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  The Mountain Madness expedition to Mount Vinson 2004/2005 with Mt Everest summiter Chris Boskoff reporting


Last steps to summit photo by: Mark Gunlogson

Update: December 19th....

Hello Everyone, This is Christine writing from Punta Arenas.  Our entire team has arrived with their luggage.  Bill, Will, Jack and Ona arrived on the 17th.  Will's baggage didn't arrive.  Fortunately, we were able to track it down and it arrived late in the evening on the 18th.  Good thing everyone arrived early for such situations.

Bill, Megan, Will, Ona, and Joe went to see the Penguins on Isla Magoalena.  The boat ride took 2 hours each way.  Everyone agreed it was well worth the journey!!  Casey and I went shopping for our last minute items, T-bone steaks, Chicken, good sausages and cheeses.  These items we stored them at the ALE's freezer until our departure...we are ready for our journey!! 

We had our Antarctica briefing with ALE today.  ALE will be charting the aircraft for our journey.  After our 2 hour meeting, we went back to the hotel to pack up our luggage that will be sent to the Antarctica.  We weighed our bags and we were easily under our weight limit.  We are now ready to depart at any time. 

We may fly tomorrow afternoon (20th) if conditions at Patriot Hills are good.  We will be flying down on a Illysion 76, an Russian transport plan.  For us to land at the blue ice runway at Patriot Hills we will need good visibility, less than a 20knot crosswind and no snow on the runway for the plane to land.  We will wait patiently, but I can tell the group is eager to land. 

Keep your figures cross and hopefully we will fly tomorrow!

Adios, Christine Boskoff Mountain Madness, Inc.

Dispatch One:

Dispatch #1

Friday, December 17, 2004 (Punta Arenas) This is Christine Boskoff reporting from Punta Arenas, Chile.

Welcome to the Mt. Vinson 2004-2005 Mountain Madness Expedition. Casey Henley and I will are looking forward to guiding this Mt. Vinson adventure. 

Casey and I arrived in Punta Arenas last night and checked into the Hotel Isla Rey Jorge.  We met our first team member, Ray, who arrived a couple days ago. Ray has been touring the area, including a visit to the Penguin colony and Torres del Paine National Park.

We woke up to rain this morning and went to pick up another team member, Joe, at the airport.  After our return, we went to the supermarket to purchase the remaining food items needed for our climb. We are not only making sure we have plenty of food in case we encounter bad weather on our climb, we are helping ensure our success since eating properly and well is important to each memberís success.

Tonight the team went to dinner at a local restaurant. It is 11:00 p.m. and it is still light outside.  We are all having trouble adjusting to the long days. 

Tomorrow we meet the rest of the group since Bill, Ona, Megan, Jack and William will be arriving. It will be great for the entire team to be together!

Cheers from Punta Arenas!

Christine

The Mountain Madness expedition to Mount Vinson: Located at a latitude of 78 degrees 35 minutes south and 85 degrees 25 minutes west longitude, Vinson is found in the Ellsworth Mountains. The 16,077 foot summit is the highest point on the continent of Antarctica. For most that have the unique opportunity to join an expedition like this, their definition of wilderness will be redefined. Isolated and starkly beautiful, the icy continent of Antarctica is beyond description and offers an adventure of a lifetime for team members.

Last steps to summit photo by: Mark Gunlogson

They leave Punta Arenas in Chile for the six-hour flight to Patriot Hills. Then the flight takes them over Tierra del Fuego, past the Antarctic Circle and on to Patriot Hills. From there they make a one-hour flight to basecamp. With sleds loaded they move up the mountain, establishing two or three camps before the summit attempt. From high camp the final climb consists of moderate snow and ice climbing.

In technical terms the climb is considered moderate, but cold temperatures (minus 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit are not uncommon) and strong winds often increase the challenge. However, during the austral summer there is usually less than 18 inches of snow and 24 hours of daylight contributes to our success on the climb.
Picture: moving to high camp by: Mark Gunlogson

 

 

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