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Antarctica wrap-up: Dixie and Sam to start again, Vinson climbers hitting town

Posted: Nov 16, 2011 02:30 pm EST

(Angela Benavides) A bunch of SP teams hoping to hit the ice last week are still delayed in Punta Arenas, now with the first Vinson climbers adding to the scene.

Most skiing teams took a rest day this week, overall reporting grim conditions and slow progress. Ten days after departure from Novo, Sam and Dixie have asked for an airlift to a new starting point.

Punta: Vinson climbers in town

"First Vinson team has arrived in Punta. Ryan Waters one of them," Correne Coetzer - still in Chile - told ExplorersWeb over email yesterday.

Skiing from Berkner Island to the Axel Heiberg Glacier without drops or sails in 2010 Ryan Waters and Cecilie Skog achieved the first unsupported and unassisted crossing of Antarctica. The accomplished Himalaya climbers also summited Manaslu together last month.

Most Vinson climbers are doing the "7-summits" round (except for Everest not the highest mountains in the world but the highest top on each continent.)

In 2009 Finnish Veikka Gustafsson became only the 17th person to climb all the highest mountains in the world, the 14x8000ers. As one of a mere handful he also did it without oxygen, in a quest that spanned 20 years.

Achieved by thousands the "Seven Summits" concept is instead a fun way to travel the globe with a vertical twist and Atte Miettinen hopes to become the first Finnish citizen to complete it, in less than a year.

Dixie & Sam to start again from somewhere else

Starting from Novolazarevskaya (kick-off point also for Eric McNair-Landry/Sebastian Copeland and the Basques) Dixie and Sam will regroup.

"Dixie and Sam have made a lucid decision: They will accept a flight back to the ALCI Airbase and re-commence the expedition from a new starting position," the Belgians' home team reported, alleging safety reasons:

"Dixie's vision on this project is both goal-oriented and safety-driven and he accepts that the chosen drop-off point in unknown territory has compromised the goal."

"He has soundly chosen to stop their nonsensical progress in an area that is growing increasingly dangerous for the team."

"Their ability to advance without physical risk has now approached the 'red-line' and he has wisely and expediently decided to re-position the team for a new start."

Mate Sam agreed. "Amundsen left for his South Pole attempt too early, and due to the extreme cold and with luck to avoid a near disaster, he returned to his base to wait for better weather," Sam stated. "Eventually he was successful and we aspire to follow his wise example."

Teams from Hercules Inlet

After several days stuck in their tent by high wind Catalans Albert and Carles set off again on Monday but apparently stopped again following a somewhat erratic route navigation:

"We had targeted a mountain pass where it seemed the wind would not affect us that much, but it was very steep and it was crossed by a glacier, so we started to go around it, and we had also on our GPS the location of a few crevasses, but in those conditions as we could not see anything we decided to stop again, plant our tent and sleep another night together with our catabatic whip."

Following a rest yesterday, Cas and Jonesy reported slow going today with some repairs to deal with.

Scott-Amundsen race team (UK)

The Amundsen team led by Henry Worsley took a rest on their 13th day on the ice yesterday, while the Scott team crossed from 78 to 79 degrees South.

Notes from 1911: frostbite and rest

"Fine weather all day," Amundsen wrote a hundred years ago. "Little S’erly breeze. – 24°C and completely clear. All the same it feels rather biting in the face and we can’t avoid frostbite here and there."

Scott also mentioned the southerly breeze; and a rest day on November 16.

Antarctica/SP - General facts:

Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa:
To ALCI/TAC base camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo
(70o 46'37S", 011o 49'26"E)
Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America:
To ALE/ANI base camp, Union Glacier
(79o 45'S, 083o 14'W).
Gateway port Punta Christchurch, New Zealand:
To US base McMurdo
(77o 50'39"S, 166o 40'22"E)

1 nautical mile (nm) = 1.852 km
1 nm = 1.151 statute mile
1 knot = 1.852 km/h
1 degree of Latitude is 110 km

Sastrugi are hard snow bumps and can be as high as 10 feet.
A nunatak is a peak of a mountain rising above the ice cap; sometimes covered with snow, sometimes exposed rock.

