read this far please have a look at our website and crowdfunding page and give me some feedback on this forum about what you make of it. If you do want to join in obviously we'd love that and the crowdfunding page has a number of heavily reduced price trips for Greenland 2015. The route is not fixed so please suggest alternatives if what we have there isn't for you. Thanks for your help.
    9
    Bad idea
    11.11%
    1
    Needs work
    11.11%
    1
    OK
    11.11%
    1
    Great
    55.56%
    5
    Amazing
    11.11%
    1

    The poll is expired.

    Bexplorer
    http://www.bexplorer.com


  • #2
    I recently watched the movie "Walter Mitty" - some good shots of Greenland, Iceland, and the mountains were likely not Afghanistan (typed without misspelling.)

    AT Anonymous (aka Andrew McLean) ran/runs trips to Antarctica .

    http://straightchuter.com/2013-ice-a...e-trip-report/

    Or google.

    My feeling about these things is always "Hey, lets go ski Antarctica (fill in the blank) - and lets take a bunch of people along to cover the costs and we can be the "guides"."

    Probably unfair ... but ... that is what I use to largely do for a living (in a different context ... I got to play while someone else paid.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by !ski View Post
      I recently watched the movie "Walter Mitty" - some good shots of Greenland, Iceland, and the mountains were likely not Afghanistan (typed without misspelling.)

      AT Anonymous (aka Andrew McLean) ran/runs trips to Antarctica .

      http://straightchuter.com/2013-ice-a...e-trip-report/

      Or google.

      My feeling about these things is always "Hey, lets go ski Antarctica (fill in the blank) - and lets take a bunch of people along to cover the costs and we can be the "guides"."

      Probably unfair ... but ... that is what I use to largely do for a living (in a different context ... I got to play while someone else paid.)
      I doubt the authenticity of this statement.

      As a professional guide for the last 15 years, what I do every day is far from what I consider "play." I think you're a creating a false analogue.

      The fella already stated their mission is "not for profit." Why not leave the typical Ttips snarky b.s. and either suggest a locale or not post. Telling someone to "google" on a forum is rude and unnecessary and doesn't make you seem like the cool regular.

      To the OP, keep us updated. The above referenced trip to Antarctica appeared in one of the Powderwhore movies and seemed to have a lot of appeal to a lot of viewers.

      McLean used to post as AT Apostle but is not AT Anonymous FTR.
      Last edited by Matt J; 23 May 2014, 11:26 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm very intrigued by the whole boat-based-ski-trip concept. Seen some very cool looking movie segments and trip reports in recent years from groups doing this kind of thing in various locations, including McLean's Antarctica trip per above.

        I've considered looking into options for something in Norway in particular. I seem to recall there are a few established outfits there doing various forms of this already (though maybe without the crowd-sourced not-for-profit spin). Is that why Norway wasn't on your list?

        Please do keep us posted, and I'll certainly keep bexplorer in mind if/when I decide to look more seriously into arranging a trip for myself and some friends. Best of luck with the project, and perhaps I'll join you one of these years.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by !ski View Post
          AT Anonymous (aka Andrew McLean) ran/runs trips to Antarctica .

          http://straightchuter.com/2013-ice-a...e-trip-report/

          Or google.

          My feeling about these things is always "Hey, lets go ski Antarctica (fill in the blank) - and lets take a bunch of people along to cover the costs and we can be the "guides"."
          We definitely do not wish to come across as the above! I need to have a look at how we communicate this if that's the impression you've got from the info and our websites. Thanks for the feedback.

          Why is this different?

          Firstly, the aim is most definitely not to be about a group of insiders taking a "bunch of people along to cover costs". The whole point of the venture is build a community of like-minded people that can hook up with others from around the world that are ready to go and have adventures when they want to go. The benefit of making this community is hopefully to open up a world of these types of adventures to more people who otherwise would miss out because of the usual life hurdles e.g.

          • who has time to organise a one off expedition + job + family?
          • how many can afford to spend $15-20K on a one off holiday?
          • how many know 3 or 4 other people with the same dream and availability?


          Secondly, the boat will sail continually throughout the year with many different passengers doing a whole variety of activities. It's not just about the one trip.

          The idea was dreamt up by Yan Berchten (cofounder of SnowPulse). He has significant experience in making seemingly impossible ideas work both in terms of finance and logistics. There's more on who we are here, and some of the names supporting what we are trying to get going. It should give you more confidence that this is not another travel agency style set up.

          Thanks again. Really useful for us to get your views good or bad on what we are doing. We'd love to hear more.
          Bexplorer
          http://www.bexplorer.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by grayson View Post
            I'm very intrigued by the whole boat-based-ski-trip concept. Seen some very cool looking movie segments and trip reports in recent years from groups doing this kind of thing in various locations, including McLean's Antarctica trip per above.

            I've considered looking into options for something in Norway in particular. I seem to recall there are a few established outfits there doing various forms of this already (though maybe without the crowd-sourced not-for-profit spin). Is that why Norway wasn't on your list?

            Please do keep us posted, and I'll certainly keep bexplorer in mind if/when I decide to look more seriously into arranging a trip for myself and some friends. Best of luck with the project, and perhaps I'll join you one of these years.
            Thanks for your enthusiasm. Norway has certainly been in my book of places to tour for many years. There's a new book out on the Lyngen Alps (very north of Norway) which I've been reading. I'm keen to get a week or two in there on the route for 2015/16 as there's some amazing stuff that looks ideally accessed from a boat.

