All Antarctica expedition dispatches


Today, team member Shawn provides the update from Mount Vinson!

Hi this is Shawn calling in from the Vinson two team.  We are at Low Camp and just finished our haul up to High Camp.  Linda, Paul, Shawn, Fon, Garrett and Conan are all feeling healthy, happy, stable, strong and very enthused for our move tomorrow to High Camp.  The weather has been fantastic!  We hope it stays!  The food has been out-of-this-world!!  Thank you to Fon and Le Cordon Bleu.  So we want to send our love to our family and friends at home.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Garret Madison, expedition leader, reports the exciting progress of our Mount Vinson expedition teams in Antarctica:

Hi, this is Garrett checking in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition number three.  Jimmy, Fon and myself were planning to leave Union Glacier today and head to Vinson Base Camp, but Jimmy is still at the South Pole and had decided to head directly back to the U.S. as soon as he can because of the flight delay.  Myself and Fon have gone to Vinson Base Camp and are going to try to catch up with Conan, Linda, Shawn and Paul in the next couple of days.  All’s good here on Mount Vinson!


A very big congratulations to Jimmy for skiing to the South Pole and reaching 90° South!  (We wish him a) safe trip back to North America and his familiy in Texas.


We look forward to some great weather here on Mount Vinson!  We will check in soon.  Thanks!


Guide Conan Bliss’ team two (Shawn, Paul, Linda) transmission from Low Camp was, unfortunately garbled.  This happens from time to time with satellite phones.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

Guide Conan Bliss reports in for Vinson Team Two:

Hey good evening!  This is Conan calling in for Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson Team #2.  We are again at Vinson Base Camp.  Today we had a really good carry; caching food, fuel and extra equipment high on the upper Branscomb Glacier getting ready for our move tomorrow to Low Camp.

Stay tuned!  Talk to you tomorrow!!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Lead Guide Conan Bliss provides this team two initial status report from Vinson Base Camp:

Hello this is Conan calling in for Vinson Madison Mountaineering (team) two!  We arrived safely at Vinson Base Camp and had a great pasta and salmon dinner.  Everybody is healthy and happy and the weather is splendid!   Tomorrow we are planning to do a carry half-way to camp one and then returning to base camp.  We will check in with you tomorrow.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Our expedition leader, Garrett Madison phoned in this report from Union Glacier Camp:

Hi this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Vinson program with the Japanese group.  Today we flew back to from Vinson Base Camp to Union Glacier Camp in the morning.  The Ilyushin jet arrived and our Japanese team was able to successfully depart Union Glacier Camp and arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile.  So we had a wonderful expedition, very successful and safe and all is well!


Our second Vinson team has arrived:  (Guide) Conan with (climbers) Shawn, Linda, and Paul and they are currently at Vinson Base Camp.  They are setting up their camp and getting ready to make their first climb up the mountain tomorrow.  Myself and (climbers) Fon and Jimmy will be starting Mount Vinson in a couple days time.  Jimmy is completing his Ski-The-Last-Degree program to the South Pole and once finished, we will all head to Vinson Base Camp and start climbing, which we’re very much looking forward to.


We are all enjoying our time here in Antarctica and wishing everyone back home well.  Thanks very much!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

Reporting from High Camp on Mount Vinson, expedition leader Garrett Madison provides this update:

Hi, this is Garrett calling for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition.  Today on New Year’s Day, our team the Adventure Guides and Madison Mountaineering team made the summit of Mount Vinson (4892 m / 16,050 ft) [garbled].  We had a beautiful day with perfect weather.  We had the summit all to ourselves.  Now we are back in Vinson High Camp.  We are planning to head down towards Vinson Base Camp tomorrow.  All is good here and we look forward to getting down to base camp the next day!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Vinson team two team photo

Our second Mount Vinson expedition team has assembled in Punta Arenas.  And they are looking forward to kicking off 2019 in style!  They rang in the new year in Chile last night and now are completing the pre-flight expedition logistics.  Today and tomorrow they will be organizing gear and attending the Antarctica flight briefing.  Hopefully, the weather continues to cooperate and the team will fly to Antarctica as scheduled on Thursday, January 3rd.

We are stoked to start off this exciting year of climbing adventures with teams on the ice in Antarctica!

Did you know:  Since 2017, the city of Punta Arenas and its region have their own time zone: they use summer time during the whole year (UTC−3).

Happy New Year!!!  Via sat phone, Garrett Madison reports in on the progress of team one’s climb to the highest peak at Antarctica:

Hey!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition in Antarctica.  Today is December 31st and we climbed up to High Camp (3536 m / 11,600 ft) today and moved in.  We setup our camp and had dinner and now we are all tucked in and ready for bed.


We had a good day; it wasn’t too windy, clear skies for the most part and sunny.  We are happy to be up here at High Camp.  We are thinking about going for the summit tomorrow or the next day, depending on the weather.  We will check in soon.  Thanks!!

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives (Vinson, Jan 2018))

Expedition leader Garrett Madison phoned in this dispatch via satellite:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition!  Today we climbed up to camp 1, “Low Camp”, from base camp.  We settled in here a few hours ago.  We had a nice dinner, some hot drinks and now we are tucked into our tents getting ready for bed.


It was a nice day!  It started off warm and sunny and then the overcast clouds kept it cool for us as we made our way up towards Low Camp.  Tomorrow our plan is to take a rest day.  Everybody on the team here is doing really well and we are happy to be on Mount Vinson!  We will check in soon.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

From the base on Mount Vinson, expedition leader Garrett Madison provides this update via satellite phone:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering / Adventure Guides Vinson Expedition.  Today is Friday, December 28th.  We are at base camp.  We had a carry today.  We went up half way to camp 1 and deposited a load of equipment, food, and fuel and other items in a cache.  Now we are back at base camp, just having dinner.


It looks like good weather so we are planning to move up to camp 1 tomorrow.  So we are excited to be moving up the hill!  Everyone is doing well here on Mount Vinson and we’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)