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  Alpine Ascents 2008-2009 Mount Vinson Cybercast

2008-2009 Mount Vinson Cybercast

Team Lady and the Tramps
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Lady and the Tramps we have successfully boarded the Ilyushin and flew all the way from the continent of Antarctica and flew all the way from Punta Arenas, Chile. Everybody is excited about hot showers and sleeping and so we are doing such and we will soon be either coming back home to you or we will be off to fill in the balance of our vacation with going to visit Torres del Paine both of those are excellent options especially the coming back to you. Thank you for joining us on the climb of Mt. Vinson the highest mountain in Antarctica and for standing by and following our progress and now we are progressing towards home so thank you very much for joining Alpine Ascents and Vern Tejas, ciao for now. See you soon.

January 22, 2009: Brothers from Another Mother

Hi Friends and Family, A lot has happened since team brothers from another mother has posted. We spent one night at base camp, where we went to bed under cloudy skies. The next morning we woke to very cold temps, negative 30 degrees, and clear skies. The ALE staff didn't give us much warning, but we were ready to fly. The Otter picked us up and we enjoyed a beautiful flight back to patriot hills. When we landed Patriot was clear and nearly windless, which gave us hope that the big bird would be coming soon. At about 10pm last night we loaded up the illusion and began the surreal journey back to the civilized world. We are all now sitting in a nice hotel having had a great nights sleep in beds and hot showers.

Timing and weather really worked out on this trip, each step of the way the weather cooperated. We are off the contininent ahead of schedule and very happy with the success of our Vinson season. I want to thank the members of both Alpine Ascents teams, This trip was filled with some great personalities and some really strong climbers. Everyone did his or her part to make yet another memorable Antarctic experience. Your loved ones will be returning soon, but we hope to see them all again.

Todd Passey

January 21, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hey there friends, family and loved ones this is Lady and the Tramps calling in from Patriot Hills, it has been a very active evening. We went to bed hoping that things would clear up and they did, bright and sunny this morning, 30 below, quite cold on the toes, we were able to get in a pancake breakfast and after a death defying scramble to break camp, jumped on two different planes, the twin otters which took us back to Patriot Hills. We are in Patriot Hills in very calm weather which is not very typical for this area and we have heard that the Ilyushin which is the big Russian Jet is on its way and we are looking forward to the big bird coming. When the big bird comes that means we get to fly back to South America back to Punta Arenas with that we are looking forward to coming home to see you real soon. So that you for joining us we will give you the word, our last cybercast will be from Punta Arenas to say good bye for the time being and thank you for joining us so stay tuned for the last adventure of Lady and the Tramps. Ciao for now. Vernon signing off.

January 20, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hey there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Lady and the Tramps calling in for Alpine Descents, yes indeed we descended the mountain, we went from high camp down the fixed line, what a ride that was, plunged into the sea of clouds and ridiculously founds our self in a white out situation, followed the trail around and finally found our way all the way down to base camp. (…transmission break…) The weather is cloudy, we are not going to be able to get out of here until a plan can get in to get us and then hopefully we will be able to squirt on over to Patriot Hills. Stick with us and find out if we get out of Vinson base camp.

January 20, 2009: Team Brothers From Another Mother
Hi folks, Team Brothers from Another Mother woke up this morning to clear skies at high camp and (….transmission break…)

January 19, 2009: Team Brothers From Another Mother
Hi this is Todd calling in from Brothers from Another Mother and we are calling to report that we are safely back at high camp, actually we have been back for awhile now. We had dinner and finally decompressing a little bit. We are going to sleep on it tonight and then decide how fast we need to get down to catch the plane out of here, it is looking cloudy down low so we may not hurry too much but we are going to keep the gun cocked and we will find out in the morning. So check in tomorrow and you will find out. Later.

January 19, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hey there this is the Vinson Team, both of the them calling to say that we safely made it back to high camp and we have just had a wonderful (…transmission garbled…) lots of hot drinks and we are heading for bed so thank you for checking to see if we all got down safely. Tomorrow with any luck we will head down the head wall, down the fixed line down to low camp, pick up our cache and take it down to base camp about seven miles from here. So stay tuned to the adventures of Lady and the Tramps and Brothers from a Different Mother. Ciao for now.

