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  Alpine Ascents Vinson (16,067ft/4,897m) Update

2006-2007 Mount Vinson Cybercast

1/17/07: Hello there friends, family land loved ones, Vinson Vacation checking in from Vinson Base. It’s been another cloudy day; however, we rallied our spirits by having a party this evening. All the teams got together and had stew, cooked by one of the local rangers here who has done Everest. He cooked up a great stew for us and we’ve been chatting and sharing stories and keeping our fingers crossed for better weather. It does look like it’s lifting a little bit so we appreciate your best concerns in that regard. Thank you for helping us out here, I can actually see looking towards the mountain, I can see the summit at this time. So that’s a good indication things are lifting. However, in the other direction we still have a lot of clouds, but with this wind that’s coming up maybe that will blow out. So, keeping our fingers crossed for better weather and a flight to come. That’s it from Antarctica, ciao for now. Stay tuned.

1/17/07: Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Vinson Vacation calling in from Vinson Base Camp. We are stuck in the clouds, as we have been all day. So please keep your fingers cross your fingers and give us some good prayers for clear, calm weather so that we can fly. Thank you very much. Ciao for now.

1/16/07: Hello there friends, family, and loved ones, this is Vinson Vacation reporting in from Vinson base camp, at about 7,000 feet above sea level on the Branscomb Glacier. Well, everybody got up a little late after celebrating New Years. It seems like every year it gets a little harder. We finally made it to breakfast at about noon and have had a very fascinating day filled with lots of conversations and just things to do, like dig out from the snow drifts. We had a pretty big windstorm, but the day itself turned into a beautiful one and we just had some clouds that are outlaying where the planes would land to come pick us up. So, we’re not getting any flying done today; but we did get some sledding done and we put some great lines on the hills just above camp. Then it was birthday time so we did a little celebrating and probably won’t get up very early tomorrow either. So stay tuned for the further adventures of Vinson Vacation.

1/15/07: Hello there friends, family, and loved ones, this is Vinson Vacation reporting in from Vinson base camp. Yes, we made it down today, it was a snowy, cloudy day but all the better for going down we expect, everybody is feeling elated that we have made the summit, and at the same time kind of saddened that we are going down, leaving the mountains behind and going down to base camp. We made it in record time, everyone was clipping all the clips on the head wall, and doing the best to haul the sleds down so we enjoyed it, and once we got down here we popped out some beer and celebrated our success. We’ve been toasting our good luck and our patience for weathering through all the delays. Now we’re in base camp and celebrating. It happens to be the Russian New Year so yippee, and Happy New Year to you. Ciao for now.

1/14/07: Cancer Climbers Team reporting in on January 14. Conditions have not improved; we are still in Punta Arenas. Today to keep time and to keep spirits high, we rented bikes and went to the hills around the city, pretty nice day. Now I have to present the last two climbers in our group. Tim Burns and Mike Theriault, Tim is from the United States, from Dallas, since he was a child he has been attracted to wildlife and the outdoors. Ten or fifteen years ago he came to the Alpine Ascents School with Willie Prittie. He has been in South America ten or twelve times. Mike is from Canada, he is 47 years old and lives in New Brunswick. He has been climbing for seven or eight years, mostly in the Rockies. In 2004 he went to Kilimanjaro. For him climbing is about pushing yourself to another level. That’s our group, Sean, Tim, Kristina, Zoltan, and Mike. Nice people. From Punta Arenas, Rodrigo Fica, Alpine Ascents.

1/13/07: Hello friends, family, and loved ones from the top of the white continent! Yes, Vinson Vacation patience has paid off. The whole Estonia Team summitted today in beautiful, sunny, calm weather. We can see the tops of the highest peaks in Antarctica. Everyone’s elated to be up here, we came up in record time, we got here at 4:15 this afternoon, it’s my earliest summit. It’s beautiful in all directions, very calm weather and everybody is elated. We’re shaking hands and taking summit photos as I speak. So, thank you for tuning in for all the action here with Vern Tejas and the Estonia Team Vinson Vacation! From the top of Mount Vinson!

1/13/07: Good morning, world. Cancer Climbers Team reporting from Punta Arenas on January 13. Yes, we still are here waiting for our flight, weather conditions didn’t improve, and now patience is one of the virtues we’re testing. Besides that, the world is great. Like before, with Sean, I would like to introduce Kristina Kovalcsik and Zoltan Acs, both from Hungary. Kristina is a business woman who has already been to both Poles and Elbrus. Zoltan is a sports teacher with terrific experience, including (…transmission break…) and two outings to Everest. Kristina and Zoltan work together as a team and participated in the Last Degree last year I think that’s all right now, this is Rodrigo Fica and the Cancer Climbers Team. Good bye.

