Antarctic 2010: Alan Summits Vinson!


As predicted, the weather window in Antarctica was good enough to allow climbers access to the summit of Mt. Vinson today, with Alan Arnette being one of them. A short time ago, Alan sent an audio dispatch back to his blog, saying he was coming to us “From the top of the World, at the bottom of the World.”

In his dispatch, Alan says that the climb was a very good one, and that he captured plenty of great photos along the way. Conditions were perfect, with crystal clear skies, and no winds, which made for cold conditions, but otherwise a spectacular ascent with few problems.

This is, of course, the first of Alan’s Seven Summits for Alzheimer’s climbs, which will see him attempting to knock off all the highest peaks on the seven continents in less than one year. His ultimate goal is to raise $1 million to for Alzheimer’s research. It is mission accomplished on phase one of the project. Congratulations Alan!

The weather conditions in Antarctica haven’t been great for everyone however. Chris Foot sent back an audio dispatch of his own saying that he battled high winds all day, which made for challenging conditions throughout his day on the skis. He described it as a “very, very tough day” in winds of 45+ knots (50+ mph). Despite that, he still made decent progress.

Willem ter Horst reports similar conditions today as well, although it didn’t effect him, and his guide Hannah McKeand, much, as it was a designated rest day today. Reports say that clouds and snow will move in over the next few days, but conditions should improve on the weekend. The duo were expecting a supply drop today as well, although they are well supplied should they need to continue for a few more days yet.

The Fuchs Foundation team are also being tormented by the wind, especially in the evenings when they try to sleep. They have been camped in the same spot for several days now, and while the skies are clear and bright, the wind has made it impossible to move during the day, and hard to sleep at night. They intend to move on to their next destination once the wind allows them to stand up-right and move with their sledges.

Details are a bit on the sketchy side at the moment, but it seems that the Moon-Regan Transantractic Expedition has achieved their goal and successfully crossed the entire continent of Antarctica. Their latest blog post talks about poor weather and other conditions, but doesn’t mention the crossing yet, although their front page has declared the expedition complete. This is the team that was making the journey in vehicles, including a snow buggy powered by bio-fuels. They faced a number of challenges along the way, including mechanical breakdowns, but they have completed their final destination.

Congrats to the entire team for their accomplishment as well!

More from the frozen continent soon!

Kraig Becker