November 23 – Settling In at Vinson Base

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

Twin OtterIt’s the 23rd of November.  We have been in Antarctica less than 24 hours but Martin, Woodie and I are already getting ourselves adapted and adjusted to life on the ice.  Yesterday after we had been at Patriot Hills base for a short period of time, Di the camp manager gave a briefing to everyone who had been on that Ilyushin flight and announced that Berg Adventures would be on the first twin otter departing for Vinson base.                                         

In fact just a short time after I gave you the last dispatch Woodie, Martin and myself loaded on to the twin otter with those great pilots from Alberta.  We landed last night on the Branscomb Glacier at 7,800 ft (2377m).  I am standing there now with a brilliant Antarctic sky and I’m looking up at the summit of Mount Vinson more than 8000 feet above me.

Vinson Base

Woodie just got the MSR stoves going and Martin, who’s quite the construction man, has been cutting blocks, digging and helping me make a great home for us here on the glacier.  We need to get acclimatized and organized before we climb higher on the mountain.

Yesterday on that Ilyushin flight I used the Panasonic Toughbook for a dispatch which I am trying to send by email about some of the significance for Martin, Woodie and I about this climb that we are doing in this particular season on Mount Vinson.  The email and the possibility of sending out photographs are still being worked on down here.  It’s a cold environment; batteries and everything have to function well in this extremely cold environment.  We’ll get it together, but in the meantime know that all the team is doing well on the Branscomb Glacier and we are going to keep checking in, and if nothing else we will continue to send voice dispatches from Antarctica.