All Antarctica expedition dispatches

Today the Vinson team made a go at it.  Conrad Anker provides all the details in his sat phone call from High Camp this evening:

Greetings folks, this is Conrad with an update from the Vinson expedition 2020.  Well, it’s the 5th of January.  We’re here at High Camp. We didn’t summit.

 

What gives?  Well, there’s this massive storm coming off the Amundsen Sea – moist, wet air. There’s a lotta catch as that windy howls across flats of Antarctica and then hits the Sentinel Mountains.  In the apex of that is the Ellsworth Range.  So, there we were 11am, we got the radio call with winds of 15 knots, which is kinda good.  But at the same time, as luck would have it, there’s a break in the sky and it’s sunny and it’s calm and so we get motivated and we’re like, we’re gonna strike while the iron is hot and head up there and summit.

 

So, we get out and we get all of our kit ready and we head into the gale.  We get 3/4 of the way there to the final ridge with the wind blowing 40 knots.  And at that point, it was painfully obvious the summit was not in the cards. It was better off that we came down safe and sound. Which is where we are.

 

There’s always a reminder that there are old climbers and bold climbers, but there are no old, bold climbers.  So, we’re a bunch of old climbers.  Happy for the experience, the camaraderie, the friendship, the time spent at the stove, the joy of sawing snow blocks, and the wonders of freeze-dried meals.

 

So, thanks for tuning in.  We’re going to go into hibernation mode here for the next couple of days and see what this storm delivers.  Who knows, maybe we’ll go up again.  But at the very least, we are having fun and that’s why we came to Antarctica – to have fun. And if getting blown by a snowstorm is your type of fun then you’re just like us.

 

So, take care, have fun, and thanks for listening in. This is Conrad signing off.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Co-guide, Conrad Anker, reports in from Mount Vinson that it’s another windy day at High Camp.  The team is hunkering down and waiting for a break in the weather for the summit attempt:

Greetings folks! Conrad here from VInson High Camp. It’s the 4th of January 2020.  And guess what? It’s our second full day of storm.

 

Looks like we have a low pressure that is coming off the Amundsen Sea. It’s blowing in from the Northeast. We have winds of a steady 20 knots and it’s about minus 20 celsius, so pretty cold!

 

But our team is psyched. We’re ready. We had a good time out building snow walls for our tents, cutting blocks and visiting with the other team members here – basically biding our time. Because we know if it wasn’t for a storm every now and then, it would be easy and it wouldn’t be mountaineering and we came here for adventure! We came here for Antarctica. I guess we’re getting served up what we came for.

 

Thanks for listening in. Talk to you soon. Take care. Conrad signing off.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Today the Vinson team took a windy rest day at High Camp.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides the details via satellite phone:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition team #2 with co-guide Conrad Anker.

 

We are up at High Camp taking a rest day today. It’s become windy up here at High Camp. It’s been blowing a steady 20 knots today, which is probably too windy for us to climb in and also blowing some spindrift snow. So today we spent the day fortifying our tents, building snow walls around them to protect them from the wind and spindrift. And just enjoying the rest day in camp, had a few good meals, got to tell some stories, and looking forward to some good weather in the future.

 

Hopefully tomorrow or the next day. Although it looks like it might be a couple more days before this wind event passes and calm conditions return to the upper slopes of Mount Vinson. But in the meantime everyone’s doing great, we are in good spirits, having fun, and we’ll check-in tomorrow.  Thanks!

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Vinson High Camp

After a long day of making the move (+2,500 ft) from Mount Vinson Low Camp up the fixed lines to High Camp, guest guide Conrad Anker, phones in via satellite today’s expedition recap:

Greetings folks, this is Conrad from Vinson High Camp. It’s the 2nd of January 2020. What a great way to welcome in the new year. Our team set out from Low Camp, climbed up the shoulder on the fixed ropes for a little bit, and then some really beautiful terrian and yeah things are great and we have good weather, everyone’s healthy and we’re very thankful for the opportunity to be here with friends. And yeah we’re happy! That’s a good thing. Take care.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Mount Vinson Low Camp

Today our Vinson team conducted some training and skills review near Low Camp, making ready for a possible move up to High Camp tomorrow.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, phoned in today’s dispatch:

Hello. This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition team #2 with Garrett and Conrad Anker. Today is January 1, 2020. We had a great day. We had a rest day here in Low Camp on Mount Vinson. We slept in and had leisurely breakfast of pancakes and bacon.

