Today on December 3, 1998, in a twelve hour day, we reached the summit of Vinson. The sun was so strong that with all the heavy breathing, I burned the inside of my mouth on the reflection from the ice. But who cared? We’d made it! We’d stood on the top of the bottom of the world! (Highest peak in Antarctica!)
After our last night at Vinson Massif base camp in Antarctica, we headed up to Camp 1 to get closer to the summit. Even though it was bitter cold at times, loved this climb with our team!
Once we landed on the ice at Vinson base camp in Antarctica, it was like landing on the moon. There was no vegetation, no color, no living creatures—nothing but ice as far as the eye could see. We set up our tents—bright spots of color in the all-white world. The next day, it was a beautiful sunny morning so we climbed and carried gear, food, etc. from base camp, delivered it to Camp 1 and then descended back down to base camp. It took us from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. which led to a nice long sleep in the tents.
The first year Phil and I started dating, 1992, he took off to guide climbers up Vinson Massif in Antarctica in November. We missed each other on Thanksgiving that year; however he took this picture with my name carved into the snow when he landed at base camp. This so inspired me to climb Vinson Massif in the future!