December 16 – Team reports from summit of Vinson!

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

The vase expanse of AntarcticaThe entire Berg Adventures Vinson 2003 team – Gus Pope, Will Cross and Wally Berg – are on the summit of Vinson.

We stepped on to the summit just before 9 pm local time. That’s based on Punta Arenas and Patriot Hills. I believe that’s something like 24 hrs GMT and also it’s 7 pm in Grand Cayman and Pittsburg.

I’m honestly at a lost for words right now. The view is inspiring and it really commands and demands only silence. But I should report to you that there’s not a breath of wind up here. And we have the beauty of the frozen continent here before us, we have the warmth of being together. We also have the grandeur of the Ellsworth Mountains. I’m looking at Gardner, Tyree, Shear and the other giants of the Ellsworth Mountains with just the three of us alone here.

It’s best said probably by Will a couple of days ago. We have a great team here, we appreciate folks at home. I’m proud of this entire crew.

Yesterday Gus was probably the guy that looked the weakest. I would call him the most steady on this long 10-hour climb to the summit today.

Will with one more impressive epic with the Novolog Peaks and Poles campaign, is on the summit of Vinson and I know that’s not going to be the last impressive accomplishment with him on these challenges.

We’re traversing Vinson. We’re going to go all the way across, over the mountain, over the top from west to east. I’m going to close this dispatch down now and we will enjoy the view a bit more now and we will continue on across Vinson. In a number of hours we’ll be back to our high camp and I’ll report to you when we get there.

Later December 16 – Making our way back down

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

We’re back in high camp now. It’s almost 1 am. To say we’re exhausted probably would be an understatement. We moved for 14 hours today. That traverse across Vinson that I described we were going to do when we were on the summit was beautiful, enjoyable.

The walk home down what we call the “long valley”, the glacial valley that leads us back here to Camp 3 was well, we knew we’d been moving all day and we are really tired.

Now I’m really glad we’ve got the Alpine Aire meals on this trip – well they taste so good, but also dinner’s going to be easy tonight. We’ve got boiling water – as you can imagine we’re very dehydrated. I had beef stroganoff last night. I think it might be almond chicken tonight. And then a really good night’s sleep for Gus, Will and myself. Well deserved.

This BAI expedition
is sponsored by:

AlpineAire Foods

Panasonic Toughbooks