Union Glacier Camp

Coordinates: 79°46′05″S 83°15′42″W / 79.768036°S 83.261666°W / -79.768036; -83.261666
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Union Glacier Camp
Antarctic seasonal camp
Union Glacier Camp, December 2013.
Union Glacier Camp, December 2013.
Location of Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica
Location of Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica
Union Glacier Camp
Location of Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica
Coordinates: 79°46′05″S 83°15′42″W / 79.768036°S 83.261666°W / -79.768036; -83.261666
Location in AntarcticaHeritage Range
Ellsworth Mountains
Union Glacier
Ellsworth Land
Operated byAntarctic Logistics & Expeditions
Named forUnion Glacier
Elevation700 m (2,300 ft)
 • Total
  • Up to 160
  • Airstrip
  • Double occupancy tents
  • Two heated dining halls and living areas
  • Solar power
  • Iridium satellite phone service
  • Tented office/work space (by prior arrangement).

The Union Glacier Camp is the only private seasonally occupied camp site located in Ellsworth Land in Antarctica. The camp is located in the Heritage Range, below the Ellsworth Mountains, on Union Glacier, that gives the camp its name.

Location and features[edit]

Map of Union Glacier.

The camp is operated by Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions LLC (ALE), a company that provides expedition support and tours to the interior of Antarctica.[2][3][4] The camp is situated near Union Glacier Blue-Ice Runway SCGC a rare, naturally occurring, blue ice runway[5] that allows wheeled jet cargo aircraft to land. Russian Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft regularly transport equipment and personnel to the camp. From Union Glacier Camp transportation to the South Pole, Vinson Massif, Hercules Inlet and other locations is by Twin Otter and Basler BT-67 ski planes. Union Glacier Camp replaced the earlier Patriot Hills Base Camp.

During the months of November to January, when the weather is the least hostile, jet charter flights are operated from Punta Arenas, Chile to the camp. Union Glacier is the site of the annual Antarctic Ice Marathon,[6] as well as the start of the World Marathon Challenge (7 Marathons on 7 continents in 7 days).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Services". Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions LLC. 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions". Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  3. ^ Polar Conservation Organisation Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "No more Patriot Hills: ALE's new runway and camp; and additions to the South Pole list". Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  5. ^ Initial environmental evaluation – development of blue-ice and compacted-snow runways, National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, April 9, 1993
  6. ^ Antarctic Ice Marathon
  7. ^ World Marathon Challenge

External links[edit]