In one month’s time the ALE team to Mount Sidley may well have climbed the mountain and be back at Union Glacier. This year ALE are arranging for eight climbers to make the attempt. I understand that at least five are Seven Summiters and of those at least three will also complete the Volcanic Seven Summits with this climb. So it will be an experienced group.
As I have blogged in the past, the V7S is becoming ever more popular. A check of the ALE website shows that there is already a waiting list for the 2021 Sidley trip. And the cost is ever more expensive at $59,950 for the 12 day trip (topping Vinson’s $44,500) – about what you might pay for Everest for up to 3 months – and this does not include the cost of making your way to Punta de Arenas.
Last year’s group was small at three in number. But two of those three were also Seven Summiters. Is this an indicator that Seven Summiters are looking for a different challenge? Perhaps for some the answer is yes.
I understand that this year’s group will include up to three Americans, four South Africans and, possibly, one of a Canadian, a Frenchman or a Russian. There are quite a few Russians with six of the V7S under their belts. Therefore there could be four or more V7S completers in January.
Whilst I keep an eye out for information on those who might be looking to complete the V7S challenge, not everyone has an internet presence. So my information is a bit hit and miss.
For David Roskelley from Utah and Vaughan de la Harpe and Arthur Marsden from South Africa who will all be on the trip, they are looking to be the first from their countries not only to complete the V7S but also the Seven Summits/V7S combo. Perhaps David will have some competition from any other Americans who will be with him!
The ALE trip is scheduled to leave Punta Arenas on 9th January and so the team might expect to be at Sidley as early as 11th January with a possible summit around 14th if the weather is favourable. More likely a summit attempt will be a couple of days later. With such a large team I am assuming that they will travel to Sidley in the trusty Basler. This means that, like last year, the attempt will start from the ice cap rather than from Sidley’s crater. That will give them a bit more distance and elevation to cover but without the steep climb out of the crater.
As usual I will provide a wrap up of the trip and update the lists of Sidley summiters and V7S completers in the second half of January. If I receive any news during the trip I will provide an interim update.
Good luck to this season’s climbers.
As ever if anyone reading this blog has any up to date information or has corrections to anything that I have written in my blogs, please let me know.
The link to the list of Sidley summiters as at January 2019 is here.
The link to V7S completers as at January 2019 is here. I have not heard of anyone completing this challenge since January 2019.
[Note – this blog was updated on 22nd December 2019 following receipt of further information.]