All the way to Andarctica

It was December 1999 when we were in Antarctica, the first Greeks in order to climb the Vinson Massif. It is the highest mountain in Antarctica with altitude 4897 meters and belongs to the great mountain range of the Ellsworth Mountains.

Patriot Hills

Our team consisted of : Michael Tsoukias, Nick Wolf, Alekos Tsilogeorgis, Theodore Papagiannis Theodore Fatsis and Christos Lambris. It was a 20 years dream and finally it came true. We reached the foot of the mountain with a Cessna plane flying from Patriot Hills, and the total ascent lasted six days. The climb did not had technical difficulties and only the thing we had to consider was the weather conditions.

Although in the Ellsworth Mountains the average snowing is not much, the days we were there, threw much more amount of snow, almost as much throws all year.
Nicos Likos (wolf)

What I will never forget was when we finished the climb and we returned to our base at Patriot Hills.
This base is the only base in Antarctica used by climbers and explorers of Antarctica, it is 4.5 hours flight from Punta Arenas (with C-130) and is the only part of Antarctica where an airplane with wheels  can land.

This is a level glacier blue transparent ice, next to the hill, to the 80th parallel, and just because the landing is on ice, should not have almost no air for safely reasons. Before we get to the plane for take off the weather deteriorated and as the days passed the wind speed increased. We all are gathered in the central tent base, specially designed for such conditions, and we barely used our little tent.

Top of Vinson

When the wind began to exceed 120 km, it was impossible even to go out, in such a situation you feel the absolute white out (like the black out in reverse), you cannot see either your nose literally.
It is extremely dangerous to completely lose your orientation and to lose the way to your tent.

Movements in the camp were firmly tied with ropes and this situation lasted more than 24 hours with air overcomes even 160 km at this time. Many sleeping tents broke, and even the central tent, lost a part, it took all of us to fall on it to repair it
From this mission two were my important things left to mind. One was the overall sizes of the Antarctic, the vast glaciers of the ice thickness exceed 4.000 meters, the temperatures dropped to -80 ° C in winter (we encountered temperatures near -50 C), and the fact that here is 90% of the ice on the planet.
booth of snow at Patriot Hills

The other thing that stayed in my mind was the storm that I mentioned above, both of these elements have the same denominator: the nature is so strong that no man will ever conquer, only when you find yourself in the eye of the storm can evaluate the strength. And of course I smile every time I see on the news to call "extreme weather events" some "beach" conditions.

Christos Lambris

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