Last week I mentioned that the weather has finally improved in Antarctica allowing for some of the teams backed up in Punta Arenas to finally head out to Patriot Hills. Today, ThePoles.com posted a new update to introduce us to some of the new faces heading out onto the ice.
First up, we have the Pou Brothers, Iker and Eneko, who are sailing from Usuahia to Antarctica as we speak with the intention of climbing the Cape Renart Towers. This will be the final leg of their “7Walls, 7Continents” tour in which they set out to free climb big walls on each of the seven continents. They recently completed a free climb of Fitz Roy in Patagonia to knock of the South American portion of their tour. They hope for this latest, and final leg, to get underway on the 5th of December. Their other big wall climbs include El Nino on El Cap in Yosemite, in North America. They followed that up with the ‘Zumbelzt’ route on Naranjo de Bulnes, the huge limestone wall found in Northern Spain. Next the headed to Australia to climb the Totem Pole in Tasmania, a big wall pillar that rises from the ocean and stands 70 meters in height. After that it was off to Africa for ‘Bravo les Filles’ on the island of Madagascar. Finally, the went to Asia to climb ‘Eternal Flame’ on Nameless Tower, which they were forced to use aid climbing tools on two pitches thanks to an excess layer of ice.
Meanwhile, climbers are finally arriving on the continent to make their go at Mt. Vinson, one of the Seven Summits. Speed climber Chris Stangl of Austria hopes to finish his quest to climb all the Seven Summits in record time by completing a speed climb of the mountain. Stangl will be joined by Thomas Arnold and after the two finish with Vinson, they will ski back to Patriot Hills.
Finally, we also have Kevin Dempsey who is making a “Last Degree” skiing attempt at the Pole. Kevin was forced to withdraw last year thanks to minor frostbite and becoming exhausted following a few days of being stranded at a headwall due to inclement weather. Kevin his back to finish off his dream and hopefully he’ll have better luck this time out.
Expect more new faces to arrive soon. It’s going to be a busy Antarctic Season.
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