Vinson Massif: Dec 2010 – 4,892 m /16,050 ft
Ever since reading a book of Dad’s on the great British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctica has intrigued me. It is a land of dreams; a truly pristine environment of epic proportions and extremities. For half of the year, there is 24 hours of daylight. It is a remote and remarkable place.
The highest peak in Antarctica lies within the Ellsworth mountain range a mere 600 miles from the South Pole.
Having landed on a blue ice runway by a former Russian cargo plane, we set about attempting to climb Vinson Massif. Having dragged sleds and load carried to Camp 2, our progress was halted down at Camp 1 for 7 days.
We were forced to cut blocks of ice to protect our tents from getting decimated by the wind but finally the weather cleared and we moved back up to Camp 2 to prepare for our summit attempt.
After only 4 hours – it usually takes almost twice that – we were standing at the highest point in Antarctica with clear blue skies and an unforgettable view.
It was an incredible expedition and one that will remain with me for the rest of my life.