Well it is one day before I depart for Antarctica. It has been a bit of a whirlwind the past few weeks with little time to prepare or even think about this trip. We have been extremely busy delivering training and team building programs and I have delivered quite a few keynotes across Canada. I want to acknowledge my great team of Dave, Claudia, Mary, Alecia, Colin and Susan who have done an amazing job and who will keep things running while I am away. Since I am madly packing today I thought I would share with you what one takes on an Antarctic expedition. Obviously it will be cold and remote so I need warm clothing that will keep me safe. Since we will be skiing and climbing I will be taking more than usual on this trip. Temperatures will range from -10c on a warm day to -30c if a storm blows in. We will have 24 hour daylight which, as I learned on Denali, can be a blessing and a curse. Starting from my feet up I will have my Atomic backcountry skis which accompanied my up Mount Logan (Canada’s highest peak) and on many a back country trip in the Rockies. My Millet 8000m boots kept me warm on Everest and should be perfect in Antarctica as well. Although they will not be the best ski boot I have ever used. I will take a pair of down booties for around camp as well as 4 pair of heavy wool socks and 4 pair of light liner socks. We will also be using vapour barriers in our boots to keep the perspiration from our feet from getting into our boots. I will have light weight and expedition weight long underwear bottoms as well as Sherpa softshell pants, my gore-tex pants and insulate outer pants.
two mid weight Sherpa tops, one expedition weight Sherpa expedition top, my trusty vest that has been on every trip with me since 2000, my Sherpa down sweater, my Sherpa outer shell jacket, and my big expedition parka. I am taking two fleece hats as well as a sun hat, balaclava, face mask, goggles, and glacier glasses. For my hands I have two pair of liner gloves, a pair of soft shell gloves, my favourite climbing gloves and a pair of down mitts in case it gets really cold. I will have my harness, my ice axe, crampons, various pieces of climbing gear, my Ostrom Pack that went up Everest with me, my Nikon D90 camera, snack food, two insulated water bottles, a thermos, cup, bowl and spoon, journal, MP3 player, and a book. For sleeping I will have my -40 sleeping bag, a therm-a-rest, and a foam pad. There will be three of us packed into one tent so I don’t think I will get cold while sleeping. We will buy some fresh food in Punta Arenas, but mostly we will survive on freeze dried meals. I will take plenty of my Adult Essentials vitamins with me to provide what the packaged food does not. As a group we will also have our tent, all our food, a bunch of sleds to pull our gear, ropes, and a satellite phone to keep in touch with the outside world. There will be other odds and sods but this is the majority of it. We have a fixed amount of weight that we can take on the plane to Antarctica so we will go with only the essentials. I depart on Saturday and fly to Punta Arenas where we will spend a few days prepping and buying some food. Our flight provider requires we be in town two days before our scheduled flight on November 16th or they will bump us off the flight. They don’t fool around down there. Once in Antarctica we will take a second flight to the Mountain where we will spend 10-12 days climbing. We will then ski the 160km back to the Union Glacier ice runway for our flight back to Punta Arenas. If all goes as planned I should be back in Canada on December 11th. Please check out www.lifescinutritionals.com, www.iron-kids.com, www.sherpaadventuregear.com, and www.ostromoutdoors.com, as they have been great supporters of my adventures throughout the years. Summit Life! – Scott.