January 19, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps, Team Brothers from Another Mother
Friends, family and loved ones and everybody else that is watching this is the top of Antarctica and this is Alpine Ascent’s Brothers from Different Mothers, Todd Passey’s Team and Lady and the Tramps, Vern Tejas’ group calling in from the top of Antarctica. We are looking north right now at the third, the fourth, the fifth and second highest mountains in Antarctica. It is a beautiful day above the clouds, a sea of white spreading out underneath this range in all directions. Everybody made it, a hundred percent to the top. Holy smokes they have been working hard for this one the sun has been out and fortunately, very little wind and it is just beautiful, I wish you could be here, this has got to be one of the best moments of my life up here on top of the roof of Antarctica. So please stay tuned and we will tell you when we get back down safely in one piece but right now we are just celebrating and having a joyful moment. Everybody is taking pictures, clapping hands together, hugging, we would be kissing but we have to much ice on our face so it is quite dramatic. Ciao for now from the top of Mt. Vinson, Alpine Ascents does it again (cheers in the back ground).

January 18, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Lady and the Gentlemen calling in from high on the slopes of Mount Vinson. We are at high camp, it has been a wonderful, restful day, we spent most of it eating and sleeping with one small acclimatization hike to the pinnacle point which is over looking a sea of clouds as we look down to the Branscomb Glacier. It was a very good day to get ready for what comes tomorrow. It sounds like the winds are abating a bit and hopefully the clouds will dissipate somewhat as well and we will push through to the summit. So we are all getting ready and going to bed a little bit early tonight after a mean diner we are planning on sleeping hard for the next twelve hours, get up bright and early with the rise of the sun and pushing upwards, so please stay tuned to our adventures. The team is psyched and more then willing to give it our best shot in the morning so cross your fingers for good weather and hopefully our next communication will be able to celebrate our success so ciao for now. See you then.

January 18, 2009: Team Brothers From Another Mother
Hey Folks this is Team Brothers from another Mother calling in from high camp on Mt. Vinson on a beautiful sunny evening here. All afternoon on our rest day the clouds have covered us up an kept the views from our eyes but now it is clearing up and it looks like tomorrow might be our day. Our plan is going to be head on our tomorrow, we rested a lot today, slept in a lot, had a lot of good food and I think that (…transmission break…)

January 17, 2009: Team Brothers From Another Mother
Team Brothers from another Mother made it to high camp today. We struggled a little bit but everybody made it in, in good spirits and good health. We got here to camp and built a nice camp, good kitchen which always make our life up here much better. The temperatures are fairly moderate right now, I think that we are probably in the low to mid negative 20 degrees Celsius. The clouds are suppose to clear up in the next couple of days here, it is kind of cloudy here right now. We are going to rest tomorrow, we are going to give everybody a chance to acclimate to his elevation and let their muscles rest from coming up the fixed lines two days in a row. So we are going to focus on eating and drinking and resting tomorrow and then hopefully the next day will be our summit day, that is the plan so we will check in tomorrow.

January 17, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this Señora y los Vagabundos calling in from high camp. Yes indeed we made it up to the highest camp, we are about 12,143 feet above sea level. We just pulled in at 10 o clock at night and set up camp after a long haul of bringing everything up the headwall today. People’s spirits are good but man are we tired but we ate so much macaroni and chicken that we are ready to start popping feathers out. We are going to bed now, tucking in, it is about 26 below Celsius but fortunately there is no wind. Tomorrow we are planning a rest day so it should be a lot nicer to just kind of lay around in our bags and hopefully the sun comes through the clouds and warms us up. Hey we are thinking of you and know that we love you, ciao for now, night, night.

January 16, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hey there friends, family and loved ones, Tejas reporting in for Lady and the Tramps here. It has been a very full day; we woke up with sunny skies and gradually through out it has been getting dimmer and dimmer as the high altitude clouds have been obscuring the sky and it has been colder as that happens. (…transmission garbled…) in the sky most of the day indicating that bad weather may be in the future. We were able to as a team, move food and fuel up the high camp, it took us nine hours round trip and everybody is very, very tired so we had a fast dinner and we all climbed off to bed. So everyone is tucked in, all doing well and looking forward to moving up to high camp. So join us again to find out if we do make it up there or if the storm comes in before. So ciao for now and know that we are thinking of you.