1/12/07: Hello there friends, family and loved ones, Vinson Vacation reporting in from high camp up in the cold in between Shinn, which is the third highest mountain and Vinson itself. It was a very warm and balmy day, calm but cloudy, we were in a white out for most of the day. Thank goodness that the wind dissipated and we were able to make very good time. It took us about five and a half hours to get to the high camp, up the headwall. The headwall we must say is pretty interesting; we have got six pickets in there just to protect our selves as we climb it. Everybody felt a lot more ease with it today than they did yesterday. We are now at high camp and we are in position, we will probably take a rest day tomorrow, depending on the weather. My guess is that it is going to continue to stay cloudy and that we are going to acclimatize. So follow along and see how we do tomorrow, see what we do tomorrow. I just want to tell you that these Estonians bring some nice vodka on these trips, pass it around with a little hot tea and it will get you nice and warm. Well thanks for joining us and we will see you tomorrow.

1/11/07: Hi everybody, this is Rodrigo Fica, with a new report broadcast from the Vinson climbing team. As we speak January 11, we were informed weather conditions were not good, with [transmission break] wind speed of 21 knots, with gusts of 30. It is too windy to fly in [transmission break]. Our group decided unanimously that we will be “Cancer Climbers Team”, one of our members, Sean Swarmer, Sean is maybe the only person to have had two different kinds of cancer. Lymphoma when he was 15 years old and lung carcinoma when he was 16. Now Sean is devoted to great consciousness and right mind to find a cure for these illnesses. Sean already climbed Everest in 2002 with only one lung, and now is pursuing the seven summits.  That’s all right now. In the next report I will introduce the rest of our team. This is Rodrigo Fica and the Cancer Climbers Team Everything is ok, we are happy, just waiting. Have fun. Goodbye.

1/11/07: Hello friends, family, and loved ones, this is Vinson Vacation Estonia checking in from Mount Vinson. What a beautiful day today, other than the wind I mean, it’s been sunny, and really clear, however, we are getting streamers off the top and that has made the day a little bit more interesting. We went around the corner, the one I refer to as Windy Corner, up into the Valley of Death, and as soon as we turned the corner we were hit in the face with about a 20 knot wind. Coupled with the temperatures it pushes the wind chill way down so we had to be careful. However, it is unusually warm and because of that we were able to push on into the face of the gale and make our cache up at high camp. So, this is Vinson Vacation established cache at high camp and we’re going back down to our second camp for the evening. So, stay tuned for the further adventures of Vinson Vacation. Ciao for now.

1/10/07: Hello there friends, family, and loved ones, this is Vinson Vacation calling in and we just wanted to report that we had a big day, we pushed up the head wall and made it all the way to the top of the head wall and made it to high camp. So, we are very proud of our accomplishments today, and a little bit tired, it’s been a full day, 9 hours round trip but fortunately the sun was out the whole time and the weather is pretty warm. We did get some wind, however, we were able to dress appropriately, and everyone made it up there and back down all in one piece. So, thanks for tuning in to figure out what we are doing, and stay tuned for further adventures of Vinson Vacation. Ciao for now.

1/9/07: Hello there friends, family, and loved ones, this is Estonian’s Vinson Vacation calling in from Camp 2, our second camp on the mountain. We are staring up at Mount Shinn, and over there we’ve got Mount Epperly, it’s a clear, calm day. I’m outside bare handed, it’s 1 o’ clock, 1:40 in the morning and there’s not very much going on. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful day, everybody is happy to be up here. We’ve been dragging our sleds uphill, real slow motion, breathing a lot, working on our acclimatization; they built excellent walls around the tents, also built an outhouse and a great dining kitchen. Everybody is just rolling into bed and sawing logs. It was just fun to come out here and look around and see what’s happening, it is beautiful Antarctic midnight sun. What a beautiful, beautiful evening it is. So, thanks for checking us out, and seeing where we’re at. Tomorrow we’re planning on carrying a load up to high camp, so stay tuned to see how that goes. Ciao for now. This is Vern Tejas signing off from Antarctica.

1/8/07: Hi, this is Rodrigo Fica, introducing the new team from Alpine Ascents, to climb Mount Vinson in Antarctica. I would like to say we have a great team, the members are Tim Burns, Michael Theriault, Zoltan Acs, Krisztina Kovalcsik, and Sean Swarmer. We are waiting for our cargo truck and everything is ok. It has been a long day and everyone is really happy and really anxious to go climb Mt. Vinson. Goodbye for now.

