January 28, 2008: Todd calling in here for the Sustrugi Five,
well the flight from Patriot Hills back to Punta Arenas went smoothly, no
problems we boarded around 3:00 in the morning and got to Punta Arenas around
8:00. We had time to shower, had a little nap and had a celebration brunch
that was really fun, most of both teams were there, a couple of people were
trying to run around and deal with their tickets but most of us had Charles
deal with ours and it went smoothly. We traveled all they way to Santiago
together and from there we split and went our separate ways, many people were
going to LA and some of us to Miami. Everybody should be arriving home soon;
by the time you read this most people should be home or just about getting
home. It was a great trip, a great season down on Antarctica and we want to
thank anybody who watched the cybercast this year and followed our progress up
the mountain and hope that you will tune in next year or come down yourselves.
(…transmission break…) signing off for the Vinson Season. Bye.
January 26, 2008: Hello there friends, family and loved ones
this is Vern Tejas calling in for the Catamatic Crew and guess what we are
excited. We had a day of some kiting and kind of lazying around as the wind
slowly died down. The wind is finally low enough that they have actually
called for the Ilyshin to come in. It is going to be here tomorrow morning
bright and early and we are going to get on it. So guess what the Catamatic
Crew is on their way home and on there way to you so please stay tuned and we
will give you an update once we hit the tip of South America. Ciao for now and
thanks for tuning in to all of our cybercasts it has been wonderful having you
along with us and we look forward to seeing you again. Next time you will see
us from the tip of South America and then hopefully in person. Night night and
sweet dreams and we are on our way.
January 26, 2008: Hi Todd calling in for the Sustrugi Five
it is 9:35 on the 26th local time here in Antarctica and we have got the
message that the Ilyshin is on its way so we are getting out of here. The
Ilyshin, if all goes well, should arrive at 1:00 am and we should be arriving
in Punta Arenas around 7:00 am on the 27th. We are all hoping that we can get
on early flights and get home but we have had a great time, we have had a
great success and have a lot (…transmission break…). We are happy to get home
and we will see you next year. Bye.
January 26, 2008: Hello Todd calling in for the Sustrugi
Five, we are still at Patriot Hills here waiting for the wind to calm down in
order for us to get the Ilyshin called in and fly out and come home to all of
our friends and family. We are passing the time down here; doing some kite
skiing when the wind isn’t too high, playing chess and cards, reading just
generally relaxing, eating a lot and putting back on all the fat that we lost
while we were on the mountain. Hopefully this won’t last too much longer and
we will be able to come home. Stay tuned and we will let you know. Bye.
January 24, 2008: Hello there friends, family and loved
ones, Vern Tejas and the Catamatic Crew reporting in from Patriot Hills 2,143
feet above sea level and in the wind. It has been clear and blue skies however
we have wind that is so strong that the big bird, the Ilyshin 76 cannot land
here at Patriot Hills until the cross wind dies down. It is great for flying
kites and great for sharing stories with other people. We had a little jam
session tonight, Jim knocked out some blues, I joined in with my harmonica and
we kind of rocked the tent so it has been fun but we sure would like to get
home to you. So please keep your fingers crossed and keep those prayers coming
for some good calm clear weather, that’s what we need now, sweet dreams and
ciao for now from the ice.
January 24, 2008: This is Mark calling in with the Sustrugi
Five, January 24th we are still at Patriot Hills. Fortunately there
(…transmission break…) we are waiting for the Ilyushin to fly we have got
crossed winds down at the strip but we are hoping to get out tomorrow. Send
our love to all of our families hope to see you soon. Hope to see you soon.
Over and out for Sustrugi Five.
