our sponsors, you wouldn't see this site, please visit our
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.
11/26/2001: We are still in Punta Arenas. The weather
conditions in Antarctica are not improving at all.
There are huge cloud banks accompanied by strong
winds, which makes any thought of flying impossible.
The next weather updates will come at the very end of
the day, and we will know whether we can leave this
evening, overnight or tomorrow. We don't know yet, but
for now, no flight can land. There is no way the
Ilyushin aircraft can land on a natural ice landing
strip in these conditions.
we're still biding our time here in Punta Arenas,
waiting for our flight.
to you again soon, Bernard Voyer
11/27/01: At 7:00 o'clock this morning, the call came
for us to get ready. The weather conditions apparently
had cleared up quite quickly. The winds were still far
too strong this morning, but appeared to be settling
down. A trend toward better weather conditions. So we
got ready: we left the hotel here by bus for a
half-hour drive to the Punta Arenas airport. Then we
went through the typical flight check-in, although
this was neither a domestic nor an international
flight, but a special flight to Antarctica. The
Russian crew was already there, so we joined them to
wait for the weather to break. But the clearing trend
quickly stopped. The conditions stabilized with very
strong winds and gusts, especially gusting winds in
Antarctica, making any landing on the Patriot Hills
natural airstrip impossible for the Ilyushin-76
waited until 3 :30 pm, almost the entire day, with
weather updates every 20 minutes, but no improvement
and no deterioration, steady winds with very strong
gusts. This pattern continued for the entire day. So
we decided to return to Punta Arenas and reclaim our
baggage left at the hotel. All our equipment, however,
has been loaded on the Ilyushin for several days,
ready for takeoff.
here we are back in Punta Arenas, where we continue to
wait on weather updates every two hours or so, for a
takeoff window. But we have absolutely no idea when.
The call might come in the middle of the night, so
we're waiting for another break in the weather.
this was a false start. Everything was ready, we had
put on our mountain-climbing gear, so we would be
ready to deplane in Antarctica in the middle of a
fierce storm and freezing temperatures. But we
returned to our starting point to wait yet again.
only consolation is that the mountain isn't about to
go anywhere or lose altitude, and it's not like the
ice is going to melt in Antarctica. So we're trying to
keep our spirits up as best we can, while we wait.
There's nothing else to be done. We're waiting again
for another tentative departure, as soon as the
weather conditions in Antarctica calm down a little.