1/7/07: Friends, family, and loved ones, things happen quickly when you’re in the southern hemisphere, this is Team Vinson Vacation from Estonia calling in from Antarctica. We were very, very fortunate, we ended up with some calm weather and we were able to fly all the way down Patriot Hills. At Patriot Hills we organized ourselves for flight into Vinson base camp, and at 4 o’clock in the morning we arrived at Vinson base. We knocked it off for the evening and got some sleep and are going to wake up to a good morning for climbing the mountain. So, please, thank you very much we really appreciate all your effort to get us down here, thanks for standing by for 10 days, we are now in motion and we are in position to start up the mountain, it’s going to take a little organizing but we are planning on moving up to what we call half camp today. Please stay tuned and join us up at half camp. Thank you very much.

1/6/07: Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Vern Tejas calling in from Punta Arenas, Chile for the Estonians’ Vinson Vacation. Well the vacation report seems to be coming to an end, the team has come back from a wonderful week at Torres del Paine National Park. There are beautiful mountains up there and they got to see lots of wildlife. Now they have returned to see that the weather is good, currently it is good in Antarctica, the plane has been repaired so we are looking at maybe taking off today. We are getting very excited about this, I want you guys to keep your fingers crossed that the low band of clouds does not blow in to Patriot Hills and keep us from flying tonight. We are all very excited, we have been waiting for ten days and it’s about time to fly. So please send your prayers and your best wishes and we will be thinking of you, especially if we get the wheels off the ground. Thanks for standing by and hopefully the next time we will talk to you will be from Antarctica at Patriot Hills. Ciao for now.

1/5/07: Hello there friends, family and loves ones, this is Vern Tejas report in for the Estonia Vinson Vacation. We’re calling in from Punta Arenas, Chile and we’ve had some interesting news today and that has come down from the pilot of the Ilyushin jet than in all the big winds that we’ve been having here at Punta Reyes that the tail elevator was damaged, and they will not be able to fly until Sunday. So, the big thing with the team here, they have all decided that it’s time to go to the national park north of here towards the (…transmission break…) it’s beautiful granite (…transmission break…) have been cut by glaciers and tomorrow they’ll be off to go visit, we’ve rented a nice vehicle, a big van they’re going to drive up and camp out there until Sunday’s new tentative take off day. So please, standby, bear with us and your patience will be rewarded when team Vinson Vacation is back in the saddle and takes off for Mt. Vinson in Antarctica so stay tuned. Ciao for now.

1/4/07: Todd Passey here calling in for team Better Late than Never, we have officially changed our team name from Better Late than Never to Not This Year. Weather delays and a problem with the airplane has flipped the dates back far enough that my whole team has decided to put this trip off until next year and have elected to go home and cut their losses while they can. So, my team, Better Late than Never, or team Never as I said is on their way home. Three of the guys, Bob, RC, and Patrick caught a plane this afternoon back to the states and Simon will catch his plane back tomorrow. So, we wish them all safe flights home, and better luck next year with planning and luck of weather which has cooperated with us super well this year. They were a great team and I’m sure next year we’ll have success with them, so, this is the last cybercast for team Better Late than Never. Bye.

1/3/07: Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Vern Tejas reporting in from Vinson Vacation Estonia, we’ve been delayed by a week with bad weather at this time, if you’ve been following along you know that. However, some bad news came to us today and now we have some plane problems. The Ilyushin has been damaged by high winds at the airport and because of that we are on standby for it looks like maybe several more days, we’ll give you more information tomorrow but just be aware it looks like delayed even longer now due to aircraft problems. So we are persistent and dedicated to our goal here but we’re running into some mighty big challenges. So please stay tuned and to the further adventures of Vinson Vacation. Ciao for now.

1/2/07: Hello there friends, family and loved ones from Punta Arenas, Chile. We are down here waiting for the weather to change in Antarctica as we have been for the last five days. We appreciate you standing by for Mother Nature to do her best. Hopefully it will clear off in a couple of days and we will head on down to the ice. It is currently blowing at about 37 to 38 knots at Patriot Hills which is far too much cross wind for the big Ilyushin jet to land. So we are in a holding pattern as we have been for the last week, please send your prayers and best wishes and keep your fingers crossed for good weather. Ciao for now from the tip of South America.

1/2/07: Todd here calling for team Better Late than Never, we are still here in Punta Arenas. We didn’t know when we came up with our team name that it was going to be such a prediction for our trip here but hopefully the late part is over with and we will fly on the ice very soon. So keep your fingers crossed and blow all of the good weather down this way. See you later.