January 24, 2008:
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Catamatic Crew checking
in from Patriot Hills, it is sunny and windy and it is about one in the
morning. We were able to fly over after an uneventful waiting game at Vinson
base camp. Thank you for your prayers and best wishes because finally the
clouds lifted enough to get the Otters in and take us up fly us over to our
staging area here at Patriot Hills. Hopefully in the morning it will calm down
enough that we can fly the big bird, the Ilyushin which will take us back to
South America and then we will be on our way back to you. Stay tuned to the
further adventures of the Catamatic Crew, we are thinking of you, ciao for
January 24, 2008: Hey this Todd calling in for the Sustrugi
Five. Well waited around Vinson base camp all day waiting for the clouds to
clear, we even ate dinner. Then around midnight the clouds finally cleared,
the plane arrived and we are here now, all sitting at Patriot Hills waiting
for the Ilyushin. We set up the tents last night in quite heavy winds, as soon
as we got them set up the winds calmed down a bit, Antarctica just wanted to
test us one more time. I think we passed the test so hopefully she will calm
down and let the Ilyushin fly tomorrow. Stay tuned and we will let you know.
January 23, 2008: Hey there friends, family and loved ones
this is the Catamatic Crew calling in from Vinson base camp from 7,143 above
sea level and just reporting that the weather sucks. We are trapped here on
rats on a doomed ship. We are just hanging out praying for the sun, we are
going to do a sun dance here in a little bit so that the light can come in and
allow the Twin Otters to come in and take us away to Patriot Hills so that we
can catch the Ilyushin plane back to civilization and you. Keep your fingers
crossed and keep those good thoughts coming and the whole crew here is
thinking of how to get the heck out of here. So please send the good vibes and
we are on our way. Ciao for now.
January 23, 2008: Hello this is Todd calling in for the
Sustrugi Five today is the 23rd, yesterday on the 22nd we packed up our high
camp and moved on down the hill. We were hoping to catch the Otter back to
Patriot Hills last night but we ran out of time, didn’t quite make it over
there and this morning we woke up to cloudy skies. So we are hoping that it
clears up here at Vinson base camp so that we can fly on over to Patriot
Hills, they are basically holding off the Ilyushin until this group of folks
here at Vinson base camp can fly over and that is when we will be home. So
pray for clear skies so that we can come home to you and we will report in
hopefully tomorrow from Punta Arenas. See you later.
January 22, 2008: Hello there friends, family and loved ones
this is Vern Tejas with the Catamatic Crew on Mt. Vinson calling in to tell
you what we are up to. Guess what we did today, it was a very long and arduous
descent but it was great to get down to the thick oxygen and the warmer
temperatures of Vinson base camp. We are all safety ensconced here but the
weather however is not cooperating to allow us to fly over to Patriot Hills
but we are having a great time here. We are getting organized and chugging on
a couple of beers, the cold one are always welcomed here but that’s always
really get here in Antarctica, the cold ones. Please stay tuned for the
further adventures and keep your fingers crossed that we get out soon. So ciao
for now from Vinson base camp.
January 21, 2008: Hey this is Mark checking in for Sustrugi
Five on January 21. The mountain was smiling on us, gave us a super blue bird
day today, we had a great climb. Todd took us up the headwall which was a
beautiful route. I think that everybody in the group was just awed by the
spectacular scenery all around us. The relentless cold though reminded us that
we are just visitors here. We all made it to the top; Craig, Steve, Dave, Todd
and Mark on a beautiful day, took lots of pictures that we will bring back to
everyone. Everyone here on the Team, I know that I speak for them all to say
that we appreciate Todd’s wonderful guidance and the support of the Team and
getting all us all there and safely back down to our high camp and of course
we all very much appreciate and are grateful for the support or at least the
tolerance of our families to let us come do these things. So that is Sustrugi
Five checking in on January 21, we will call you tomorrow for another check
in. Adios for now.
January 21, 2008: Friends, family and loved ones this is the
Catamatic Crew checking in from our high camp, the weather finally mellowed
out. We ended up with some pretty clear skies today, some clouds floating
around but you know what the wind dropped down enough that we actually went
for the summit and we made it in good time and good style. We were able to
take billions of photos so remember when we get home ask us to see those
photos. It was excellent we had good weather on top and were able to give
rounds of congratulations and it was one of my better summits. So thank you
for staying tuned and following our progress and now all we need to do is see
if we can get down safely. So please send your prayers and best wishes, we are
thinking of you, lots of love, ciao for now from Antarctica.
