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10,000 Feet and Snowing
Friday, December 03, 1999: Daily Stats

Mark Newcomb
The Team's Call from Antarctica
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Hello Mountain Zone, this is Doug Coombs calling from Mount Vinson Camp II. We're at about 10,000 feet. This is the '99 Antarctica Ski and Snowboard Expedition.

We finally made radio contact with Patriot Hills Base after three days without any contact and talked to Mark Sicola about our progress. Right now our progress is kind of bleak. It's snowing — it's been snowing for 15 hours. It's a light snow, but it's constant. We're up to three or four inches right now, about eight percent moisture content, good skiing snow. According to the statistics this is about 15-20 percent of the total snowfall for the whole year on Mount Vinson, so getting five inches is a big deal here.

And the temperatures today are nice, zero to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. We just watched some Greeks try to climb from Camp II to Camp III. They were in pretty nice weather and, boom, they were in a whiteout. And they were right up on the "White Wall," we were calling it, because there was no way to see at all; they were in the white zone. So hopefully they'll get down okay, or make it up to Camp III. We'll tell you more about them tomorrow.

We're just going to hang out and let it stop snowing. Today I slept in until four o'clock. I think my sleep technology is really wired now; I'm learning how to sleep anytime, all the time. We got up at four; we were planning on taking off at 6pm. With 24 hours of daylight, it seems like the hottest time of the day is from about four until midnight.

And so we're excited. Other than that, we're eating a lot and resting up to get to the top. Okay, bye-bye.

Doug Coombs, Correspondent


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