Well, its about that time we depart for the deep south! Kristine & I have laid all our gear & clothing out and still have a few items to pick up, but for the most part we’re ready to leave tomorrow, December 14. Our scheduled return to Denver is Sunday, January 5. If all goes well and weather allows for on-schedule flights, we arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile Sunday evening, December 15, fly on the Russian Ilyushin-76 to Union Glacier, Antarctica on Tuesday, December 17, and fly back to Punta Arenas, Chile on Monday, December 30. If that is the case, Kristine & I will have 4-5 days in southern Chile to tour around and hopefully do some hiking & backpacking in Chilean Patagania north of Punta Arenas. But, if we cannot fly back to Punta Arenas from Antarctica until later, that’s just how it is. Let’s just hope we make our Saturday, January 4 flight back to the USA!

I’m bringing my Santa hat and hopefully if weather allows and the stars align, we should be attempting the summit of Vinson sometime around Christmas! Christmas on the ice! I like the sound of that.

I don’t think Kristine & I have been on a guided trip in well over a decade, but as much as we didn’t like the idea at first, we’re pretty excited to be a part of an ALE/ANI guided trip up Vinson, especially since its just Kristine, myself, our friend Kevin Vann, and a guide for a team of four. ALE/ANI essentially runs the show in Antarctica and all I’ve heard is wonderful things about the company, the staff, their planes (including the Russian Ilyushin-76) and all of the provisions provided. I am sure it will be top-notch.

I just received our new satellite phone number. The number is 8816-3162-2840. Now, folks can text us as much as they would like for free and we encourage that! Just know that we cannot text you back without costing us an arm and a leg. But, know we are reading them! To text us, go to www.iridium.com and click “send a satellite message” at the top of the screen. Enter the satellite phone number, your email address, and the 160 character maximum text message. Its pretty easy.

OK, well, I think that’s about it. Our good friend Scott Hook who climbed Kilimanjaro with us in 2011 will be receiving our satellite phone calls and updating this blog hopefully fairly often so stay tuned for updates. Hopefully, Vinson is lucky #7 for Kristine, myself, and Kevin. Thanks for all the well wishes & positive vibes!

I’ll leave you with a really neat video of the Russian Ilyushin-76, which we will be flying, landing at Union Glacier, Antarctica: