January 8, 2008 : Hey there friends, family and loved ones this
is Alpine Ascents International, standing on top of Mt. Vinson, the highest
point in Antarctica. The international team is standing on the summit right
now, its warm, its cold and we are having a great time you can’t believe it.
We are looking around, well we are kind of surrounded by a bunch of clouds but
the sun is burning through. We have had a wonderful day, seven hours to the
top, it has been incredible. Everyone has been breathing and everyone has been
working very hard, drinking, staying on top of all their maintenance and now
we are celebrating on top of Antarctica. Lots of photos, lots of hugs, lots of
handshakes, wish you were here. (cheers of excitement) What a wonderful time
to be here. Winslow’s Japanese Team just left the summit and Todd is coming up
with the Taiwanese Team and they should be here any moment now, should be
great. So we all made the summit and we are heading down, keep your fingers
crossed for good weather on the way down. Love you all, ciao for now.
January 7, 2008 : Hey there friends, family and loved ones
this is Alpine Ascents Vinson IV climb, calling in for all three groups, Vern
Tejas here. We had a wonderful rest day, we spent most of eating, drinking,
sleeping and making music; we actually had an all-star band rocking in the
posh house just before dinner time, it was wonderful. The weather has turned
though, instead of being clear and calm its now windy and whiteout, gusting
quite often, enough that we have had to reinforce our tent pole in our posh
house. Winslow got a little extracurricular activity as she went to search for
another team that was lost in the whiteout. However they have now made their
way back and all is well, all members are accounted for. Our team is tucking
in early this evening in hopes that the weather is climbable in the morning.
Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned to the further adventures of Alpine
Ascents Vinson climb. Ciao for now.
January 6, 2008 : Hello there friends, family and loved
ones, Vern Tejas calling in for all three Alpine Ascents teams on Mt. Vinson
right now. Team Got to Go calling in from high camp along with the Taiwanese
Team and the Japanese Team. We are all up here at high camp at 4,000 meters
above sea level, that’s 13, 143 feet above sea level for all of us Americans.
We just wanted to say that it has been a fabulous day, it has been clear and
calm and wonderfully warm, we were down to our long johns today coming up the
headwall, up the fixed line. We got some great photos and everybody is in high
spirits, we are tired though, quite tuckered out from moving our whole camp up
here but tomorrow we are planning on taking a rest day. Stay tuned to the
further adventures of climbing Mt. Vinson. Ciao for now.
January 5, 2008 : Hello there friends, family and loved
ones, Vern Tejas calling in for all three Alpine Ascents teams on Mt. Vinson
right now. Team Got to Go, the Taiwanese Team and the Japanese Team are all at
second camp at around 10,000 feet above sea level. We all made the carry up to
high camp, over a 3000 feet vertical above us today. We had reasonably good
weather; it was cloudy in the morning which was perfect because it kept us
from getting too hot. Then the sun came out and it is just beaming down on us
right now. It is almost 2:00 in the morning and it feels really hot right now,
the air temperature is probably about 10 or 20 degrees below zero but with no
wind and the sun beaming down on us and the snow reflecting it, it is actually
quite warm in the tents. So as soon as that sun swings behind the mountain it
will drop down and we will be happy to have these negative forty degree bags.
In the meantime we are all doing good, tired from a very big carry up the
fixed line. We had a great day and just know that if the weather holds we will
be moving up to high camp tomorrow. Ciao for now and sweet dreams from
everyone on Mt. Vinson.
January 4, 2008 : Hello there friends, family and loved ones
this is Team Got to Go, Vern Tejas calling in for all three teams. We have
moved up from camp 1 all the way to camp 2, we are now parked on the corner of
the Windy Corner and the Death Valley. We are going to take the short cut up
to the fixed line and we are looking to get fuel and food up to the high camp.
In the meantime we are firmly entranced in a beautiful campsite here on a warm
sunny clear day. We have moved up here to around 3,000 meters above sea level
at about 10,000 feet, actually about 10,104 feet to be in the ballpark. We
just wanted to tell you that we are thinking about you and everybody is good.
That’s Winslow with her group of Japanese climbers and Todd with his group of
Taiwanese climbers, everybody is in good spirits. We are looking forward to
more good weather and climbing this mountain, so stay tuned to the further
adventures of the Alpine Ascents climb of Mt. Vinson. Ciao for now.
