Posts

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:

Punta Arenas

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, called in today reporting on the kick-off of our first Mount Vinson expedition of the season in Antarctica:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition #1. Today is Wednesday, December 18th, and we are in Punta Arenas. We’ve been here a few days, all packed up, and ready to go. Everything is loaded on the Ilyushin Il-76 jet ready to fly us from here to Union Glacier camp, Antarctica.

 

But, the weather is bad so we can’t fly so we’re just waiting here. But, we are making the most of it. We’ve had a great time visiting the penguins, checking out the museums in town, walking along the coastline, and enjoying some great meals here in Punta Arenas. Some wonderful restaurants!

 

So everyone’s doing well, we’re having a good time, and just hoping with fingers crossed that we will have some good weather in a couple of days to fly to Antarctica.

Mount Vinson team #1 ready to go!

Dinner in Punta Arenas

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:

 

Garrett Madison checks in with the Polar Explorers Mount Vinson expedition team. Our team climbed up to high camp in a single push and had a nice dinner before bunkering down for the night. The weather is holding good and the team will probably take rest day tomorrow before their summit attempt the following day. The team is doing well and everyone is enjoying their time in magical Antarctica.

Madison Mountaineering is a partner with Polar Explorer’s for this expedition.

.

.

Explorers Mount Vinson

 

After completing a ski trip to the South Pole, our second Vinson team departed Union Glacier Camp for the Ellsworth Mountains. After arriving at Vinson the team quickly moved up to low camp. Tomorrow our team will enjoy a rest day while reviewing technical climbing skills for the upper mountain ascent. All is well on Vinson and fingers crossed for the beautiful weather to continue!

.

Audio dispatch by Garrett Madison

.

Second Vinson team

After a quick Twin Otter flight back to Union Glacier Camp, the Mount Vinson team took off on the Russian Ilushyn 76 for Punta Arenas, Chile. Congratulations to our climbers for reaching the highest point in Antarctica at 4,892m / 16,050ft!

Garrett will remain at Union Glacier Camp until the following team arrives from a ski trip to the South Pole. All is well on the ice and we will check in soon!

.

Audio dispatch from Garrett Madison

.

punta arenas

.

punta arenas

Our Antarctica expedition team has safely made the ascent to Camp 1 on Mt. Vinson in the Ellsworth mountain range. Mt. Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica, approx. 600 miles from the South Pole and over 1,200 miles from the beginning of the Antarctic Peninsula. Garrett Madison reports beautiful conditions and a strong team as they move up the mountain. Today our climbers will either have a rest day or complete a carry of supplies and food up higher on the mountain. All is well in Antarctica and our climbers will check in soon!

.

.

Ellsworth mountain range

Our Mount Vinson climbers left Punta Arenas, Chile and have now arrived to Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica. The Union Glacier Camp is a seasonally occupied research and expedition staging site located in Ellsworth Land in Antarctica. The camp is located in the Heritage Range, south of the Ellsworth Mountains.

Garrett Madison checks in below after a night flight into Union Glacier Camp. The team will now organize their equipment before flying over to Mount Vinson in a couple hours. Our climbers plan to move up to low camp after a couple days of training with favorable weather conditions in the forecasts.

Happy New Years!  : )

.

.

Mount Vinson climbers

Garrett, Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd have taken-off from the blue ice runway and successfully bring to an end their Vinson Massif expedition. In three weeks our climbers have traversed the earth’s southernmost continent, scaled polar glaciers across the Sentinel Range, and summited one of the world’s 7 Summits. Our team was a part of aviation history the moment they touched down on the first Boeing 757 in Union Glacier Camp, Antarctica. In total, our tour team traveled the skies on a Boeing 757, Russian Ilyushin Il-76, DHC-6 Twin Otter, and a Douglas DC3. Pretty impressive!

Congratulations to Mike, Sam, Iñaki, and Todd for reaching new high’s, I hope the journey is onward and upward for all. Enjoy the photos taken by Garrett Madison below 🙂

“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”
― David McCullough Jr.

Thanks for following!

-Andrew

.

About to leave Antarctica on the Ilushin 76.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.44.04 AM

.

Building snow walls to fortify our tents, Todd carrying a big snow block.

Building snow walls to fortify our tents, Todd carrying a big snow block

.

Climbing the fixed ropes, Michael in front, Sam behind.

Climbing the fixed ropes, Michael in front, Sam behind

.

Climbing the fixed ropes.

Climbing the fixed ropes

.

Good times in the cook tent, Inaki & Mike.

Good times in the cook tent, Inaki & Mike

.

Onboard the twin otter leaving Vinson Base Camp, MIchael, Sam, Todd, Inaki, Garrett.

Onboard the twin otter leaving Vinson Base Camp, MIchael, Sam, Todd, Inaki, Garrett

.

Our MH Trango Tents holding up well in Antarctica!

Our MH Trango Tents holding up well in Antarctica

.

Our MH Trango tents holding up well on the mountain.

Our MH Trango tents holding up well on the mountain

.

Sam cooking french fries!

Sam cooking french fries

.

Team at base camp, Garrett, Mike, Todd, Sam, Inaki

Team at base camp, Garrett, Mike, Todd, Sam, Inaki

.

Team at Vinson Base Camp.

Team at Vinson Base Camp

.

Team on the summit, Garrett, Todd, Michael, Sam!

Team on the summit, Garrett, Todd, Michael, Sam

 

The Mount Vinson team is in route to rondevu in Patagonia! I’ve been here two days and have enjoyed the vibrant architecture and bustling downtown city. Punta Arenas is a departure point for many wishing to experience the Patagonia region. Today my morning walk on the Brunswick Peninsula unveiled fishermen, kayakers, longboarders and adventure photographers enjoying the beautiful sunrise across the horizon. Among the many attractions in Punta Arena, my favorites have been the monument erected on the main square to Ferdinand Magellan, the Seaside Walkway at sunrise and the renowned Dreams Casino and Hotel (pictures below). Tomorrow our team of global explorers will begin to arrive. This is my tenth expedition to the frozen continent and I’m excited as I’ve ever been. We have journeyed to el fin del mundo (“the end of the world”), and we are about to go further.

Garrett Madison  ~  Expedition Leader

.

Dreams Casino and Hotel ~ they are well known for a beautiful view from the Skybar!

Ant2

.

Colorful houses along the waterfront in Punta Arenas. Along the water you can see the Seaside Walkway. In the horizon is the Strait of Magellan. This navigable sea route separates mainland South America to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 12.20.32 AM

.

Selk’nam Patagonian Indian ~ a popular tradition says that those who kiss or touch the Indian’s toe will come back to Patagonia one day. Had to do it!

Ant5

.

A statue in the Plaza of Punta Arenas memorializes the nearly-vanished Yamanas tribespeople.

Ant1

.

Punta Arenas is the capital city of Chile’s southernmost region and is among the largest cities in the entire Patagonian Region. Patagonia is a sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes mountains as well as the deserts, steppes and grasslands east of this southern portion of the Andes.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 12.58.14 AM