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Footsteps on the Flat Horizon
Saturday, December 11, 1999

Stephen Koch
The Team's Call from Antarctica
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Hello, Mountain Zone. This is Stephen Koch with the Antarctica '99 Ski and Snowboard Expedition, calling in on the — I don't know really know what day because the sun just traverses above the horizon here and doesn't even try to set this time of year — I think after Christmas it might start trying.

What is going on with our group is, we are back from Vinson Base. We flew back on a DC-3 and all went well. We had to wait for good weather, which we did all day yesterday, because it's up to Dave Hahn to make the decision as to if we can fly and when we can fly based on basically the clouds and the weather systems. I'm about five minutes outside of Patriot Hills and I'm walking into my shadow at 11:15pm or so. What I'm going to do is put the phone down and let you hear what I am walking on and the sound of me walking on snow into a totally flat horizon because that's what there is as I'm heading into my shadow. So listen up to that.

Those who are reading, I don't know how they're going to try and describe this, the sound of me walking on snow, but that's for Mountain Zone to decide.

We had a great trip and we climbed and snowboarded, and skied Mt. Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica, which was the fifth of the seven summits for me, which I am trying to do. Mark Newcomb, Doug Coombs and myself went over to Mt. Shinn and did the first ski and snowboard descent, we believe, of Mount Shinn, which was phenomenal. We started that descent at midnight in glorious light in between two huge mushrooms.

What else is going on...everyone's healthy and happy and ready to try and fly out. We met Anne [Unintelligible] from Adventure Network International, who's the owner, today — she's down here. She was up doing dishes and hanging out with everyone. She's going to be hopefully flying back on the Herc tomorrow with us back to Punta Arenas. After that, I think the team's going back home and I'm going to try to visit my brother in Bolivia.

So I'm going to give you the sound of me walking on snow now and I'll just end with that and you can hopefully imagine me looking out at total flatness. There's a couple of people here who are going to be parasailing. They are basically skiing with sails and they're going to Queen Maud Land to check out some routes. A guy from France and I believe a guy from Norway, who's crossed across Antarctica before, I'm sorry I don't have their names right now. But that's just phenomenal seeing them testing out their gear earlier today when we flew in. But hopefully the weather will stay nice like it is right now, it is gorgeous; there's no wind. Then we'll get out of here tomorrow.

It's been a phenomenal expedition, very successful, very fun, everyone got along great. We're looking forward to connecting up with everyone in the future, but right now here's my footsteps and thanks a lot Mountain Zone and everyone out there for reading and listening, take care. This is Stephen Koch for the American Ski and Snowboard Expedition. Bye. [The sound of Koch's foosteps on crunchy snow]

— Stephen Koch, Correspondent


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