January 3, 2008
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Alpine Ascents Mt.
Vinson climb calling in, guess what, the weather finally broke, we finally got
out of Patriot Hills. Today we flew across Antarctica another 120 miles back
to the Elleswood Mountain Range, to Vinson base camp. We did it in three waves
and all parties are now on the glacier. We have been able to climb to our
first camp at 3,700 feet above sea level and we are very happy to be here. We
just had some macaroni and cheese and a little salmon on the side and
everybody is now tucked in. The sun has just gone behind the ridge and the
temperature is plummeting so we are burying down into our Feathered Friends
bags and wishing you warm and happy evening. We are planning on moving up
tomorrow if the weather holds so keep your fingers crossed for us and we will
see you up at our next camp. Ciao for now from Antarctica.
January 1, 2008 : Hello there friends, family and loved ones
this is Team Got To Go calling in from Patriot Hills, Latitude 80 South and
Longitude 81 West, way down south, we are about 600 miles from the South Pole.
We are in a holding pattern here, we are waiting for weather to clear at
Vinson Base Camp so that our pilots can fly in safely, we understand there are
some clouds floating around. In the meantime, we are studying our knots,
laying anchors, going over pulley theory and having a great old time enjoying
the New Year, we hope that you are too. So Happy New Year to everybody and
keep your fingers crossed for good weather. Ciao for now.
December 31, 2007 : Hi this is Winslow calling in for the Trunk
Monkey, everyone flew out safely yesterday, we were able to fly out from base
camp and a few hours later catch the Ilyushin back to Punta Arenas. I am
staying down here for another trip. We felt very fortunate to have such a
great group of guys, they really did awesome, they are very hard workers and
very helpful and we had a really good time on the mountain. Some folks took
down the time to write down some things that they wanted to say about the
This is from Michael: Things that I will always remember,
hiking in the Torres del Paine Park, seeing the beauty of Antarctica for the
first time, sharing an incredible Christmas Dinner on the Mountain with new
friends, talking with family via SAT phone during a rest day at high camp and
standing on the summit of Mt. Vinson on a wondrous day, seeing all the
mountains and ice stretched all the way to the horizon.
This is from Simon: Dear friends and family, we had a
wonderful time although on reflection it was an easier climb than many had
imagined, we were lucky and happy to take our luck. We were glad to avoid high
winds and super low temperatures on summit day. But as it was, the climb was a
great challenge, Vinson possibly known as 16,064 feet offered an easy ascent
for the weekend climber and a distinct atmosphere of the poles. Looking
forward to seeing you all and I am sure that before long you will all be bored
of this talk but the pictures and scenery here are out of this world.
This is from Martin: We had a tremendous trip up Vinson; the
weather was spectacular on summit day with no wind and only minus 20 degrees
celsius, which was unheard of. Our guide Winslow was bliss, very knowledgeable
about the mountain and climbing in general and the best cook that I have ever
had on the mountain (thanks Marin- Winslow).
I think that Serge’s write up is either MIA or maybe he was
out socializing in camp and didn’t get in on that one, he had a great time as
well. Todd’s group also summitted and everything went really well, Carole also
made it to the summit and did a great job, had a good time and is safe and
everyone is back in Punta and on there way home. We appreciate everyone tuning
in, hope you have a great New Years Eve, ciao.
December 29, 2007 Hi this is Winslow with the Trunk Monkeys
on Mt. Vinson. We had another great day today, we woke up to beautiful calm
sunny day and descended all the way down to basecamp, as we descended we
entered into some clouds so there was no flying going on today. It is actually
really pretty out now and we had great views from basecamp. We had a large
meal of hamburgers, salmon, fish, french fries and stir fry veggies, now
everyone is in their tents going to sleep and hoping that the plans can fly
tomorrow. We will keep you informed on how things are going, as long as the
weather is good everyone should be able to fly back to Patriot Hills and hop a
ride on the Ilyushin if it makes its way in. It is on standby, waiting for a
weather window as well. Everyone is in high spirits and doing great so you we
will keep you informed.