January 16, 2009: Team Brothers From Another Mother
Hi this is Todd calling in from Team Brothers from Another Mother, we just returned back to camp from a big push today. We carried up to high camp, everybody made it, it was a bit grueling, we did it in 10 ½ hour, a big day but we made it back safe and sound and everybody is healthy. We are going to eat some dinner and go to bed and reassess for tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed, the weather is turning a little bit, there are a few more clouds in the sky and little more wind but hopefully it will hold for us at least until we get to high camp and we can have a big storm on our rest day and then a nice summit day. So that is what we are asking for so hopefully you guys can all put out the word. Talk to you later.

January 15, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hello there friends, family and loved ones Lady in the Tramp reporting in from low camp, so we moved up another couple of hours, 2 ½, the team was moving so quick. We set up camp and have a great cook tent and are laying out enjoying the sun and then we went right into fixed line practice. Everybody mastered the anchor by-pass with their carabineer and their ascender and they did it with their little weight gloves, then their medium weight gloves, then their mittens so we are felling pretty confident that we will be able efficiently move up the headwall tomorrow. We are going to do a carry of fuel and food as high as we can get, hopefully all the way up to high camp which is at about 12,500 feet. Stay tuned to the further adventures of Lady and the Tramps. Ciao for now.

January 15, 2009: Team Brothers From Another Mother (formally Team Vinsonators)
Hi this is Todd calling in for the team formally known as Vinsonators, when I told the team that that is what I called us they were not happy with it so they came up with a new name today. So we are now Team Brothers From Another Mother and Team Brothers From Another Mother took a rest day today here it at camp I. It was another beautiful day, I can not believe how many consecutive nice days we have had here, sunny windless days. We are very happy to have them but it sounds like the forecast maybe changing. Hopefully we can get up the fixed lines tomorrow before that does change. Today we spent the day practicing for the fixed lines, learning how to use our ascenders and go up and down the fixed lines. We also did a little day hike to a col here and looked down on the original base camp, just to get a little better acquainted with walking on steep icy slopes and to get our lungs ready for the big day tomorrow. Rick wants to send out wishes to his friends Brian and to his brother best wishes and get well soon. The rest of the team just wants to send their love to their families and wish them good luck because they are planning on doing a big move tomorrow in the wild Antarctic so we will check in later and let you know how our day went tomorrow. So tune in next time.

January 14, 2009: Team Vinsonators
Hey this is Todd calling in for the Vinsonators, it is the best that we can come up with for now, everything (…transmission garbled…). But anyhow lets talk about the trip, we have moved on up from base camp and we are not at camp I. It is a beautiful day, actually we left this morning in a fog, we couldn’t see 100 yards and as we climbed it cleared up, as we climbed above the fog it was a beautiful day up high. We moved on up to camp I, everybody is feeling great and our plan for tomorrow is to rest right here, practice fixed lines and maybe go on a little day hike so stay tuned to the further adventures of the Vinsonators.

January 14, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Vern Tejas reporting in for Lady and the Tramps. It has been a very productive day, we woke up in the bright and earlier hours at about 8:00, had a scrumptious breakfast fixed by our chef and then we got to rigging. We rigged for glacier travel, rigged our packs, rigged our harnesses, rigged our sleds and then we got the heck out of dodge. We moved up from base camp on Mt. Vinson all the way up to what we call half camp, the first major turn right at the base of massif of the summit itself. Then we pitched our camp, a little bit early so that we could enjoy the beautiful views; looking out to the west we have a sea of clouds with a few mountain islands sticking up through it, all frosty and icy, it just looks like an ocean of ice out there, wish you could be here to see it. So the way the sun works here, it takes a pretty low trajectory around the sky and when it heads to the north, it goes behind a ridge which happens at about 2:00 in the morning and it stays that way, keeps to rolling around from north to east and then it comes back up on the sunny side of the south, it takes about 10 hours or so, it should show up here a little bit before noon. So we are going to stay in our sleeping bags and get lots of rest. Wish you could be here to join us, so stay tuned to the further adventures of Lady and the Tramps.

January 14, 2009: no group name yet
Hi this is Todd with the second team here on Vinson we don’t yet have a team name, we are not as up on that as the other team but we will have a team name the next time we call in. Our team consists of:
Todd - guide
We are here in Vinson base and we had dinner and got acquainted this afternoon and tomorrow morning we will do some training and hopefully start moving up the mountain. So stay tuned for more adventures. Bye.

