After 4½ days by the Basler at base camp, the team for the Mount Sidley 2019/2020 season has finally been able to commence its ascent of the mountain.
I have been in touch with Andrew Hughes and he tells me that:
“At long last the weather gods graced us with minimal winds, mostly blue skies, and sunshine after we woke this morning in a thick impenetrable fog.
We left around 3 pm and completed four legs of an hour a piece till we came upon a level perch to place our high camp. Everyone now has delighted in their dehydrated dinners and is tucking in for the night as we have a mammoth day tomorrow to reach the summit with around 4,600 feet of elevation to gain.”
He has kindly sent me this photo of one of the rope teams with the Basler in the background set against the vastness of the Antarctic ice sheet.
The top camp being used by this team is in a different location from that used by the previous two teams who started their climbs from the ice sheet. But with the broad open slopes, there is no standard route up the mountain. Therefore there is scope for exploring different approaches to the climb.
1,402m or 4,600ft of climbing to the summit will make it quite a long summit day. Let’s hope that the weather holds good.
If I receive any further photos from this first part of the climb I will post them here.
You can find the previous blog on this trip here.