We have completed our mission. We skied to the South Pole and we have climbed Mount Vinson. Now we are just waiting to go home. We arrived at Vinson Base Camp January 10. The next leg of our journey is a flight in a ski equipped Twin Otter twin engine prop plane about 45 minutes back to Union Glacier headquarters. From there we will fly back to Punta Arenas and then home.
The challenge now is getting out of Base Camp. There have been no flights for 9 days now as the mountain is enveloped in clouds and it is too dangerous to fly here. Thinking back on it, we were the last group to fly in. If we had been one day later we would still be at Union Glacier waiting to get to Vinson and basically our climb would have been over before it began. As it is we have climbed the mountain and are now in a waiting pattern to fly out. We have missed our scheduled flight to Chile which was 2 days ago and today I had to change my return flight to Canada to give me a few more days to get out of here.
We spend our days doing not much. You cannot walk beyond the perimeter of camp as it is a crevasse field and too dangerous. There are about 60 other climbers here also waiting to fly out. It is quite an international group with people from : Russia, USA, China, Bolivia, Norway, Austria, Nepal and much more. We are all thinking about showers, clean clothes, non dehydrated food, a soft bed and sunset.
We hope tomorrow brings improved weather and the sound of incoming aircraft.