December 28, 2007 : Hi this is Winslow with Trunk Monkeys
and we are at High Camp here on Mt. Vinson. We had a real amazing summit day
today. The best Todd and Vern have ever seen in almost thirty times of
summiting Vinson. Everyone did great. We made it up and down safely. We had
great views and a very enjoyable day. Everyone is pretty tired now. We are
going to rest tonight, get up early and head down to the runway and hopefully
be able to fly back to Patriot Hills. We may even all the way back to Punta
Arenas if the weather is nice. People should be flying back if everything
works out perfectly, that’s what would happen. But we will see what the
weather does. Everyone is looking forward to seeing friends and family. Thanks
for tuning in! Ciao.
December 27, 2007 : Dec 27 Hello
this is Michael calling from the Alpine Ascents International Vinson climb.
Our team is named the Trunk Monkeys, yesterday we had a great day coming up
the fixed ropes. We had about 1000 meters and moved up from our Camp I to Camp
II. Camp II is our high camp and today is our rest day. We just finished
building snow walls to fortify our tents – in case the winds pick up later on
– it was also a good little work out for us. We are going to have a great
dinner here in a couple of hours and prepare fro our summit attempt –
hopefully tomorrow morning. So wish us good luck and of course you have all of
our best wishes and love to our families and friends and look forward to
calling back with news of success. This is Michael from Alpine Ascents Trunk
December 26, 2007 : Dec 26
Hello this is Michael calling in for the Alpine Ascents Mt. Vinson team –
checking in and letting you know we made it to camp I – pulling some sleds up
behind us – we had a wonderful x-mas eve mail with Hamburgers, fries, wine and
ice cream – we moved x-mas day . and carried to camp II ( about 1000 meters) –
returned to one and had steaks, vegetables risotto and the rest of the ice
cream – better eating than expecting on a climbing trip – today we will move
to high camp – then a rest day and summit bid. We hope to cal in just before
the summit bid. This is Michael for Alpine Ascents Vinson – out
December 22-26, 2007 : Dec 21
This is cybercast from Vinson, Serge calling in for Winslow. We had a very
relaxed day at Patriot – no flights today – we were kiting and Winslow and
Simon had a hike around the hill. We had a lot of chess games . I want to say
Happy Birthday to my girlfriend Aneete, and say hello to whole friends and
family from Antarctica – hope to talk to you soon. Dec 22 – Hi this is Winslow
calling in for the Trunk Monkeys. It is a beautiful day in Patriot. Though we
are not flying yet, as the plane is going to the South Pole and we have a 80%
chance of flying – we did have the chance to hike around to the op of Patriot
Hills. It’s about 4500 feet up there with a 2000 foot elevation gain. And a
few kilometers to get to the base of the hill. A beautiful view from the top –
absolutely windless and 360 degree views from the top – we can see ice fields,
snowy peaks, rocky peaks we got to walk on the rock and touch the continent –
that was an exciting hike – having lunch and resting -= taking in the view and
now I presume the chess matches will start back up – that’s been popular along
with reading and we hope to fly to Vinson base camp tomorrow – wish us luck
Dec 23 – Hi this is Winslow calling for the Trunk Monkeys – I’m watching the
Otter take Todd and all the climbers to Vinson Base Camp – I’ll be an hour
behind the group but the weather is perfect – I can see peaks in 3 different
directions from here and cirrus clouds in the distance – but I hope to get to
BC soon and move to ½ camp about 4 hours climb – set up camp – it will be late
night – we’re excited and check in soon. Dec 25 – This is the Trunk Monkeys
calling in for the Mt. Vinson team. Everything is good at Vinson base camp –
we had a great hike up to ½ camp – all feeling well and Merry x-mas to all –
hopefully we will move slowly up to the next camp. Dec 26 We are at Camp I –
doing great and looking to move to next camp.
Hi this is Winslow for the
Trunk Monkeys – we are stuck here at Patriot Hills, Antarctica. It’s been
snowing most of the day, pretty warm at minus 5 degrees Celsius, it’s usually
minus 12 degrees at this time of the year. Quite a bit warmer then normal with
much more snow then usual. It hasn’t been too boring as we got out and
practiced fixed line ascending and descending – we watched the volleyball game
and there was also a marathon – trudging through deep snow – we’re reading,
kiting , eating good food and hanging out – we’ll keep our fingers crossed for
tomorrow and send love to friends and family – ciao
December 19, 2007 : Hi this
is Winslow calling in. I have some good news and some more good news. We have
a team name. We are the Trunk Monkeys. We also flew into Patriot hills today.