1/1/07: Hello there friends, family and loved ones, what a great way to start a new year. Of course we are still stuck in Punta Arenas and trying to make the best of our time, in order to optimize today we actually went over knots and some self extrication techniques in the park. We were actually ascending with ropes up a line into the trees, just as if we were in a crevasse. The team did really well considering that they were just a little bit hung over from last nights festivities. We are all doing quite well, catching up on some reading and getting exercise each day and catching up on some sleep. Keep your fingers crossed for eventual weather improvements, it is currently blowing fifty-three knots in Patriot Hills, hopefully we will be there soon. Again your best wishes are appreciated. Ciao for now from Punta Arenas, Chile.

12/31/06: Happy New Years friends, family and loved ones, its time to celebrate even though we are still stuck in Punta Arenas do to the weather on Antarctica. We are all in a celebratory mood right now because the horns are going off all over town and it is now 2007. We didn’t think that it would take us all the way to next year to get to Antarctica but it has. So keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t take us the following year to get there. We will hopefully be going there in the next few days. Stay tuned to the further adventures of Vinson Vacation.

12/31/06: Todd here calling in for Team Better Late than Never, it is New Years Eve Right now and we are in Punta Arenas. We celebrated New Years Eve here in Punta Arenas, eating at a nice restaurant, eating strawberry fondue and fillet mignon not so bad but not as good as if we had flown out. We are anxiously awaiting the call to fly out. Today we got creative and played some pool, went to a movie and all sorts of things to pass the time as we are waiting for the weather to clear out so that we can safely fly out and land in Patriot Hills. We are definitely not second guessing ALE because if they say it is not good we don’t want to fly but we are ready to. So everybody send out your good energy and hope for good weather tomorrow down here in Antarctica so that we can get out there and start our way on up the mountain. Happy New Years to everyone and we will see you in 2007.

12/30/06: Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Vinson Vacation Estonia Team calling in an telling you that we had a wonderful restful day today. …(transmission break)… we are thinking of maybe even going to the movies tonight …(transmission break)… the weather is still blowing at about twenty nine knots and we need them at bellow twenty so that we can actually fly otherwise it is too much of a problem for a big jet which is an Ilyushin 76, it can’t handle too much cross wind. So we are waiting for the winds to drop and you can do your part by keeping your fingers crossed and send best wishes for nice calm conditions for the whole team down on the ice. So we are standing by here at Patriot hills and wishing for better weather …(transmission break)…

12/29/06: Todd here calling in for Team Better Late than Never, we spent the day waiting urgently by the phone for a call to fly but the flight call never came. The weather is not good enough in Patriot Hills for us to fly so we waited around here in Punta Arenas for the call that never came but that’s okay. We enjoyed our day of resting here in Punta Arenas and we will wait for our call tomorrow morning. Our first call in will be at 6:30 so hopefully we will get to go then. Stand by and we will talk to you later.

12/29/06: Hello there friends, family and loved ones this Vern Tejas with Team Estonia checking in from Punta Arenas, Chile. We didn’t go anywhere today so we spent most of the day doing last minute odds and ends; hiking around, seeing the cemetery, buying watch batteries and taking care of, like we say, little odds and ends. The boys constructed a tail for the solar panel so that they can charge up their cannon video machine so we are one step closer to having some good footage from coming off this trip. Three times today we were put on telephone stand-by and got weather reports from Antarctica, in all cases the wind is gusting above the 20 knot maximum that our aircraft can handle at Patriot Hills. The pilots are being conservative and have decided not to fly today and we will be back on hold at six o’clock tomorrow morning. So stay tuned to the further adventures and keep your fingers crossed for some good weather at Patriot Hills so that we can leave the tip of South America and begin our expedition. That’s it for now, sweet dreams.

12/29/06: Hi this is Todd Passey calling in for Team Better Late then Never, this is our first cybercast for the Vinson Expedition. We decided to name ourselves Better Late than Never because three of the four folks on the expedition missed flights on the way down to Punta Arenas and there was some worry whether they were going to make it in time but everybody has arrived safe and sound. We have done a gear check and weighed all of our bags and they are sitting on the Ilushyin so that we can fly out. Our first check-in will be tomorrow morning at 9:30 and we will find out whether we are going to fly or not and then we will be on stand by from there on. Let me introduce you to the team right now, there is R.C Scull, Robert Scull, Simon Irish, Patrick McCaney and myself, Todd Passey. We had a welcome dinner tonight, everyone was in good spirits and we are ready to get out there and tackle this mountain. So wish us luck and we all send love and our thoughts to back home, we will keep you posted on our whereabouts and we will talk to you soon. Bye.