January 21, 2008: Friends, family and loved ones, bad news,
bad weather. We are holed up again here at high camp, we are just keeping our
fingers crossed that it is going to improve soon and hopefully you are keeping
your fingers crossed as well. So we are just lying in the tents, sleeping all
day other than that just telling old jokes so stand by and we will tell you
what the update is for tomorrow. Ciao for now.
January 20, 2008: Todd calling in for the Sustrugi Five at
high camp on Mt. Vinson. We had big plans for this morning but they didn’t
quite pan out, we woke up to a big lentiuclar cloud over both Mt. Shinn and
near the summit of Mt. Vinson, some high winds and really cold temperatures.
Instead of going for the summit we sat around in the posh, drank hot drinks
and told stories all afternoon. We laughed a lot and it was good to get to
know each other but we are ready to go for the summit so hopefully our luck
will change here. We are going to have an early dinner tonight and try early
again tomorrow. Stay tuned and you will find out what happens next.
January 19, 2008: Hello there this is Todd calling in for
the Sustrugi Five from high camp on Mt. Vinson. I mentioned yesterday that
there was a possibility of us going for it today but the weather wasn’t quite
what we were looking for so we all stayed put here at high camp. We had a long
drawn out breakfast of pancakes, fruit and bacon and sat around in the posh
just telling stories. The weather is looking better now and everybody is
feeling better, we are acclimatized better so I think that tomorrow is going
to be our day. So wish us luck and we will be thinking about you and hopefully
you will be thinking about us tomorrow.
January 19, 2008: Hey there friends, family and loved ones
Vern Tejas reporting in for the Catamatic Crew, we are at high camp and we are
looking forward to pushing on to the summit however today was a day of rest
and relaxation. We drank, we ate, we slept and built millions and millions of
red blood cells to acclimatize for the big push coming up tomorrow. Everybody
is in good health and just ready to go so please stay tuned so that you can
follow our ascent to the summit of Antarctica. Ciao for now, sweet dreams.
January 18, 2008: Hello there friends, family and loved ones
this is the Catamatic Crew calling in from high camp. It was a big day today
up the headwall and on the fixed line and lots of weight slowly with lots of
breathing we worked our way up the hill. The weather stayed fairly good for
us, just an intermittent sun breaking through the clouds so it wasn’t too hot.
The wind stayed low so it wasn’t too cold. We pushed up and now we are
ensconced in bed with dreams of the summit in our head. Stay tuned to the
further adventures of the Catamatic Crew. Ciao for now.
January 18, 2008: Hello this is Todd calling in for Team
Sustrugi Five, we are at high camp on Mt. Vinson. It is a beautiful day today,
it is a little chilly but we are alright. We have had some great views of Mt.
Shinn, the clouds are coming in and out. We made it into camp in great form,
everyone was feeling super when we got here. We had a great dinner and now we
are just sitting around telling stories. Our plan is to rest tomorrow but it
is so beautiful right now that we will let you know tomorrow if that plan
changes. We are thinking that if the weather is as beautiful as it is this
evening then we will go for it. People are tuckered right now so we won’t make
that decision until morning. I know that it has been a long drawn out
explanation of what’s going on but we are all doing well and happy
(…transmission break…). You guys wish us luck and we will call in tomorrow and
let you know what happened. Bye.
January 17, 2008: Hello there friends, family and loved
ones, this is the Catamatic Crew calling in from camp 1 at about 10,143 feet
above sea level. We had a great acclimatization day today, we studied how to
make anchors bypasses for running the fixed line which is going to be our
biggest occupation tomorrow, we practiced that both going up and going down,
we were actually able to run over to the fixed line and do a little practice
there. Then we went on a little hike over to the Col that looks down on the
pyramid to the north west of us, that was fun little afternoon trot. Everybody
seems to be feeling a lot better when we are not working with a load however
with that in mind tomorrow we are going to be pretty heavy as we move up to
camp 2. So stick around and pay attention and we will tell you what is
happening tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and sweet
dreams. Ciao for now.
