Monday, January 11, 2010

From Vinson Base Camp!

Enjoying some down time here in camp. Very nice actually as so far this
season has been solid work, ski, climb, kite! Last few days have been
putting in more and more tracks above Vinson Base Camp in excellent powder.
As much as we can actually. Today we'll probably ski over to Penguin Peak! A
small peak on the edge of the huge Nimitz Glacier. 3 guides are now up near
the summit of Mt Shinn today. I am managing Vinson Base Camp now so have to
stick around. It been some of the best and warmest weather I have seen in
Antarctica the last few days. Very nice. Tee shirts in the -6 degrees
celcius temps, hot sun and very little wind. The flights coming in have been
delayed now for 2 days and the forecast is still for winds at Patriot Hills
which is why things are delayed. No problems here as we have plenty to do
and/or not do! All the comforts of home more or less. A new shower for the
staff here, heaters, movies, email, skiing even have some fresh lettuce and
veges! Also some good Chilean Wine. Quite cozy all up!

I will be off to Vinson once more as soon as the next Illyshin-76 Cargo Jet
arrives with the next groups. Should be fun as I have 2 clients for this
next climb. After that we will be buttoning up camp here on the Branscomb
Glacier and being shuttled over to the new blue ice runway on the Union
Glacier. Lots to do there as all operations may be moved there at the end of
the season. We have to setup a comprehensive safety program for the staff,
check safe travel routes, and hopefully squeeze in a few climbs and ski

Photo from the ski hill behind Vinson Base that slid after a lot of new snow
a week before. Very unusual for Antarctica. Our best ski line came right
down the center of the face, fortunately the lower part has been determined
to be more stable!

Missing home!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Enjoying Antarctica!

Wahoo! Back in Vinson Base Camp again after another summit. Very good trip
up and down in 4 days. So half way through the season now and looking
forward to the rest. I have one more trip up Vinson, then some time over at
the Union Glacier, the new blue ice runway that all operations are being
moved to at the end of the season. Quick update, the skiing has been
amazing! Just behind camp we have a 2400 ft. vertical peak that really does
have some of the lightest powder on earth! Just back from a run this
morning. Have been kiting about 10 days so far. It's a bit hit and miss with
the wind here at Vinson Base Camp. Working with some great staff here. I am
the only American actually. So have a few rest days to recover before the
next round.

Hope all is good back home. Miss being home! But then very much appreciate
Antarctica, remote and beautiful, like no other place in the world!

Vinson Base Camp