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Antarctica climbing current: Vinson and Ulvetanna

Posted: Dec 02, 2012 04:01 pm EST

(Newsdesk) The first wave of Vinson climbers is on the mountain. They have been tent bounded in Low Camp and High Camp the past few days, waiting for extreme winds to calm down at the summit. 60 knot winds and temps going below -30°C have been reported. Yesterday the 24 climbers at High Camp have decided to move down to Low Camp.

A press release announced that Leo Houlding and a team are to climb a new route on Ulvetanna in Queen Maud Land, with its 1,300m of vertical ascent. They estimate to take 50-days to complete the expedition.

Mount Vinson (16,050 ft / 4892m) wrap-up:

Berg Adventures International

On November 30th Wally Berg and his team reported to be pinned down at High Camp. The team was comfortable and safe in their tent reported Wally then, and added, "even in these conditions looking up at the high ridges above us, there’s no way you can be up there in those winds; extremely cold, extremely windy, I am not even sure if you’d be able to stand up if you were up there."

"So, Antarctica is showing us its power, its ferociousness right now, but also its beauty and we’re living well enjoying one another’s company. We count it up; we’ve got people from 12 different countries here."

International Mountain Guides

Guiding for IMG this season is Mike Hamill, Greg Vernovage and Chris Meder. Their latest report was also on November 29th, Mike reporting, "the team is sitting at Camp1 [Low Camp] waiting out some high winds. They’ve got everything they need and will just hang tight for a day (or three)."

Adventure Consultants

The AC team was also waiting at High Camp. Steve Moffat reported on December 1st, "We have received new forecasting from the folks at Union Glacier. The news wasn't great with 60 knot winds at summit level for the next 3 days. Even our high camp is expected to get a good thrashing by screaming winds."

"All team guides gathered this morning, over strong coffee, and made the conservative decision to drop all 24 climbers currently at high camp back down to low camp where it will be more calm and safer for all."

"So here we are back down low on the Branscomb Glacier, away from the strong winds."

Adventure Network International (ANI)

ANI also has a team on the mountain. They have five climb programs this Vinson season and one ski and climb combination. Dates: Nov 23 - Dec 5, Dec 5 - Dec 17, Dec 17 - Dec 29, Dec 29 - Jan 10, Dec 29 - Jan 10 (climb and ski), and Jan 10 - Jan 22.

ANI's staff team fixed the lines on the mountain before the clients and commercial teams started. This year, working on the fixed lines were reportedly Winslow, Todd, Rob and two Sherpa, Namgay and Lakpa Gelu.

Ulvetanna, QML

Ulvetanna, or "The Wolf's Tooth", is located at 71° 51’ 0” South, 008° 20’ 0” East in the Fenriskjeften Mountain, Drygalski Mountain range.

Leo Holding and his team will attempt a new route on the north east ridge. The north east ridge extends for 2,000m, presenting 1,300m of vertical ascent. The expedition is expected to last 50 days; start December 16th and return February 2nd. They fly to Antarctica from Cape Town, South Africa.

Holding is reportedly also planning to BASE jump from the summit.

Team: Leo Houlding (Expedition leader/lead climber), Alastair Lee (Film director/photographer/cameraman); Sean ‘Stanley’ Leary (Lead climber); Jason Pickles (Climber); David Reeves (Cameraman/grip)and Chris Rabone (Base camp manager/support climber).

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

Expeditions with RSS feeds can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom App for iPhone and on Android as well as at ExplorersWeb.

ExplorersWeb South Pole Expedition List

CONTACT Expedition software

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#Polar #topstory

AC team at High Camp on November 30th.
Image by Steve Moffat (sent live over CONTACT) courtesy Adventure Consultants, SOURCE

courtesy Berghaus, SOURCE
Valery Rozov's 2010 expedition sledge-hauling towards Ulvetanna.
Image by Thomas Senf, SOURCE