28-01-2011

Climbing Vinson in Antarctica

Tags: Climbing Vinson Antarctica Vern Tejas
I summited Vinson in Antarctica the 28. January 2011 at 18:40 after a crazy month of:

* Strikes in southern Chile - look at my ireport here  ... http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-540883

* Problems with the plane (an old Russian plane that fly between Punta Arenas and the glacier in Antarctica)

* Weather delays

All this resulted in a very late climb and pushed everybodys schedule and patience to the limit.

We were one of the latest climbs ever on Vinson, and late season climbs affects not only climbers schedules, but the weather starts changing.

However all this just made the experience much more memorable, it was tough because we wanted to get up and down quickly but still safely, and we had one of the best guides in the World, Vern Tejas. Vern have climbed all 7 summits several times and holds many records including the record for summits on Vinson ... so we knew we were in good hands.

A few days after I arrived in Punta Arenas a strike broke out and prevented us from leaving the city with multiple road blocks and as the strike progressed even the supermarkets were shut down.

We did make an attempt to bypass the barricades and succeded in reaching the airport .... walking 20 km. with boots, parkas etc. ... some got blisters from this walk, and when we sat in the lounge at the airport, we were told to walk back to the city because of a fuel regulater fault .... not cool ...

This made a lot of people drop out and return home, but in our team Dave and I tried to keep everybody happy and in the end we all stayed.

After waiting 6 days for a new fuel regulator we faced the normal delays due to weather problems. The warmest day on the mountain was -28 and the coldest was -40

We had a perfect storm coming up to high camp, but we also had a fantastic summit day, with beautiful weather and almost no wind ....