We have just arrived and had dinner and received our briefing. Now we are
about to set up tents as we cannot fly this evening because it’s cloudy at
Vinson base camp. We’ll be staying here at Patriot Hills this evening, hoping
to fly into Vinson base camp tomorrow morning. We didn’t get to fly in earlier
this morning, but we did leave around 2 o’clock so we actually got to sleep
in. We didn’t have to do the early wake up. Every body’s doing great. It’s
actually pretty warm here. It’s only -5 degrees Celsius. We had to lay her
down hiking over here from the airplane over here to Patriot Hills, which is
about a 15 minute walk. We’re doing great, excited to be down here on the
continent of Antarctica. We’ll give you a call tomorrow and let you know if we
make it into base camp. Ciao.
December 18, 2007 : Hi this is
Winslow calling in the Vinson climbing team. Today is Tuesday and we are
heading back to Punta Arenas. The other team that was ahead of us flew out
today so we are hoping that the weather will hold and we will be able to fly
out tomorrow morning. We had a beautiful foray up to the Torres del Paine
National Park, we really lucked out with the weather and had a beautiful
hiking day yesterday. We hiked five miles or so up to this beautiful glacial
lake just below the Torres Mountains and had great weather and great views all
day. A lot of the hike was along side a river, with lots of ups and downs, we
also had to hike up a steep bolder field to get up to the lake and some people
took a swim when we got up there. We had a nice lunch then we came back down
to our little recurso that we are staying in. This morning we visited two
different water falls and we also saw a family of fox with three babies and we
were able to watch them play for a little while. It has been a great visit up
here to the park and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we are going to
be able to fly out tomorrow. Thanks for tuning in and we will keep you posted.
December 17, 2007 : Hola,
this is Winslow calling in for the Mount Vinson crew. We are in the Torres
Paine National Park. We’re enjoying taking a few days off from being able to
leave with our weather forecast as it is. They gave us a three day leave so
we’re here in the park enjoying that. Yesterday we drove up and saw many of
the park’s wildlife. We saw condors, guanacos, flamingos, and various other
birds along the way. We stopped and had lunch in a town called Puerto Natales,
which is on a large very beautiful lake. We had some great seafood there and
just enjoyed the trip up. We’re staying in Refugio, which is also very nice.
We’re taking a four hour hike today to a lake at the base of the Torres Paine
Mountain. Everyone is doing great. We’re still working on a team name. We’ll
get back to you with that. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll let you know how our
arctic experience is going.
December 15, 2007 : Hello from Punta Arenas from the first
Alpine Ascents crew attempting to reach the ice. Everyone made it here safely
and with all baggage on board. We have a great group of climbers including;
Martin Grieder (Switzerland), SimonIrish (New York), Michael Hsu (California),
and Serge Massad (Ontario). The guides are Todd and Winslow Passey (Utah).
We had our logistical meeting this morning with ALE (Antarctica
Logistics Expiditions), the company that carries us all down to this mystical
continent. It included a very interesting slide show, instructions of do´s and
don´ts (such as lying on the runway to take a photo as a plane fly´s in), and
tea and biscuits to wash it down.
Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating, and we have
flight delays. There is a group ahead of us waiting to fly in as well. It has
been snowing in Patriot Hills, dumping 20-30cm of fresh snow on the runway,
that must be cleared before landing. This process takes 36hr. after the wind
stops to remove the snow. Most groups have retreated from high camp, and are
hunkering down at base camp.
With a forecaster predicting the weather for ALE this
season, they have given us a 72hr. release of check in responsibilities. This
means we do not have to stay in Punta Arenas, so we are arranging a trip out
to Torres Del Paine National Park. We hope to get in a hike and a few good
views of the towering granite peaks and the picturesque glacial lakes.
Everyone says hello to their friends and family! Go Navy! (from Michael)!!
We´ll keep you posted, but it does not look like we can fly until Thursday at
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