January 17, 2008: Hey this is Todd Passey’s group, we are
now called the Sustrugi Five, we are calling in from Camp 1. We took a rest
day today, hiked around a little bit, got to see the sights. It is getting a
little bit colder but everyone is doing great. Tomorrow we are going to head
up to high camp which will be about a 3,500 foot climb, we are looking at a
long day but are eager to get higher on the mountain. Everyone is doing great,
we all send our love to our families. Were out
January 16, 2008 : Hey there Friends, Family and Loved Ones,
this is Vern Tejas reporting in from Vinson. The team has arrived and we have
moved up; we’re at camp 1. We’re calling ourselves the Catamatic Crew so from
now on you can stay tuned to the Catamatic Crew, which consists of Johan,
David, and Jim, as well as myself, Vern. We’re doing fine. It’s been a big
day, however. We pushed up with light sleds, but they felt heavy all the way.
We pulled out at about 11:50 this morning and arrived up here at about 6:00.
About 6 hours on the trail, made good time, however, the sun came out and
baked our brains, but fortunately then cloud cover to over. No wind, smooth
sailing, and pretty much just what we expected. Everyone is feeling just a
little tonked, but tomorrow is going to be a rest day. Stay tuned to the
adventures of the Catamatic Crew! Ciao for now.
January 16, 2008 : Hello this is Todd Passey calling in from
camp 1 on Mt. Vinson. We flew in late yesterday evening; we had dinner,
organized some gear, got up early this morning and started walking. We were
feeling so great that we decided to pass up camp ½ and go straight to camp 1.
Both Vern’s group and my group are at camp 1, safe and sound. We have got the
stoves going, tents up and we are able to hunker down for the night and eat a
good meal. Our plan for tomorrow, we are not sure, we might take a rest day,
we might go up. So we will keep you in suspense and check in tomorrow to see
if we have moved up the mountain or taken a rest day. Talk to you later.
January 15, 2008 : Hello there this is Todd calling in from
Patriot Hills, our new group arrived last night around midnight and we had a
great meal cooked for us by ALE. The out going group was kind enough to set up
our tents for us, all except for one so it was pretty easy moving in. We woke
up this morning to a beautiful day here at Patriot Hills and both of the
Otters are flying today so we are on the third group in. Two groups are
loading up right now on each Otter so in about three hours we should heading
on out to Vinson base camp unless anything drastically changes. We are all
happy to be here, healthy and we send out our love and wish us good luck on
our up coming climb. We will talk to you later.
January 14, 2008 : A note from the office: The Alpine
Ascents Vinson Team that was waiting in Punta Arenas to fly to Antarctica
departed Chile around 6Pm local time and is on their way to Patriot Hills.
January 14, 2008 : Hello there friends, family and loved
ones this is Vern Tejas calling in for all of Alpine Ascents Vinson Trips, we
are still located in Vinson base camp 7,143 feet above sea level and we are
still praying for good weather. We have been occupying ourselves with a couple
of little climbs going on, some sledding, some trekking around the camp as
well as doing some balancing on the slack line. We have still been able to
feed ourselves well and we have got plenty of fuel however were are running
out of our patience, people are getting a little antsy to go as you might well
expect. We want to come home to you so keep your fingers crossed and we will
keep trying to get out of here. Ciao for now.
January 11, 2008 : Hello there friends, family and loved
ones this is the Team on Vinson calling in from base camp, we are stuck here
like rats on a sinking ship. The wind is coming up, the clouds are coming down
and we can’t get out. We want you to send all of your good wishes and keep
your fingers crossed for better weather so that we can get at least to Patriot
Hills before the Ilyushin flies. Right now it looks like it might be several
days away because the weather is ganging up on us. We understand at Patriot
Hills that the wind is blowing so bad that they can’t fly the Twin Otters
which are incredible planes so here we are at base camp thinking of you and
wanting to come home. So blow the wind away and we also want to say clear the
snow. So ciao for now at Vinson base camp.
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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