            Why don't you suggest the trip here - you never know you might win a trip for free if it's selected for the route.

            The main idea of the venture is allow people to put up their trip ideas so we can work out a potential route around the world that relects what the community want to do (not what we think you should do). To me that's the big difference between us and the commercial operations returning to the same spots each year.

            Great to get your feedback Grayson. Thanks.
            Bexplorer
            http://www.bexplorer.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by albird View Post
              The main idea of the venture is allow people to put up their trip ideas so we can work out a potential route around the world that relects what the community want to do (not what we think you should do).
              How about you tell "the community" a story, with words and supplemented by pictures? (oops, wait, you don't have a boat yet, nor do you even know what you'll have) or carry on with the bull**** e-panhandling to the rubes; because the whole host of crap you pawned off already exists. ​You just aren't getting a cut of the action now.
              Last edited by juanwilliams; 23 May 2014, 08:14 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by juanwilliams View Post
                ...the whole host of crap you pawned off already exists. ​You just aren't getting a cut of the action now.
                Do I smell indignant cynicism, or just urine?

                It may not be a great new idea, but if it can lower the cost so more people can afford to do this sort of trip then it's probably worth a shot. Using a kickstart is a good way to gauge serious interest and get the project moving forward. And if this allows more competition for the boat/ski tour concept then theoretically that will drive prices down and/or cause operators to improve what they offer. I like more choices.

                ain't no turn like tele!

                Comment


                • #9
                  so - I take it you didn't actually look at their prices? It's not much"cheaper". how much do you think a 30m expedition yacht costs Dostie? To operate, not counting cost of acquisition or leasing? The cost won't lower because running a boat and tourism in sub-arctic waters isn't cheap. This isn't parking a crappy fiberglass tub in the sea of cortez.

                  but yes, I go full stream on everyone and their brother who's decided they get to e-panhandle for whatever crappy "dream" they are coming to sell. After airbags hippie-dippie craps the next thing to sell to yuppie rubes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by juanwilliams View Post
                    so - I take it you didn't actually look at their prices? It's not much"cheaper". How much do you think a 30m expedition yacht costs Dostie? To operate, not counting cost of acquisition or leasing? The cost won't lower because running a boat and tourism in sub-arctic waters isn't cheap. This isn't parking a crappy fiberglass tub in the sea of cortez.

                    But yes, I go full stream on everyone and their brother who's decided they get to e-panhandle for whatever crappy "dream" they are coming to sell. After airbags hippie-dippie craps the next thing to sell to yuppie rubes.
                    I noticed their prices aren't that much different. And I'm with you on the e-panhandle method of launching a business, as in, it always makes me suspicious that it doesn't have real legs. I think it is a new option for small guys that can provide the necessary capital to get going and that circumvents the requirement to provide a rigorous business plan to potential investors. It is much easier to present the emotional basis for a product or service than to plan out the economic details of how it will eventually manifest as a profitable, enduring business. As to whether that applies in this case, I don't know enough to say.

                    ain't no turn like tele!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sail up the Alaska inland passage from Seattle skiing British Columbia and then cross the Gulf of Alaska and enter Prince William Sound and dozens of untracked islands topped by snow capped peaks as far as you can see. The northern sound has tons of access points to the higher Chugach right from the beach. One thing you might think about is how reliable the snow quality and snowpack depth in any of the locations you may think about.
                      Well Prince William Sound is one of the snowiest places on the earth. Antartica and Greenland measure their snow in inches while
                      Main Bay about 30 miles west of Valdez is off the charts averaging more than Valdez's 320" a years…..at sea level. This is a pretty cheap trip as there are a few towns along the way for supplies and fuel.

                      Here's a pic of some possible anchorages and the terrain from the beach. This isn't far from Valdez and I doubt anyone skis these areas that often

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Here's a better example of sailing for turns…



                      After Prince William Sound, head to Kamachatka via the Aleutians and it's snow-capped volcanoes as far as you can see. Skiing Shisaldin would be totally epic.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do this, just take different sticks. MS http://www.yellowdogflyfishing.com/f...seas-chile.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by !ski View Post
                          My feeling about these things is always "Hey, lets go ski Antarctica (fill in the blank) - and lets take a bunch of people along to cover the costs and we can be the "guides"."

                          Probably unfair ... but ... that is what I use to largely do for a living (in a different context ... I got to play while someone else paid.)
                          Originally posted by Matt J View Post
                          As a professional guide for the last 15 years, what I do every day is far from what I consider "play." I think you're a creating a false analogue.
                          He's not talking about everyone. Just him and Andrew Maclean.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            depends on the type of boat. kayak, sail, motor yacht? i am a licensed commercial captain of many years, power and sail, whitewater kayak instructor as well, currently stuck in the mts. j

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mark Sitz View Post
                              Do this, just take different sticks. MS http://www.yellowdogflyfishing.com/f...seas-chile.htm
                              seriously? $14k for 7 days? Is that what people want now? Missing out on all the interesting things and places that make Patagonia, well Patagonia, plopping down from the sky like some asshole then jetting back off again?

                              Originally posted by Dostie View Post
                              I noticed their prices aren't that much different.
                              I wouldn't expect them to be. For an action sports analogy - Indonesian surfing boat trips. Aside from a few panic sales in the heart of the crisis (late2008/early 2009) they all go at about the same rate with some seasonal demand pricing. But there's nothing* super cheap - the fixed costs are too high for that. Similar for heliskiing. Unless you get some super cheap to operate helo or boat (which won't be driven by these niches, because the money just isn't there) competition won't change squat.

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