12/29/06: Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Estonia calling in from Punta Arenas, Chile. This is day two of our expedition, we had a briefing with the environmental standards and safety. We also packed all of our gear and got it weighed, marked and loaded on the airplane. We are now just finishing our dinner off and calling it a day and hoping for good weather tomorrow. Hopefully you will keep your fingers crossed so that we can fly to the coldest …(transmission break)… Team members are; Tarmo Riga from the capital city of Tallinn, is our team leader and co-guide, he and I will be leading the group to the top, he is joined by his wife, Jane who has very excellent English skills and is interpreting quite a lot for me. Priit is also an excellent climber and the team doctor, there is also Kalev who is our connoisseur of some of the fine wines and beers of South America. We are also joined by Alaar who is a strong climber and on the seven summits tour and Toomas who is a strong man and looks to be one of the Engines of this attempt on the highest point in Antarctica. Please stay tuned to the further adventures of team Estonia.

12/28/06: Greetings friends, family and loved ones this is Vern Tejas for Alpine Ascents, to climb Mount Vinson down on the ice in Antarctica with the Group from Estonia, that’s Tarmo and Jane and Alaar and Priit and company. All of the gear is here and we are very excited that we are going to go down to the ice …(transmission break)… Tomorrow we are going to meet with out flight service, weigh our bags and hopefully get everything loaded. So stay tuned to Team Estonia and our trip on Mount Vinson. We look forward to you dropping in and following all the action right here on Alpine Ascents’ cybercast line. Ciao for now.

12/21/06: Hi this is Claude for Alpine Ascents – this is my last cybercast as we reach Patriot Hills. Back from the S. Pole – we got up at 5:00 and by 8:00 we could distinguish the buildings – by 3 we could see the building. We got a tour of the station – which was really amazing and houses the most powerful telescope on earth. Doing atmospheric research meteorology, other program work ( trans) so much research going on – I would like to thank Ronnie and Ken and Duncan and thank you all for listening to our cybercast…

12/20/06: Hi this is Claude – Last Degree – I am currently standing on the south Pole – We arrived this afternoon at 3:00 and I would like to congratulate my team members Ken, Ronnie and Duncan for the super work and ( trans) they have show over the last ten days. The weather here is beautiful – 40 with little wind and the south pole experience is quite unique – we can there are so many research centers here – we will have twin otter land here in 45 minutes and tomorrow will be last cybercast – thank you good night.

12/19/06: Claude for Alpine Ascents – we did our longest day so far with 12 nautical miles. We are now at 89degrees 29 minutes. For seven days we have seen nothing but snow and the horizon 360 degrees all around us. Today at 4:oopm we saw a tiny black speck..far far away – this is the building of the south pole station. Half an hour later we could distinguish 4-5 buildings and a white one. We skied another full hour but it seems we never got any closer. In the morning the sun is on our left side and the right side is very cold. At the end of the afternoon it is the other way around. This is not only the coldest continent but the driest. I am glad tonight may be the last time I am preparing a snack bag. Trans garbled (sounded like he was discussing breaking up his food) otherwise it would be impossible to eat them. Hard as rock or should as I say hard as (?) Today has been another very good day but very cold. Tomorrow I will rest more with medium weight underwear. Today we have visual contact with the South Pole station, tomorrow – tomorrow we will get up at 5:00am and try and arrive before midnight. Looks like I will have to do my x-mas shopping at the South Pole. I will let you know more tomorrow. Good bye

12/18/06: Hi this is Claude from last degree – we had a nice sunny day – temperature drop until negative 10 – Yesterday was also a strong day – we should at the pole two days – we have 3 clients and one guide we feel strong – transmission garbled – we made some very good time today – we skied for 10 hours today – we are warming up by sun….we should be in sight of station by tomorrow morning …..we may have a view – so things are progressing well. We look forward to reach pole in next couple of days. (Much transmission missing)

12/17/06: Hello this is Claude Boisvenue with Alpine Ascents Last Degree we only did an hour and half of skiing (…transmission break…) and then set up camp (…transmission break…).  We will continue on to towards the south pole tomorrow everything is fine and we will see you next cybercast.  Bye. 

12/15/06: Hello this is Claude with the Alpine Ascents Last Degree today we did only an hour and half of skiing (…transmission break…). The weather is fair and everything is fine so we will see you next cybercast, good bye.

