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Mount Vinson Low Camp

Today the Vinson team #1 made the move from base camp to Low Camp (2940m/9,100ft).  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, reports in with today’s dispatch via sat phone:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition.  Today is December 23rd and today we climbed from Vinson base camp up to Low Camp.

 

It took us about five and half hours and we got up to Low Camp in the evening, dug out our cache and set up camp.  We had a nice dinner.

 

All tucked into our tents now and getting ready to go to sleep here.  Everyone did great today!  We had beautiful weather – it was a nice warm day, hardly any wind, and great views all around.  So a wonderful day climb up Mount Vinson.

 

Our plan for tomorrow is to take a rest.  Everyone’s doing great.  We will check in 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:

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

Hauling sleds!

After a day of carrying loads up towards Low Camp, expedition leader, Garrett Madison, checks in via sat phone from Vinson base camp:

Hello, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedtion #1. Today is December 22nd and we are at Vinson base camp. We had a great day. We carried a load up part way to Low Camp, returned back to base camp and organized our gear and our food for our move up tomorrow to Low Camp. Everyone is doing great here in base camp, weather is improving and we’re looking forward to moving up the mountain soon. Everything’s well here at Vinson.  We’ll check in soon!

(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:

Our team has arrived at Mount Vinson Base Camp and expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides a brief recap of today’s activities via satellite phone:

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson climb #1. We made it to Mount Vinson base camp today. The Twin Otter flew us out of Union Glacier camp. We arrived at Vinson base camp in the afternoon, set up our camp and cooked dinner.  We had a great meal and now were just tucked into our tents and our sleeping bags getting ready for a good night’s rest.  All’s well here at Vinson base camp.  We’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

(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

Garrett and our first Mount Vinson team for the season have arrived at Union Glacier camp, Antarctica and are looking forward to flying on to Mount Vinson base camp today:

Hello, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Mount Vinson team #1. We have arrived at Union Glacier camp! We got in about 1:00 AM today, Saturday December 21st. We’re really happy to get out of Punta Arenas and had a smooth flight to Antarctica and landing at Union Glacier camp.

 

We got in, had a nice meal and set up our tents and now we are all tucked in and looking forward to a good sleep and having breakfast tomorrow at 9:00 AM. Hopefully the weather will be good tomorrow and we can fly over to Vinson base. We’ll check in soon, thanks!

(photo:  Linda Wohlgemuth from the 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:

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:

 

Best Christmas

100% summit success reported by expedition leader Garrett Madison:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition team two.  Today, January 10th, our entire team made it up to the summit of Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica.  We got to the top around 4:00 PM today – myself, Conan Bliss, Shawn, Fon, Linda, and Paul.  We had a great day, nice views from the top, a little breezy up there, but not too bad.  Everyone made it safe back down to High Camp.  We had a good dinner here at High Camp:  some salmon and some potatoes and noodles.

 

Our plan is to head down to Vinson Base Camp tomorrow, on the 11th of January.  And then, from there, hopefully soon after to Union Glacier Camp.  Everyone is doing great, we had a wonderful summit day, very thankful for the good weather and that everyone made it to the top and back down safely.  We will check-in soon.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives – reusing last’s year’s summit pose — we will post photo’s when the team is back in Chile)

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)

Aerial View of Union Glacier Camp in Southern Ellsworth Mountains

Garrett Madison and our first Mt. Vinson expedition team arrived safely to Union Glacier Camp in the southern Ellsworth Mountains of Antarctica.  They have been enjoying beautiful clear and calm skies in 24 hours of daylight.  Tents are up, food is excellent and the team is happily enjoying exploring the comforts of the camp.

Weather conditions at Union Glacier have vastly improved.  So the team is looking forward to flying on to Vinson Base Camp tomorrow or possibly even tonight.  Our two following teams are optimistically looking for minimal delays too.

Did you know:  Union Glacier Camp is the only facility of its kind in Antarctica. The full-service private camp operates during the Antarctic summer (November through January) and is dismantled at the end of each season. The camp not only provides accommodations to guests on guided experiences but also serves as a logistics hub, supporting private expeditions and National Antarctic Programs.

(photo:  © Russ Hepburn)

Best Christmas

Garrett and team are striking their happy poses because our first of three Vinson expeditions was rewarded for their patience with the best Christmas present ever:  a GO! for the flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to Union Glacier, Antarctica.

After eight days waiting for the weather at Union Glacier, the team is now headed to the airport to board the Ilyushin IL-76 TD jet for the 4-1/2 hour flight.  The extra time in Punta Arenas gave the team the opportunity to fully explore the many restaurants and cultural sights.  Somewhere along the way, they even rubbed the toe of Magellan for good luck.

It’s looking like this change in the weather will allow the schedules to start to return to normalcy.  Our second team is arriving in Punta Arenas this week.  They are scheduled to fly on to Union Glacier on January 3rd.  Some of the team may take advantage of the extra time in Chile to explore Patagonia’s Torres del Paine national park – named by National Geographic as one of the World’s most beautiful places.  Kind of a nice bonus!

Get ready to follow the action-packed Antarctica climbing season.  Stay up to date by subscribing to the dispatch updates.

Happy holidays and joyous wishes to you and yours from Madison Mountaineering!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Yesterday we left Mount Vinson base camp in the morning and flew by twin otter aircraft to Union Glacier camp, where we waited just a short time until the Ilushin 76 aircraft flew us to Punta Arenas, arriving late in the evening. Currently all members are in Punta Arenas or are enroute home. We have enjoyed 3 spectacular weeks in Antarctica, skiing to the South Pole and then climbing the highest peak on the continent, Mount Vinson, at just over 16,000 feet in elevation. Everyone on our team succeeded in both reaching the South Pole and reaching the summit of Mount Vinson.  This has been an awesome journey, a great way to start off 2017! We look forward to repeating this program next season in Antarctica!

Garrett Madison 

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Union Glacier Camp

Mt. Vinson Summit

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Union Glacier Camp

Antarctica Expedition Team 2017

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Union Glacier Camp

Descent on Mount Vinson

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Union Glacier Camp

Joel Schauer on the summit of Mount Vinson!

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Union Glacier Camp

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Union Glacier Camp