Treck And Ascent Sets Record
Four Australians have found a place in the history books by being to first team to trek from the Antarctic coast to the summit of Mt. Vinson. Peter Weeks, Robert North, Robert Jackson and team leader Duncan Chessell, started their journey three weeks ago, each starting the journey towing 60kg of supplies on sleds for the 400 kilometer journey to Mt Vinson.
As one of the "Seven Summits", the 4892m mountain gets regular attention and has seen many ascents but this team is the first to make an unsupported trek from the coast then successfully ascend the mountain. Vinson was the last mountain that Chessel needed to complete to enter the Seven Summit club.
Mt Vinson was first climbed by an American team in 1966 with Nicholas Clinch reaching the summit first on December 18th, and the other ten members of the team summiting over a period of three days. They climbed from the west side of the massif and established the the trade route that is now used to guide paying clients to the peak.
The scale of the 1966 expedition was large. It was backed by the American Alpine Club and National Geographic, while the U.S. Navy and the National Science Foundation gave support in the field, which included the use of a ski equipped C 130 Hercules to fly the team to the base of the mountain
The first ascent by the more technical east side was made by a team lead by Conrad Anker in 2001. The team of eight included author and climber John Krakauer, and a camera team recording footage of the climb.