Useful links:

CONTACT 5 expedition technology
Polar rules of Adventure
What is solo?
Hercules Inlet start point
2011-12 Guidelines for NGO Visitors to the South Pole Station
South Pole Station news (Bill Spindler)
Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE)
Adventure Network International (ANI)
The Antarctic Company (TAC/ALCI)


Wx7 observations at Union Glacier

Amundsen's & Scott's diaries
Amundsen's book, "The South Pole"
Amundsen's diary courtesy Fram Museum
Amundsen pix, courtesy Fram Museum
Scott's diary

List of Links to Antarctica 2011-12 teams
Classifications: Unassisted (no airdrops), unsupported (no kites/dogs/motor).

Hercules Inlet

Unassisted, unsupported:
Australian James Castrission and Justin Jones (Cas & Jonesy - return)
Aleksander Gamme, Norway (solo)
Steffen Dahl, Norway (solo)
Mark Wood, UK (solo)
Albert Bosch and Charles Gel, Spain (Catalans)
Mark George, Australia (solo)

Assisted (airdrops):
ANI Polar Vision US/UK
Polar Explorers
Byrony Balen (With PolarExplorers)
Johan Ernst Nilson

Bay of Whales and Cape Evans

Unassisted, unsupported:
British Army Scott-Amundsen Race 2011-12 - Amudsen team led by Henry Worsley from Bay of Whales

British Army Scott-Amundsen Race 2011-12 - Scott team led by Mark Langridge, from Cape Evans

Assisted (airdrops), supported (kites)
Norwegians from Bay of Whales

Ross Ice Shelf

Unassisted, unsupported:
The South Pole Jubilee Expedition - latitude Expeditions
The South Pole Jubilee Expedition - Borge Ousland & Lars Ebbesen Polar Exploration
The South Pole Jubilee Expedition - Correne Erasmus-Coetzer
The South Pole Jubilee Expedition - Rory O'Connor
The South Pole Jubilee Expedition Ottar and Jacob

Assisted (airdrops)
From Nansen to Amundsen 2011, Norway Felicity Aston, UK (solo SP & assisted traverse)

Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf

Unassisted, unsupported:
Richard Weber & team (kite traverse)
Hvitserk, Norway

Supported (kites):
Howard Fairbank, South Africa (solo SP)

Assisted (airdrops), supported (kites)
Pole to Pole Run Pat Farmer
Pole to Pole Run Eric Philips
Charlie Paton & ANI team
Nabil Al Busaidi (Nabs)


Supported (kites):
Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour
Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland
Basque Team: Iurrategi, Vallejo, Zabalza

South African Antarctic Research station, SANAE IV

Supported (kites):
Armand Wirth and Dieter Staudinger

Partial SP trips: 1-2 last degrees

Borge Ousland
The South Pole Push Doug Stoup
Humpty Dumpty South Pole Last Degree (Damien Guildea)
Harald Kippenes (with. J.E.Nilson)
Adventure Consultants: Vinson+Last degree
ANI/ALE last degree
One Call Wintercamp

Motorized support

Thomson Reuters Eikon
Arctic Trucks on Antarctica

Scott's last camp

International Scott Centenary Expedition

#Polar #topstory

Could we start again please: Dixie Dansercoer - Sam in back.
Image by Dixie Dansercoer courtesy Dixie Dansercoer/Polar Circles, SOURCE
Straight in from Silicon Sauna with ten years of IT and Telecom startups behind him, Atte Miettinen's idea of a sabbatical includes the first Finnish Seven Summits. Image of Atte hoarding energy for Vinson sent live over CONTACT A from Punta Arenas yesterday.
courtesy Atte Miettinen, SOURCE
Catalan Albert Bosch (left) and Carles Gel stuck in the tent.
Image by Albert Bosch courtesy Albert Bosch, SOURCE
2011-12 Antarctica ski routes.
courtesy ExplorersWeb.com