It's our favorite time of year - North Pole season! Our guides have arrived in Longyearbyen and are busy preparing for the arrival of our various North Pole teams. This season we have a team flying to the North Pole and spending a night at the Barneo Basecamp, a team skiing the last half degree and a team skiing the last degree. Everyone has been busy with final preparations for their expeditions and they are looking forward to meeting up soon in Longyearbyen, Norway.
We are excited to share the progress and daily goings-on of our teams. Check back to this site regularly for updates, images and audio dispatches from the ice.
The North Pole Last Degree updates will begin on April 12 (meet the team here).
The North Pole Half Degree updates will begin on April 15, and the North Pole Flight updates will begin on April 16.
Do you have questions or messages for our teams? Send them to Annie (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will make sure to pass them along and post any responses.
Check back again soon!
The world is full of female explorers, but very few of them guide polar expeditions. To celebrate International Women’s Day we asked PolarExplorers’ guides Nancy Moundalexis and Annie Aggens a few questions about what it’s like to be a female polar explorer.
The teams are officially back to civilization and on their way back home! They made the flight from Punta Arenas yesterday morning. Everyone is happy to be back on solid ground after several days of delay at Union Glacier camp. We'd like to congratulate the whole team and give a special thanks to Madison Mountaineering for being our partner for this Vinson Climb. Listen below to Annie's last audio update from Antarctica! And as always, thanks for following along! Stay tuned for another exciting Last Degree expedition this April, but this time to the other end of the world, the Geographic North Pole!
For the last two days, our team has been hunkered down at Union Glacier, awaiting a break in the wind. On Saturday the team was able to make the short transfer by Twin Otter from the base of Vinson Massif, back to the much more luxurious Union Glacier Camp. They took advantage of the hot showers and celebrated Jeff's birthday with champagne toasts. Due to the stiff wind (about 35knots in camp) they've opted to remain indoors rather than explore the area surrounding Union Glacier. The camp meteorologist has forecasted a break in the wind tomorrow (Jan 23) which will hopefully allow the Ilyushin to fly in and get the team back to Punta Arenas tomorrow night. Stay tuned for details.
Jeff Glasbrenner with "birthday cake" in hand.
The team has been waiting for a weather window to fly out from Vinson Base Camp, but the weather has not cooperated yet. It snowed last night and the camp is still socked in by clouds, offering very little visibility. To entertain themselves, the team has been hanging out in their tents, eating a lot, and Annie devised a creative game to pass the time. The game was a version of Bozo Buckets, but instead of the buckets they used their empty expedition sleds, and in place of the balls (to throw in the buckets) they used their frozen-solid wag bags. (After so many days of activity, the boredom of a layover day brings out come pretty creative ways of passing the time.) Everyone is doing well and enjoying the opportunity to not have packs on their backs but are eager to start the journey home.
We'll keep you posted with the flight schedule as it develops. Listen to the audio update below for more details from the day.
Yesterday our team descended down the mountain and into the clouds, back to Vinson Base Camp. Low clouds had the camp socked in, but the good weather held long enough for an optimal summit day. They spent the evening relaxing and preparing to make the flight by Twin Otter back to Union Glacier Camp this morning. From there, if everything stays on schedule, the team will organize all of their equipment and board the Ilyushin for their final flight back to Punta Arenas and civilization. Listen to the last audio update from Mt. Vinson below and stay tuned for the last blog update after the team is safely back in Chile.
The team at Vinson Base Camp