January 14, 2009: Team Lady and the Tramps
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Lady and the Tramps consisting of:
Vern - guide
Garrett - guide
The team landed last night at a very early hour at about 2:30 in the morning and we were able to set up tents and get them organized for sleeping. We woke up at noon with beautiful sunny calm weather prevailing over Antarctica. We then were able to go quickly over to the base of Mt. Vinson and set up camp and we are now tucking ourselves into bed again, so we can catch up on all of the lost sleep for the last couple of days. So please friends, neighbors and loved ones join us for the trip of Lady and the Tramps for the highest point in Antarctica. Night, night

January 13, 2008
Hey there friends, family and loved ones this Vern Tejas calling in for the Fierce Puppies, the Fierce Puppies have made it all the way to Patriot Hills which of course as you know is the jumping off point for the plane back to the other continent of South America. The plane is flying and all of the puppies are on board, I just saw it take off. They are very happy to finish and have completed the task and are happy to be heading home to see you and all of the other loved ones. So please stay tuned and wait for the phone calls that you will probably be seeing real soon from the Fierce Puppies as they come home to you.

Thank you very much for following our broadcast we sure enjoyed broadcasting to you on a daily basis and we hope that you will follow along with our next expedition which comes in well guess what they landed on the same flight. So a new expedition begins as one ends so stay tuned to the further adventures of the new expedition, ciao for now from Patriot Hills Antarctica.

January 12, 2008: Team II
We have just been giving the notice by our flight coordinator, ALE, that we are going to fly this evening. We will depart for the airport in 1 hour and hopefully arrive sometime in Patriot Hills early tomorrow morning. Upon arrival in Patriot we hope to soon fly to Vinson base camp and join guides Vern Tejas and Todd Passey for the climb on Mt. Vinson. We want to congratulate our Mt. Vinson expedition that has just made the summit of the peak and has safely made it back down to base camp! Wish us good weather for the flight!
-Garrett Madison

January 11, 2008: Team II
Greetings all! Our team members have all arrived along with all of our gear and we have spent the last 2 days doing gear checks, buying a few last minute supplies, and getting to know the town of Punta Arenas. According to our flight coordinator, ALE, we may be able to fly tomorrow morning to Antarctica, however we may be on “stand by” for a few days until the weather in Patriot Hills is suitable for a flight. Spending a few nights in Punta Arenas has been good for us to catch up on sleep from the long flight to South America, and to eat a few great seafood dishes at the local restaurants. The weather is mild in Punta Arenas at the moment, so today we walked around the city and visited the regional museum of natural history. Keep your fingers crossed for us to have good weather for the flight to Patriot Hills!

January 11, 2008
This is Todd calling in for the Fierce Puppies and as you know we summitted earlier. We just wanted to call in and let everybody know that we made it down safe and sound and celebrated with steak and potatoes for dinner trying to sleep off the weariness of the day. A lot of excitement, everybody did well, everybody felt great back here at camp and was in super high spirits while we were eating dinner. Our plan is to wake up early and head on down and see if we can’t catch a twin otter back to Patriot Hills and maybe continue right on from there on the Ilyushin back home to see friends and family. As long as the weather holds it looks like that might happen, things seem to be going our way here at the end which is awesome so stay tuned and you will find out if it continues that way, later.

January 11, 2008
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Fierce Climbers from the top of Antarctica, Vinson, we are standing on the summit right now. It is a beautiful clear day we can see all of the Ellsworth Range but it is cool up here. We have got a 15 knot wind it has brought the wind chill down to about 40 below, maybe 50 below, it is cold. We just wanted to share with you that we made it to the top. All the waiting was worth while, all of your prayers have come true as well. Thank you very much for joining us here. We are doing the photos and now we are getting ready to head down before we freeze something. So thank you very much for joining us and we will give you a call when we get back down to high camp so that you know that we got down safely. Ciao for now from the top of Antarctica.

January 10, 2008
Hey there friends, family and loved ones this is the Fierce Kitties up at high camp. We are camped at about 13,000 feet above sea level and we worked really hard to get here today. Everyone dug in, carried and came up the fixed line up the headwall and of course the weather has been on our side the whole time fortunately. Even though there were some clouds this morning, it cleared off again and it is fairly calm. Everybody is feeling really strong and now that we have had five good days , we understand that there might be some wind coming so we are contemplating as early as tomorrow, trying for the summit. So please keep your fingers crossed that the winds stay low and that we stay in good health and hopefully next time that we talk to you we can tell you that we have been successful. Sweet dreams, know that we are thinking of you, ciao for now from high on the flanks of Mt. Vinson.