12/14/06: Hi this is Claude for Alpine Ascents Last Degree Expedition, December 14th at 9:00 in the evening, Antarctica time. Today we did six hours of skiing. Slowly we are working up to, tomorrow probably eight hours of skiing followed by 10 hours the next day. Today we navigated solely with the sun, we did not use a compass or gps, it was surprising at the end of the day how close we were to our objective. We are now skiing on the South Pole plateau which is almost 3000m high or 10,000ft of snow and ice underneath our skis. So tomorrow should be another nice day with (…transmission break…).

12/13/06: Good morning this is Claude speaking from Patriot Hills with the Alpine Ascents Last Degree Expedition. It is December 13th Wednesday at 10:00 o’clock in the morning at Patriot Hills. Last night at about 2:00 o’clock in the morning the Ilushyin came in with another group of climbers and skiers so Patriot Hills is quite crowded right now. We are packing our things and we should be on our way for the last degree within the next couple of hours. The goal is to start at the 89th degree and reach Edmonton Scott Station at the South Pole. This is the broadcast for today, we wish you all a good time and hopefully we will be on our way to the South Pole soon. The weather now is very nice, sunny, blue skies and a little bit of wind. Yesterday was -6 degrees at Patriot Hills and -39 at the South Pole. Have a great day. Bye.

12/12/06: Hi everyone this is Claude for the Alpine Ascents Last Degree Expedition. It is Tuesday December 12th its 10:00 o’clock Antarctica time. We are still at Patriot Hills (… transmission break…). Yesterday we did a rope test and skied six nautical miles in three and half hours. Some of the members made adjustments to their skis and poles. The Team went down to ten members rather than twelve. (…transmission break…) our guides are Ronnie who has guided extensively in the Sole Pole including a trip from the South Pole all the way down to Patriot Hills, it is his fourth season. Our assistant guide is Patty, she is the first Chilean women to climb (…transmission break…) We are hoping that the weather will clear so that we can fly out tonight. So stay tuned for more news and good bye to everyone.

12/10/06: Hi this is Claude for the Alpine Ascents Last Degree Expedition. Today is December 10th and we are at Patriot Hills, waiting for the Team members to fly in, probably with in the next hour. We will then set up camp, test our stoves and equipment and we should be leaving the following day in the morning. Please stay tuned for more news and I will be broadcasting regularly for this cybercast. Thank you very much. Bye.

12/10/06: Hi friends its Eric Murphy calling for As Soon As We Get There on Vinson. It is Sunday December 10th, here at Patriot Hills and we are happy to announce that the Ilushyin is on its way, it should be on the ground here with in the hour. Team I for Vinson will be on it, flying back to mainland Chile to Punta Arenas for celebration and food. Not too long afterwards we will be moving on to our separate destinations in North America and beyond. Yesterday we were waiting here the entire day for the bird that never came, weather conditions, mostly wind have not allowed the Ilushyin to fly until today. All in all we have had about 11 weather delays on this trip, which is a little on the heavy side. Everyone is in good spirits here at Patriot Hills, we have been having lots of good food the last couple of days, we have also been relaxing, sleeping and enjoying the good company. We will have one more cybercast from Punta Arenas, probably tomorrow, before we move on in our separate directions. I would like to announce that Claude will be moving on to his last degree program, his fellow skiers will be coming in on this Ilushyin flight and if you are following along with Claude’s cybercast please stay tuned, while they ski from 89 degrees to 90 degrees south. Thanks for everyone for following along with the cybercasts and stay tuned for our last one from Punta Arenas. Cheers.

12/7/06: Hello friends this Eric Murphy calling in for Team As Soon As We Get There here on Mt. Vinson. Today is December 7th and fortunately today folks we were able to fly back from base camp to Patriot Hills. Yesterday we spent the whole day at Vinson base camp, visibility was poor and the Twin Otters were not able to fly us back. Today we were able to fly back to Patriot Hills where we are again in a holding pattern. Currently the wind is too high on the runway to bring in the Ilushyin so they have called it for the night and they will be watching the wind throughout the night. Hopefully tomorrow morning it will have subsided enough to allow the Ilushyin to fly in and take us back to Punta Arenas. So for now our team name is quite appropriate because we are not there yet. Everyone is doing well here at Patriot Hills, we just had a great dinner of Salmon and wine and people are digging into their patience, looking forward to getting back to life on the other side were there is not ice everywhere that you can see. Claude will be continuing on to ski the last degree and we will keep you updated as to our condition here at Patriot Hills. Keep your fingers crossed that the wind will subside and we will be able to fly tomorrow. Friends and family are all in the team’s thoughts and stay tuned for more

