Mt Vinson + Last degree ski south pole
This is the best surprise for me in this Antarctic season. Because there is some problems about one of the Chinese mountain guide from China. Therefore, I have a chance to escort 4 Chinese clients to climb Mt Vinson (the highest in the most southern) and ski to South Pole from 89 degree! The most amazing thing is I get pay to do so instead of paying crazy amount of money! Although Mt Vinson is 4982 meter high mountain, she is so different compare with other mountains I have been. She is more cold, windy and icy with breathtaking view of landscape. Even you fly to basecamp and have a look is an amazing experience. However, this group of client consider climbing Mt Vinson is a product and summit for personal achievement. Moreover, their skill and physical level still have a room of improvements, which give us a lot of headache for the first day!
Emotional summit – I do not feel any special but sad
Although climbing Mt Vinson is not technical and difficult, the cold injured is a major issue. When I summit the peak, I immediately cry nonstop! (this happen in Matterhorn too) Maybe I gladded that I can stop eventually, or for magnetized view? But, it is not for happiness and success! When I start to sit down and think, the client start to show their 1 kg of flags on the summit and ask me to help them to take the photo. Indeed, I feel very meaningless to take such pic for flag with people or make a phone call to newspapers. At this moment, I miss my day to do mountaineering alone in the Swiss Alps! Quiet moment to think and look!
Pointless South on Ski – Why we doing this ?
After Mt Vinson summit, we immediately fly to 89 degree south for last degree ski to South pole. Indeed, I do not understand why people doing this! Every day we travel 17-23 km (total is 110 km) on ski, same routine, same food and same white pointless landscape. As I said before, some client do not have good physical level. As a result, they dump all of the sharing equipments to guides. More unlucky on me, I suffer dry-cold cough which make me breathless all the time with my heavy shed (and the shed broken later on!). Everyday is a hard work but I do not know why we still head south!
However, the most southern landscape do make me fall into my deep mind thinking by a lot of unusual views (crystal sun, ice draft…etc). During seven days journey, once the tent packed, we just keep moving on ski with two poles 7-8hrs per days. Although it sounded a bit boring, I found myself to reflect my past and plan for future deeply as there is no other distraction on the ski. The expedition end up in the south pole. But, the new ideas and thought will last for my entire life. By the way, the south pole station really teach me a lots, where make me really want to work and live in this station.
Return the Civilization
Very strange for me to watch the sunset following darkness of sky and smell the sea/forest mix air again once I get off from the ice. I do not feel anything or sad! Maybe I feel more familiar of this white continent, where more I understand her, more I feel I do not know her well (similar as a girlfriend !?) OR, maybe I know that I have to come back Antarctica seven months later in this year, where I spend average 5 months work and live in each years!! Home is Antarctica ??, where change my entire life!!!