British Guides open season in Antarctica
BMG Ranger Patrol Opens Summit Season on Mount Vinson, Antarctica
Working as rangers for U.S. based company ‘Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE)’ British Guides Simon Abrahams and Rob Jarvis have just opened the summer summit season on Mount Vinson (at 4892m the highest mountain in Antarctica).
ALE provide air access to the mountain via an Illyushin-76 Jet from Southern Patagonia to their new base camp ‘Union Glacier’ in the Southern Ellsworth Mountains. A 40 minute Twin Otter flight from there takes you to base camp and a spectacular view of Mount Vinson summit over the Branscomb Face. ALE help to manage and maintain the mountain as the most pristine of the 7 summits. All human waste is removed from the mountain and grey water and urine disposal are concentrated at the two camps and designated flagged points along the route.
Marker wands are placed at roughly 100m intervals along the route and 1200m of fixed rope are maintained between high and low camps.
Around 150-200 climbers attempt the mountain each year with a very high percentage success rate.
Mount Vinson lies within the Antarctic Ellsworth chain of which there are stunning views from high on the mountain . The impressively large and steep S. Faces of Mount Epperly and Tyree are particularly prominent. At 4852m Tyree is the 2nd highest peak in Antarctica and a much tougher proposition than Vinson having received only 4 ascents. These were by strong French & American teams, all by different routes.
The Antarctic season runs from the start of November to the end of January and a standard Vinson programme costs about $35000. More details are available on the ALE website. For those wanting to explore further afield and explore some of the unclimbed peaks of the Ellsworth tailor made packages are also available.