Hear the calls from Antarctica
As the Alpine Ascents International team attempts to climb Mount Vinson Massif, its guide, Todd Burleson, will use a satellite phone to periodically call The Mountain Zone and let us know how it's going. Watch this page for audio and text updates on the team as they call from the highest mountain in Antarctica to chat about the weather.
Satellite-Phone Update from Punta Arenas
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Calling over satellite telephone Friday night, 8pm PST, guide Todd Burleson reported that the whole Alpine Ascents International team had safely arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile narrowly missing a storm that could have grounded them in Antarctica for another week. Their successful climb of Mount Vinson was the fastest of the four expeditions Burleson has lead on the mountain.
Good weather and constant daylight allowed the team to move quickly, says Burleson, but when the sun dipped behind a mountain peak, temperatures would drop 40 to 50 degrees forcing them to set up tents. With camps at 9,000', 10,000', and 12,500', all six of the climbers summitted the highest peak in Antarctica. Burleson describes Mount Vinson as a cross between the Himalaya and McKinley -- marked by the extreme vastness of the surroundings.
The team made a fast descent to Patriot Hills and caught a C-130 that just beat a huge incoming storm. They arrived safely in Punta Arenas at about 6am Friday.
Review past updates from the Mount Vinson Expedition by clicking on the links below.
Watch The Mountain Zone for more climbing cybercasts as we join Alpine Ascents International on their seven summits itinerary. Next up: Mount Aconcagua, Argentina (22,829')
Alpine Ascents International, Inc. 1997 Vinson Expedition