Kayaking in the Arctic frozen tundra with Epic Road safaris

So you want to be an ... Arctic Trailblazer

by PAUL RUBIO | Photography by Ariadne Van Zandbergen/getty images

Mount Everest, check. Atacama Desert, check. Antarctica, check. If you're an adrenaline junkie searching for that next great escape to Earth's most extreme destinations, you can now add the Arctic to that list. 

Through a handful of new, bespoke Arctic safari adventures, outfitter Epic Road now transforms the isolated expanses of eternally snow-speckled terrain and jagged ice adjacent to the North Pole into an action-packed playground. Beginning in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Norway's Svalbard Islands, it's a quick "goodbye" to this tundra's 10 miles of paved road and "hello" to a vast collection of ethereal mountains, fjords, and glaciers, over some 23,500 uninhabited square miles, which you'll potentially traverse by foot, kayak, and/or snow scooter. 

How deep or far you venture into this polar extreme depends on personal preference, but as a trailblazer you're bound to hunt for fossils embedded in 60 million-year-old terrain, measure evidence of glacial retreat alongside scientists studying climate change, and encounter rare wildlife, such as the otherworldly Svalbard reindeer and 2-ton walruses. Longer trips entail camping on the ice or sleeping in remote research cabins; shorter trips return to comfortable, toasty Longyearbyen lodges nightly. 

Details: Bespoke Arctic safaris range from three nights and up. A two-week, top-of-the-line safari runs about $18,000 per person. 646-580-3050; epicroad.com

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