January 9, 2008
This is Team Fierce Puppies calling in from low camp on Mt. Vinson. We had another big day today, we carried all of our food and fuel all the way up to 12,400 feet. Yet another beautiful sunny day here, it is kind of amazing how beautiful the weather has been here, I kind of hope that we don’t jinks ourselves by saying how nice it has been. It has been an awesome day, everyone is feeling great, everybody did super going up there, we made decent time, it was about a nine hour round trip. We came back here and ate quesadilla and fish sticks and hot drinks and pretty much gorged ourselves so we went to bed with full stomachs and we are ready to get up and do it tomorrow. Hopefully the weather holds for us and we will move up to high camp tomorrow. So check in later and you will find out, bye for now.

January 8, 2008
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Fierce Dogs hanging out at 3375 meters above sea level. We have just made our cache; everybody is feeling way better than we anticipated so we were actually able to use our acclimatization day to move gear up to the rocks, about 4/9 up the way to the top of the headwall. So we have actually moved some food and fuel up the headwall’s fixed line and we are looking down on camp, it looks like a lot of ants down there and we are looking out over the giant plateau. We see mountains off in the distance, sunny weather, calm; some of us are just hanging out in our underwear because haven’t put on our down jacket and enjoying the weather. Thank you for dropping in and seeing how we are doing and just know that we are thinking of you. Ciao for now from high on the flanks of Mount Vinson.

January 7, 2008
Hi there friends and family this is the Fierce Puppies calling in from camp I on Mt. Vinson. Since our last cybercast a lot has happened; we flew into base camp, I guess we got a little bit of sleep but it was just a few hours maybe and then got up and did our packing early this morning and made our way on up the hill. We passed on up our half camp that we normally due partly because our group is strong and partly because we want to make up days. It worked out well for us on a beautiful sunny day here on Mt. Vinson and we arrived a low camp here right below the fixed lines at about 8:30 at night. We had a nice steak dinner and desert and now we are off to bed, the sun is still blazing out there at 1:00 in the morning. We are looking forward to a good night sleep, we deserve it after not sleeping last night and a long day today. We will let you know what happens tomorrow after tomorrow happens; we are not quite sure, we are going to wake up and see how everyone is doing and how we are feeling. So tune in tomorrow and you will find out the further adventures of the Fierce Puppies.

January 6, 2008
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Fierce Puppies calling in from Patriot Hills. They say that patience is a virtue and a little will not hurt you, fortunately we have had a lot which has been required for the last eight days of waiting here. Finally the weather looks like it is starting to subside and cooperate with our plans. We can’t wait to get to the mountain and it sounds like 1:00 to 1:30 this morning the first part of our team will be flown over in a twin otter from Patriot Hills to base camp and then hopefully several hours later the second part of our team will then follow. Todd is going to take vanguard contingent and then I will be following up and making sure that we have all of our ducks in a row back here at Patriot Hills. Hopefully the very next time that you drop in to see our cybercasts you will see that we at the mountain. So knock on wood, keep your fingers crossed and know that we are thinking of you out there. Ciao for now, we are going to try to get some sleep.

January 5, 2008
It is January 5th and Team Fierce Puppies is still stuck here in Patriot Hills. The weather has cleared here at Patriot Hills, it is sunny and the weather is calm but unfortunately there is a cloud bank at Vinson base camp it is preventing from flying in. So the plane flew today but unfortunately they flew folks out to the South Pole. We spent another day here practicing knots and flying kites and just passing time, doing what ever we can to keep from going crazy. We are hearing lectures at night from a couple people here, talking about different Antarctic Expeditions and survival stories so we are staying somewhat entertained although we are anxious to get out of here but people are keeping their spirits high and hoping for the best. We are keeping our fingers crossed that early tomorrow morning we will get the call and we will be able to fly out to Vinson base camp and be able to start our expedition in real. So we will keep you posted and until next time see you later.

January 4, 2008
Hello there friends, family and loved ones, trapped like rats on a sinking ship. We have been here for many days and the weather hasn’t gotten much better. Thursday we worked on our snow walls, fortifying our tents against the blustery winds coming from the south pole. We are hoping that some day soon the weather clears so that we can get on with our climb. We need to fly about a hundred miles north of here to get to the mountains and as soon as it clears up we will be on our way. Today was also the day for survival training skills, Todd Passey, co guide and friend decided that he was going to show us how to make a fire with a piece of string and a couple pieces of wood. Within 45 minutes of when this was decided Todd had smoke and where there is smoke as you know there is fire (…transmission garbled…) we all learned something new. (…transmission garbled…) so hey stay tuned to the further adventures of the Fierce Puppies, ciao for now.

