Welcome to the ice, January 2020 Mount Vinson Team!
Minutes ago, the team departed from Punta Arenas, bound for Antarctica! They are excited to continue further south and to begin climbing.
Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica lying within the Ellsworth mountain range a mere 600 miles from the South Pole. The icy continent is a landscape of extremes, with night-time low temperatures often reaching negative 40F and a summertime sun that never sets. Antarctica is one of the last truly wild places on earth, and climbers who venture to “The Ice” will leave with a feeling that they were just part of something very, very special.
Our Mount Vinson Antarctica climbing team meets at the southern tip of Chile in the bustling port town of Punta Arenas. They spent around three days checking equipment and weighing our collective gear and supplies in preparation for the 6 hour flight to The Ice. Flying to Antarctica aboard a Russian Ilyushin IL-76 cargo jet and landing on the blue ice runway at Union Glacier is an experience they will surely never forget. From the Union Glacier we board a Twin Otter on skis for the flight to Vinson Base Camp. It takes an impressive amount of logistical support to get people and gear to the bottom of the world.
Let’s meet the team! All three climbers have joined us for expeditions in the past, and we’re happy to welcome them back for a memorable trip.
Lead guide Jacob Schmitz, who has led many trips up Mount Vinson, as well as Denali in Alaska, big mountains in Nepal (including several successful trips up Mount Everest). He has been working with Mountain Trip for over two decades.
Please keep in mind the adage: “no news is good news,” in case the team does not call in an update for a day or two.
Here’s Jacob with the first audio update: