Waiting for the mountain climbers …

Published 24.01 in category South Pole 2008

All day we were hoping to be able to fly back north, back to Punta Arenas in Chile; but now the wind is just a little bit too strong. We have been waiting for 20 climbers to return from Mount Winston – and since that is half the outward-bound passengers, there was no chance of taking off without them. It’s been foggy at the foot of the mountain where the climbing group has their camp, but now the Twin Otter is finally on its way to fetch them.

In the meantime, the wind has picked up, so our earliest possible departure is tomorrow. We’ll see what the weather is like after we have had a good night’s sleep.

The climbers will arrive in the course of the evening. But we also need to wait until landing conditions here in Patriot Hills are good enough to receive the large Ilyushin 76 machines that provide much of the air services to this continent. Maybe our flight will be tomorrow, perhaps it will take longer – on Antarctica you can never take anything for granted.

In each our own way, we have used the day. Svante, Helen, Andrew and I have gone skiing around Hills. The others have relaxed, read a book or newspaper. We are quite comfortable and have no cause for complaint – but we are eager to return to Punta Arenas as soon as possible.

I’ll send you some more photos from Patriot Hills; it’s very different from the South Pole.



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