Vinson Massif: The Big Day

Vinson Reference Notes | BARAKA

Finally the big day had arrived – I left for Punta Arenas, Chile, on Christmas Day! On December 29, we woke early and waited for the call to say that the weather is clear enough to fly to Union Glacier, Antarctica! At Punta Arenas Airport, we boarded the Ilyushin IL-76; a Russian jet for the 4ΒΌ hour flight to Antarctica. The route crosses the Drake Passage, then follows the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the spine of the Ellsworth Mountains, before landing on a natural ice runway on Union Glacier. We then drove in a 4×4 van to the main Union Glacier Camp, where we attended a short briefing before settling in. From here and as soon as the weather allows, we take the short 45-minute flight to Vinson Base Camp…

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