Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Land in Antarctica
Greetings from Antarctica. Sure enough, we got the call during breakfast to be ready for flying. It wasn’t a “hurry up and wait” morning though, more a “slow down and wait” type of deal. We got picked up from the hotel before 9 AM but it wasn’t until about 11:35 AM that we lifted off from Punta Arenas. The weather picture was fairly complicated today and it took some strategic thinking to figure just when it was appropriate to commit to a flight. Four and a half hours in the cargo bay of a four-engine Russian jet was made endurable by comfy airline seats and “Pretty Woman” playing on the big screen -with subtitles- (the IL76 is a noisy ride). The captain brought us through somewhat murky conditions to a perfect landing on the blue ice runway of Union Glacier. It was cold, windy, cloudy and a little raw with blowing snow. A perfect Antarctic day, actually, but we didn’t spend much time taking pictures down at the runway. A souped-up van with big tires took us on an ice road over to Union Glacier Camp where we were warmly welcomed and given a briefing and tour. After a great bowl of soup and an excellent dinner, we ventured out to build our tents. No flights to Vinson tonight, due to the sloppy weather. Nonetheless, it was a very pleasant evening of chatting with other climbers and adventurers from a dozen different countries and of catching up with acquaintances from mountains far and wide.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
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