Thursday in Punta Arenas
Weather: 8 degrees intermittent clouds and moderate wind.
Shippam Shape: excellent, in high spirits.
Lazy day for the team. We had a briefing in the morning to review gear and weight allowances for the flight to Antarctica. 20kg of personal gear, 52 kg per person overall – hence the difference, 32 kg will be fuel, food, shovels, tent etc.
We did a walkabout and saw Magellan’s statue and kissed the foot that brings travelers good luck! (see photo)
Dave, Barry and I then went to the ALE briefing. There will be about 30 other climbers on Vinson at the same time as us. Dave and Barry know a bunch of the other guides – it felt like homecoming at school. The ALE staff reviewed waste procedures on Vinson – they are very professional – see it as it is and leave it as it was – and hence there are very strict guidelines on the mountain.
They have had 5 flights over so far – weather has been reasonable and in fact a bit warmer than usual at Patriot Hills; -5 to -10 range. There was one brief snowstorm on the mountain but all groups checked in and are doing well. Already there has been a bunch to the summit!
All of us are getting excited as it becomes more real every day. Lots of sorting through our personal stuff to see what we must have, what would be nice to have, and what isn’t necessary in order to keep us down to weight.