I’m heading down to Antarctica (yeah!) for a ski trip in Novemember, so I have the White Continent on my mind. Today’s photo was one of my favorites from my first trip to Antarctica in 2000/2001 where we climbed a new route up the “backside” of the Vinson Massif.
The purpose of this trip was to make a NOVA film, which I think was called “Trapped in Ice.” Conrad Anker was the main climber, Jon Krakauer was the historian and Dan Stone was the Glaciologist. Dave Hahn and I were the field guides, so we got to double-haul lots of heavy loads, set up camps, cook and carry camera gear. It was a blast.
Contrary to popular belief, Antarctica is not rip-ass cold 100% of the time, but when it is, it really is. In this photo, we were skinning along a glacier, which was quite pleasant, but when we came within ten feet of a shadow, as Conrad said, we were entering “the steel glove of love” which meant the temps were going to drop a good 40-50 degrees once we left the sun. Within a few feet, the temps went from casual to brutal.
Vinson, the highest point on Antarctica at right above 16,000′ is commonly referred to as the “Vinson Massif” instead of Mt. Vinson as it is kind of a huge dome with many wart-like peaklettes on top of it, which make it hard to tell exactly which one is the actual summit.
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Category: Sunday Photo