Thursday Update

We are still waiting. The 9:30 call was that the winds are up.

Now we wait for 6 pm call.

We found a hotel room for group tonight.

Thursday Morning

Well, I think we need to change the name of the expedition to:

Live Life, Test Your Limits, Test Your Patience!

Anyway, we again await the 9:30 am call.  Our spirits are still holding.  We are still within a window that we can safely do the mountain if we can get out in the next two days!

Wednesday night

The up and down is incredible. The call came through and the winds are back up and we are standing down.
Ian was in dress rehearsal, and Dale and I had packed.
Back to the Shackleton Pub awaiting 6:30 am call.

Excitement building

Major excitement is building. We got a call: the sky is clear and the winds are dropping. We are due a call back in 30 minutes. We’re on short standby now.
Everyone is laying out gear and going through the last minute stuff.

Wednesday afternoon

Still not flying. The 3:30 call was that the sky is good and the runway is good, but the wind is up.
Awaiting the 6:00 pm call.

Wednesday morning, Puntas Arenas

Well, here we are on Wednesday – no 6:30 am call. The 9:00 call came in and still not flying, with winds up to 40 knots.
 
The rest of the climbers are off the mountain in good shape and are at Mt. Vinson base camp awaiting weather to fly to Patriot Hills.
 
We are getting another call at 12:00. In the meantime we have no hotel today — team spirits remain very good. Dave’s and Barry’s stories, and Barry´s jokes especially, have kept the team loose.
 
We had drinks last night in Shackleton´s bar, of Endurance fame — one of the best adventure stories of all time. As expected, high ceilings, wainscotting, an old fashioned kind of place!

Tuesday night

Tuesday, 10 pm in Punta Arenas : Sill no break in the weather

We will again await the call tomorrow at 6:30am if we are flying early, or at 9:30am otherwise

We have no hotel tomorrow unfortunately – we will be vagabonds in PA – although you may think we could pitch tent and camp here, all of our gear is sitting out at the airport waiting for us to be ready to go!

Tuesday

Weather: it is cloudy in all 8 quadrants of the sky (which is how they rate the cloud in PH), -10 degrees, wind is 20 knots (approx. 40 km/hr), gusting to 25 knots (50 km/hr).

We are awaiting the 2:30 pm call.

There was a briefing called today by ALES . A team member of the Jagged Globe group fell into a crevasse yesterday at the headwall. There was gusting wind and a snowstorm as they were on their way down from high camp. The climber was successfully rescued and the group was holed up in a snow pit they dug with a tent fly sheet held over. They spent Saturday & Sunday waiting for support from the base camp. Two guides and two Swedish climbers ascended to camp 1 but were unable to meet the group on the headwall due to the high winds. They were able to meet them later on Sunday. Now the whole group is at camp 1, safe and sound. The word is some of them have frostbite, but otherwise well. They are still waiting for the weather to clear to come off the mountain. Currently, apparently, there is a ´spitkicking´ contest going on. It is -40 and spit freezes from leaving your mouth to meeting your foot – hence the term spítkicking…..

There are still many climbers as well at Mt. Vinson base camp but the weather is too challenging to get the Twin Otter in to get them back to PH.

Meanwhile here in PA we have been kicked out of another hotel… and have moved yet again. It’s now been three days of waiting and on call to fly. All of us are dealing with things in different ways but still very much holding it together.

Tuesday Morning Update

No news at 6:30 this morning. Ian, Dale, Yanick and Dave sat around watching the phone, hoping it would ring, but only silence.

There are still climbers at the Mt. Vinson base camp as of yesterday as they could not fly out on the Twin Otter to Patriot Hills. Hence no surprise that we can´t get out.

We await the 9:30 am call…

Cloud cover

December 4th – 19:15 pm: The call came in that the runway has been plowed but the cloud cover is in again. We will have to wait until tomorrow at 6:30 am to call….