 

And then we did some training today. We reviewed all of the fixed line climbing techniques – ascending and descending fixed lines. And after that we orginized our gear for our climb up to camp 2 tomorrow, High Camp – weather pending. We’re gonna [inaudible], have breakfast, check the weather forecast, and if it all looks good, we’re gonna leave around 1:00 PM and climb up to High Camp.

 

So fingers crossed for good weather. We’re all doing well here. Everyone’s having fun and we’re enjoying Antarctica.

Thanks!

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

2019.12.27 Vinson team #2 celebrates New Year's 2020

Make sure and listen to our Vinson team #2 ringing in the new year from Low Camp on Mount Vinson, Antarctica’s highest peak:

Hey, this is Garrett calling in for the Vinson expedition.  We are up here at Low Camp.  Everyone did great today.  We got into Low Camp, set up our camp, and we’re counting down to the New Year’s celebration.  It’s all happenin’ here.  …5…4…3…2…1… Happy New Year!!

(photo: 2019.12.27 Vinson team #2 celebrates New Year’s 2020 at Low Camp)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Conrad Anker provides a recap of today in around Vinson base camp.  Happy birthday Andrew from all of us at Madison Mountaineering!

Greetings folks from the Branscomb Glacier here at the base of Mount Vinson!

 

We had a great day on the 30th of December – Andrew celebrated his birthday. So we made him a cake of snow shaped like a cake and added Snicker bars and M&Ms after a nice spicy meal.  We made a carry today [up towards Low Camp] and then tomorrow we’re off to base of the fixed lines and couldn’t imagine a better place to welcome in the new decade.

 

This is Conrad.  Take care!

(photo:  Mount Vinson base camp from the December 2019 team #1 expedition)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Vinson Base Camp

After a quick turn at Union Glacier camp, the team flew over to Mount Vinson base camp and got settled in.  Here’s expedition leader Garrett Madison‘s day-end recap via sat phone:

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition with Conrad Anker. Today’s Sunday, December 29th and we made it to Vinson base camp!

 

The whole team flew over this evening on the two different flights. We got into Vinson base camp and set up camp. Got all of our tents buffed out and it’s just beautiful weather here at the moment. It’s warm, sunny.

 

Everyone’s doing well, enjoyed a hot drink and went to bed. Looking forward to a great day tomorrow here on Vinson. We’re gonna do some training and go for a short climb up the route.

 

So everyone’s doing well and look forward to checking in soon. Thanks!

(photo:  (c) Santiago Urrutia from the archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Today our second Mount Vinson expedition with guest-guide Conrad Anker flew to Antarctica arriving Union Glacier on the Illyshin 76 jet.  Here’s Conrad with today’s kick-off expedition dispatch:

Hello folks, Conrad Anker here at Union Glacier with the Madison Mountaineering V4 team.  We had a successful three days in Punta Arenas.  We went out and had fine food and saw the sights and we’re on schedule – maybe even a little ahead of schedule.  The weather’s good and the team’s all together.

 

It’s a real treat and an honor to be here with Garrett!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Union Glacier Camp

Our Mount Vinson team #1 is now back at Union Glacier camp and getting ready to return to South America tomorrow.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, calls in from camp with a recap of the busy day:

Hello. This is Garrett calling for the Mount Vinson expedition team #1. Today is Saturday, December 28th and myself, Bartek, Aga and Motoki have all return back to Union Glacier camp from Mount Vinson.

 

We had a wonderful day. We woke up this morning at Mount Vinson High Camp after our successful summit yesterday. We descended from High Camp all the way down the fixed ropes past Low Camp and down to Vinson base camp. And then a couple of hours later we were met by a Twin Otter aircraft where we boarded and flew back to Union Glacier camp. It was a very scenic flight, great views all around.

 

We had a nice dinner here at Union Glacier camp, and a shower and the climbers are looking forward to the flight out on the Ilyushin 76 jet tomorrow from the Blue Ice Runway back to Punta Arenas. Hopefully, the weather is good and our three climbers will be flying back to Chile and our next group of Mount Vinson climbers, along with guest guide Conrad Anker, will be flying into Union Glacier camp and heading to Mount Vinson.

 

All’s well here in Antarctica.  We will check-in again soon!  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram: