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Scrabble, Aussies and Chilean Beer
Tuesday, December 07, 1999

Mark Sicola

It is Tuesday night, and earlier I had word that the guys were heading up from Camp III for a possible summit, but since then, no word... There was a break in the weather on Mt. Vinson and I think they are going for it!

The snow is perfect for a ski and snowboard descent with up to a 18" of fresh snow on the summit, and we have word from one of the guides that the snow is amazing — something that expert skiers like Doug Coombs and Mark Newcomb and extreme boarders Stephen Koch and Doug Stoup will just eat up on their amazing descent down from the summit of Mt. Vinson.

I've been checking in as much as possible with the team and thank God for our producer in Los Angeles, Lisa Faragallah, who has been able to call them and keep in touch when it's been impossible from my end.

Wade McKoy and Dirk Collins, both amazing photographers in their own right, have been getting killer footage of the team climbing and killing it on a couple of descents near the headwall between Camp III and Camp II, and I'm sure right now as I speak, they are working their way up to 16,864 feet to complete the summit of Mt. Vinson Massif, the highest peak on the Antarctic continent.

It's 12:30am on Wednesday morning, the sun is barely peaking through the cloud covered sky, and I'm playing scrabble with a bunch of Aussies and drinking a Chilean beer, waiting for any radio or satellite phone transmission from the climbing team up on Vinson. It's not an easy job I have, but someone has to do it!

As soon as I hear word, or if they phone in from the summit, I'll send in an update or you'll hear from them direct. Signing off...

— Mark Sicola, Correspondent


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