Mountain Climbing in Antarctica, Part 3

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December 30, Camp 3 to Base Camp
We wake up late, knowing how much we have to carry down the mountain, and dreading it. We descend slowly, admiring the spectacular views. Further down we see that a huge ice section had avalanched off the face yesterday and slid over our trail. The ice chunks are the size of cars. (more…)

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Mountain Climbing in Antarctica, Part 2

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December 27, Camp 3 13,000 feet
The climbing is spectacular! The view is almost indescribable. There are icefalls that rise from the ground and huge seracs everywhere. Further on is vast whiteness with a smattering of dark peaks that look like islands piercing the clouds. It’s simply amazing. (more…)

Mountain Climbing in Antarctica, Part 1

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Eighteen of us are tightly packed toward the cockpit of a Hercules C-130 aircraft, bracing for a landing that the pilot has never tried. Below us is the most unbelievable and surreal sight that I’ve witnessed. We are about to touch down at Patriot Hills, Antarctica, withOUT skis on the landing gear of this massive plane. The pilot informs us that he’s bringing the temperature of the plane down, so we can get “used” to Antarctica. Fear not, however, there’s currently a heat wave at 8 degrees below zero with calm winds. The plane bounces then violently shakes around as we slide on the ice for what seems like miles. Amazingly, we make it, unscathed. (more…)