Voyer: Vinson 2001
standing at the Earth's three polesthe North
Pole, the South Pole and Mount
EverestBernard Voyer has taken on a new
challenge: A world tour via the highest mountain
on each continent.
November 8, 2001, Bernard
Voyer will complete the last stop on his World
Tour of the highest mountains, by climbing Mount
Vinson (4897 meters), the highest peak in the Antarctic,
with climbing partner Nathalie Tremblay.
is Sunday. Everything is going well here. We made it
safely to Punta Arenas overnight from Friday to
Saturday. We're quite tired from all the flights. But
everything went well; all our luggage arrived safely
and we had absolutely everything we needed. We spent a
short night in Punta Arenas and began making
preliminary preparations toward the Antarctic. We then
left for Torres del Paine National Park, which is
located approximately 450 km north of Puntas Arenas.
This is a very special geological formation at the end
of the Andes mountain range; its peaks tower more than
2000 meters high; it is very, very beautiful.
set up camp at an altitude of 60 meters. We're not
very high up, but the hiking, the training is done
with good backpacks for hours and hours; we're
adapting to the altitude, climbing a lot, training a
lot-we're getting ourselves ready.
spring here. Everything is starting to turn green.
There are dandelions; the birds are all a-twitter; the
sun sets around 10 in the evening and rises around
5:30 in the morning. The wind blows constantly, which
is typical of the tip of South America. Near Cape
Horn, the weather changes constantly. Within a few
minutes, there can be a strong wind, clouds, two or
three snowflakes, and then the sun comes out, the wind
stops, it is warm, and then it starts all over again.
It is very, very unstable.
is going very well, and the more we train, the more
psychologically prepared we become to reach our next
goal, Mount Vinson.
further south we look, far, far beyond, there are
great chunks of ice waiting for us in the fastness of
to these places in Punta Arenas makes me a bit
nostalgic; I am reliving everything, seeing again the
places I visited during my expedition to the South
Pole, the preparation in Puntas Arenas, etc. I
have very beautiful memories.
11/13/2001: We're still in Torres Del Paine National
Park, 450 kilometers north of Punta Arenas, training
and making preparations. We're in an area of glaciers
and very strong winds, with very unstable weather. We
soon must return to Punta Arenas, maybe tomorrow, to
see whether we still can leave for Antarctica on the
the weather in Antarctica right now are terrible, with
howling winds and extreme conditions, which may delay
our departure for Antarctica. We don't know when we'll
get the green light. Our flight from Punta Arenas to
Antarctica will be in a Soviet plane, a Russian plane.
I'll give you the specifications of this aircraft
later, because we don't have them right now. It's a
Russian plane. Once in Antarctica, we'll be using two
types of planes, a DC-3 and probably a Cessna. So for
right now, we're just making preparations.
it's always windy, very strong winds, which is typical
of spring and summer in Patagonia. Curiously, the wind
dies down in winter, probably because the temperature
gradients or differences are smaller. But right now we
are experiencing constant, strong winds. I don't know
if there is as much wind in Antarctica, I certainly
hope not, but the wind here is blowing very strongly
all the time.
have gone on extended hikes, long hill walks, to train
and develop the proper frame of mind for the
expedition, and also to enjoy the amazing scenery
here. I should point out that Torres Del Paine
National Park is a protected site. So it's very
beautiful, very uncommon. And quite popular with
visitors. Part of the park gets many visitors, but to
approach the mountain range and get close to the rock
faces is a lot more difficult. There are only
footpaths, often with sharp gradients to approach the
web site for more up to date dispatches in French.
more on Bernard on EverestNews.com including his
interview after Everest see