12/6/06: Hi Folks, its Eric Murphy calling for As Soon As We Get There on Mt. Vinson in Antarctica. It is about 1 o’clock in the morning here on Wednesday and we have just arrived back down here at base camp. I think we are all pretty happy to be here after a long four days since we left high camp and a lot of bad weather. We had a few days of being pretty much shut down at camp one with high winds, drifting snow and generally unsafe conditions. But the team rallied and we waited it out and everyone is doing great back here at base camp. We are going to get a good night sleep after some food and with any luck we will be able to fly to Patriot tomorrow and perhaps on to Punta Arenas. Stay tuned for more, lots of love and thoughts to family and friends, from the team. Eric sends his love to Christy and mom. Cheers.

12/4/06: Hey folks its Eric Murphy calling in for As Soon As We Get There, here on Vinson in Antarctica. It is Monday December 4th at about 2:00 o’clock Antarctica time and the Team is currently here at camp one, at around 9,800 feet. Our last update was on Saturday after an unsuccessful summit attempt on Friday, we had some weather come in. We were waiting at high camp for a break which we got and we were able to descend. We are still in some pretty bad weather here at camp one, but the weather has made some slight improvements and we are hoping to be able to move down to base camp today and hopefully on to Patriot Hills as soon as possible. Apparently the weather is not flyable at Vinson base camp but Patriot Hills is looking to be improving. We are keeping our fingers crossed, the team is doing well and we are definitely ready to move down. Everyone sends there love to friends and family following along with the cybercast. Stay tuned for more and wish us good weather. Cheers.

12/2/06: Hi Friends it is Eric Murphy calling in for As Soon As We Get There, here on Vinson. It is Saturday, December 2nd at about 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon and we are currently experiencing some weather. We are here at high camp on Vinson, unable to move up or down at this point. We did make a summit attempt yesterday but unfortunately a couple members of the group were still feeling sick and we also had weather come in and those two things combined made us turn around. We are hopeful that the weather will improve; unfortunately we are also running out of time, our scheduled flight is tomorrow, December 3rd, from Patriot Hills back to Punta Arenas. At this point we are in a holding position, stay tuned for more.

12/1/06: Hi Friends it is Eric Murphy calling in for Team As Soon As We Get There, here from Vinson high camp. Folks, we were able to move up to high camp yesterday, November 30th, with about a seven hour push. With about six and half to seven hours of sleep we are now getting ready for the summit push. (…transmission break…)

11/29/06: Hello cyberworld, friends and family it is Eric Murphy calling in for Team As Soon As We Get There here on Mount Vinson in Antarctica. It is Wednesday the 29th at about 3:30 in the afternoon Antarctica time and we are enjoying a rest day here at camp one with very warm temperatures, zero wind and over all very comfy conditions. A little update from yesterday, we were able to make our carry up to high camp with some food and fuel up to high camp for a summit bid. Bill was able to rest in camp one yesterday and he is feeling much better today so we are hopefully that we will be able to move as a team tomorrow on up to high camp and get into position for a summit bid. Everyone here is doing great, eating, drinking and resting today and we are ready for our push up high. We would all like to send our love to friends and family who are following along with the cybercast. (...transmission break...) sends his love to Kristina and to mom and stay tuned for more from Team As Soon As We Get There.

11/28/06: Hello Friends, its Eric Murphy calling in for Team As Soon As We Get There, here on Mount Vinson in the Ellsworth Range on Antarctica. Its Tuesday at about 3:00 Antarctica time, and we are here at camp one. For just a brief recap of yesterday, we were able to move from half camp to camp one. It was a nice leisurely day, it took us about four hours and we had warm conditions. We are happy to be here, today is sunny with blue skies and very little wind. We are getting prepared to make a carry to high camp. Unfortunately Bill is not feeling very well so he will be staying here at camp and both Mike Hamill from IMG and Wally from Great Adventures have agreed to look after him while we make our carry. We will be back here around eight hours and hopefully Bill will be feeling better tomorrow. At that point we will be looking to move up to high camp and get into position for the summit. Other than that everything is good here. We have a little bit of a time line due to all the weather delays but we are hopeful that the weather will hold and we will be able to summit soon. Stay tuned for more.

11/26/06: Hello Friends this is Eric Murphy calling for Team As Soon as We Get There, here on Mount Vinson in Antarctica. Well folks we were able to get to half camp today from base camp. We had some pretty warm weather so we are doing well. We are installed here with our posh, our camp all set up, having some hot drinks and looking forward to another nice day tomorrow where the weather will hold. Our goal tomorrow is to move on up to camp one and get installed there. It is Sunday currently at about 7:49 Antarctica time, everyone here is doing great, we send our love and thoughts to friends and family following along with this cybercast. Stay tuned for more. Ciao.

