November 23 - Mid-December
Dates are contingent on the weather
Thursday, December 23, 1999
"I'm really excited getting back to Jackson Hole for the holidays to see my wife and all my friends and go skiing...."
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MountainZone.com will follow a world-class ski and snowboard expedition to the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica, to cybercast its attempt to descend Vinson Massif (16,076ft/4,897m), the highest peak on the fifth largest continent.
The team is comprised of a strong group of glisse mountaineers, including: Doug Coombs, Dirk Collins, Stephen Koch, Wade McKoy, Mark Newcomb and Douglas Stoup. With a few different possibilities for the descent, the chosen route will be determined by weather conditions and the group's own creativity. Though the mountain has been skied, there still lies an empty canvas waiting for tracks down a number of couloirs and faces. To the best of our knowledge, Vinson has never been snowboarded.
This expedition is made up of two snowboarders and four skiers. Their main
- To successfully ski and snowboard Vinson Massif. The normal route on Vinson has been skied, but team members are scoping out alternate routes that have not seen tracks. This would be the first snowboard descent of Vinson and the fifth milestone by Stephen Koch on his quest for the seven summits.
- Explore surrounding peaks in the Ellsworth Mountains.
- Dirk Collins, chief cinematographer on the expedition, will be shooting 16mm film with a Bolex camera for Teton Gravity Research. Wade McKoy is documenting the expedition with still photographs, and Doug Stoup is shooting digital film.
Team members will leave the United States from Los Angeles, CA. They'll fly through Lima, Peru, to Stantiago, Chile, to Punta Arenas just north of Cape Horn. From Punta Arenas, they'll board an Adventure Network International (ANI) C-130 transport for a seven-hour flight to Patriot Hills on the Antarctic continent.
From Patriot Hills, conditions permitting, the team will charter a Twin Otter to the base of Vinson Massif. From there, it's all up to the weather and them.
Michelle Quigley, MountainZone.com staff
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