Vinson: Peter Whittaker Checks in from Union Glacier

Posted by: | January 17, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif

Hello there, this is Peter. It is January 17th and it is 8:45 [p.m.] here down in Antarctica. [We’re]  on the ice, back here at Union Glacier. We woke up this morning to beautiful blue skies and sun which is really nice after two days of weather.  We were told that we had an hour to pack and break the tents and that the plane would be picking us up right after that. So we scrambled and broke everything down [and] the plane showed up. We were pretty excited to work our way to a couple of objectives that we had identified as skiable and climbable on the way to Union Glacier. When the pilot showed she had a forecast that was not good and we decided that we would fly back, watch the weather, and see how things went. The weather rolled in and shut things down; we were able to get back in to Union Glacier where we landed in that’s where we are now. So we were not able to get to our ski objectives were a little saddened by that. But we’re here and the forecast is not too good for the next several days. But we’re already getting maps out and finding some different objectives. The cool thing is that the runway is in an area here at Union Glacier that is basically unexplored, so there’s lots of potential for first ascents and first descents, accessible by Twin Otter if the weather permits, and also by snow mobile and they have these wonderful vans with big snow tracks on them as well. So, the game is always changing with a few twists and turns but the whole team is here. We did reunite with Ed,  Cindy and David and so the whole team is back together, all nine of us. We’re eating dinner and digging in here. [Brief Static] That’s the update from the First Ascent RMI Team down here on the ice and we’ll talk to you soon.

The Twin Otter Pilots, Monica and Chris, navigate across swaths of unexplored, and unclimbed peaks, between Vinson Base Camp and Union Glaci The Union Glacier Camp sits below the massif of Mount Rossman, an oasis in an austere land.

Peter Whittaker checking in from the ice.

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