January 3, 2008
Hi this is Todd calling in on another stormy, snowy, windy day at Patriot Hills in Antarctica. We are still here in Patriot Hills waiting for the weather to clear up enough for us to fly over to Vinson base camp and start our objective over there but it hasn’t stopped our fun. We did a good day hike today and got our first Antarctic ascents here. We climbed the Patriot Hills over here, we went to the top, we climbed just over 400 meters. It was a beautiful hike and everybody got to work our their systems a little bi; learn their layering systems and how to deal with the Antarctic cold, how not to fog up their goggles which is a constant struggle down here for us. It was good, we will be all the better for it. We are all packed and ready to go; it looks like we may get clearing tomorrow night or maybe the morning of the 5th. So stay tuned and we will let you in on more of our adventures. See you later.

January 2, 2008
Hello there friends, family and loved ones another great day on the glacier. We just practiced how to rig our sleds, how to rig our packs and we also worked on our anchors today because we are still caught in a white out at latitude 80 South here in Patriot Hills. We are just waiting for the weather so that we can get on with our climb. So stay tuned to the further adventures of the Fierce Puppies. Ciao for now, Vernon wishing you a best of the evenings.

January 1, 2008
Hey this is Todd calling in from Patriot Hills late on New Years Day. We had another day of waiting out the storm here in Patriot Hills, we woke up this morning and some of the tents were drifted in so much that we had to dig our way out of the doors which is kind of interesting for Antarctica. Since it is only suppose to get a couple inches of snow a year, we got more than three or four times that today. We are still hopeful that we will fly out soon, everybody is in good spirits and we spent the afternoon practicing our skills, tying knots, practicing crevasse rescue, Wilhelm even got hauled half way up the tent through our practicing crevasse rescue skills. We are off to bed now and hopefully it is going to be better weather tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed and we will keep you informed, ciao.

December 31, 2008
Happy New Years to friends, family and loved ones this is Team Fierce Dogs calling from Patriot Hills Antarctica, we are at latitude South 80 and 80 West. We are in a blizzard right now, or a bit of a snow storm however it is now just a little bit after mid night and we wish you a brand new spanking shinning year and may it be wonderful, productive and as good as the last one, maybe even a little bit better. We have just partied here with the staff here at Patriot Hills; the pilot, the camp people, the manager, the weather man, the radio man, the cooks, other people who are here who are going to the south pole and some of the other teams on the mountain. We had a great party, everybody had lots of punch and really enjoyed ourselves. So please enjoy yourself as well and stay tuned to the further adventures of the Fierce Puppies. Sweet Dreams.

December 30, 2008

Hello friends and family,

The waiting is over (at least for now), as we just received the call that the wind has died down enough to fly. At 6:00 Chilean time we will be picked up by the ALE buses and taken to the airport, where we will go through customs and board the aircraft. The flight from Punta Arenas takes about 5 hrs so we should be arriving on the ice around 2 am. We are all very excited and really looking forward to beginning our trip. We send our love to our family and friends and will update you all once we are in Antarctica. Cheers,

Todd Passey

December 28, 2008
Hey there, friends, family and loved ones,

 This is Vern Tejas reporting for the "Fierce Puppies" our first team to attempt Mount Vinson, the highest mountain in Antarctica, this season. All team members have arrived and a rearing to go. However, that's more than I can say for our equipment. The airline has misplaced Chris's backpack. Fortunately, we were able to gather together enough gear that he will be able to continue with us. This was accomplished by speed shopping late Saturday evening before the stores shut down for the weekend. We were in and out of five shops in less than an hour.  

Our day began with an orientation meeting with our transportation specialist. Once we got a handle on the logistics and the current weather conditions, we double checked our climbing gear and weighed and loaded it onto our jet. She's a proud bird known as an Ilyushin 76TR which was flown all the way here from Kazakhstan just to fly us climbers to the "ICE". We are excited to be beginning this adventure and we are looking forward to sharing it with you. So, please stay tuned, right here, to the voice of the mountain and join us on our ascent to the roof of the last continent.

all our best, Vern 






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