11/25/06: Hi folks its Eric Murphy with Vinson Team One, calling in Saturday, November 25th and we are very happy to report that we at Vinson base camp. We were able to fly from Patriot Hills to Vinson base camp, it was a fifty minute flight on the Twin Otters last night. The weather sort of cleared up here, they were having snow throughout the day. We got to camp here and spent the day organizing and getting ready to move up the mountain. Tomorrow we are hoping to move up to half camp and the day after to camp one. The weather is good right now, and everyone is doing great. Our new team name will be, As Soon As We Get There, which kind of goes along with the theme of all the waiting we have been doing on this trip but patience pays off and it is beautiful to be here at Vinson base camp in Antarctica. Stay tuned for more. Cheers.

11/24/06 Hello Friends,

This Eric Murphy calling in for Vinson Team One, it is currently Friday November 24th at around 4:00 in the afternoon and fortunately we were able to fly to Patriot Hills last night. We got to go at about 7:00 last night, we were on the plane by 9:30 and by 2:00 we were here in Antarctica. We are here at Patriot getting set to fly to Vinson and we will have some more word on that in the next couple of hours. There is some possibility in a weather delay in getting to Vinson. We are having some conditions right now which will make the landing difficult and we will find out soon. Everyone is doing great and we send our love to friends and family following along with cybercasts, stay tuned for more, we will let you know what happens. Thanks. Ciao.


Greetings all,

It is currently just after 10 here in Punta Arenas. We had the call to deploy this morning just after 7 AM. Unfortunately, an hour later the winds had picked up in Patriot Hills, and we went into standby mode. We are waiting for the next weather sched. at 11 AM to see if we can fly. We are hopeful that we will be able to fly today.

It is a very unique landing at Patriot Hills, and the pilots and ground team must be sure they can do it safely, beyond doubt. This means the cross winds must be less than 18 mph. Unfortunately, Patriot can be a windy place.

Yesterday, while waiting, we were able to visit El Andino, or the local ski hill, where there is a small ski lift that operates in the winter. In addition to some rain, and 60 mph winds, we were treated to a fantastic view of the Strait of Magellan, very beautiful. Today we may try to visit a small penguin colony north of town, as time/check in allows. Our first hope is that we will be heading to the airport within the hour. Everyone here is doing great despite the false starts. You are all in our thoughts.

Cheers Eric


Hey guys, we are in a holding pattern right now....

Greetings all, it is 9 AM Tue here in Punta Arenas near the southern tip of the Americas. We had a bit of a false start yesterday, having to return from the airport due to poor weather/landing conditions in Patriot Hills.

We are hopeful to fly today, and our next weather schedule is in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, we are enjoying the town, and visiting the local places of interest. We had an excellent dinner at Broccolini's last night, continuing our quest for calories to keep us warm down on the ice. Everyone is doing well here. Please stay tuned for more, and keep your fingers crossed that we will fly today.

All my best


11/19/06 Hello Friends,

This is Eric Murphy reporting in from Punta Arenas, Chile, nestled along the famous Strait of Magellan, in the region known as the Tierra Del Fuego. This will be our departure point for the 2000 kilometer flight to Antarctica. It is Sunday November 19th, and our first team has assembeld here in preperation for our flight, and the first Vonson climb of the season.
We have Claude Boisvenue from Montreal, John Giorgini from Pasadena, Ca, Al Schummer from Redmond, Wa, and Bill Kind from Palo Alto, Ca.

Things are moving right along here. Everyone arrived on time, and with all of their luggage. We have just attended our pre flight briefing, and we will weigh our bags shortly. With any luck we will fly tonight or in the morning, weather permitting. Flight delays due to weather are the norm here, so keep your fingers crossed for us. The 2000 kilometer flight to Antarctica takes about
4.5 hours on the Ilushyn cargo jet, where the pilot then lands the jet on a blue ice runway over 2 miles long. This is perhaps the most technical jet landing in the world, and they pull it off perfect every time.
From the main staging area at Patriot Hills, we then fly to Vinsion base camp via ski equipped twin otter aircraft. Everyone here is doing great, and we are all very excited for what is to come. We all feel very fortunate to be able to climb in one of the most remote and amazing parts of the world. The entire team sends their loves to family and friends following this cybercast. With any luck, the next one will be from Antarctica. Please stay tuned for more!

Best! Eric

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