The Wayback Machine - index_eng.htm
Home Page Equipment Sponsor Photo Gallery Press Release

We did it!

On the top of Vinson


We did it!

Left Italy on November 16th we reached
the summit of Mount Vinson on November 27th
and the South Pole on skis on December 14th (exactly 97 years after Amundsen).

At Sud pole whit the sky
It has been an exciting double adventure, even if strenuous and achieved under severe temperature conditions, worst than we expected. However, thanks to our technical equipment, we didn’t suffer any problems, not even at -32° in the tent or -50° (wind chill excluded) outside. We had to resort to an expedient to avoid, when in tent, to freeze electronical equipment, flasks, internal boots, etc: we kept everything inside the sleeping bag during the night. Great comfort!

During the climb to Mount Vinson, as our was the first expedition in the season, we had to prepare all camps, to build snow walls and bath shelters and to dig holes for kitchen tents; but all these efforts helped us to acclimatise for the summit day (and to spend our time).

Also the carried load was considerable: between 70 and 80 kg with sledges on the way to South Pole; 30/35 kg climbing M. Vinson and during the 1.200 meters of fixed ropes with a steep slope of 50/55% we have seen “paradise”.

The only impasse has been  the long delay of the Russian plane which had to get us back to Chile due to strong winds and snowstorms. Winds blowing at more than 120 Km/h have prevented it from landing in Patriot Hills for 10 days, keeping us stuck, Christmas Day included. And there is nothing more boring than 10 never-ending days in the tent, in the middle of nowhere, in the storm, when, what’s more, you have finished all the adventures. But, also this is a part of Antarctica, an incredible mainland, unbelievable and hostile until explored.

We are proud to have planted, and let waving for three days, the Italian flag at South Pole where it was missing since several years (Italy was not a contractor of the initial Antarctic Treaty and, therefore, our flag is not among the ones always present). And what makes us more proud is that two humble “mister Rossi”, the nickname that a journalist, in a cute way, gave us, have been the first Italians to complete this double exploit. The manager of the U.S. base at the Pole and the responsible of the flight logistic confirmed us this goal, really gratifying.
Besides, they will check in their files to confirm us who was the last Italian who reached the Pole with skis (they have not seen one during their 7 years stay).
Not bad! First of the season to summit Vinson, first to reach the South Pole and first Italians to achieve the two on-stream.

With the sled toward the Pole

We have to remember that, last year, four climbers from Valle d’Aosta, (two instructors and two guides) realised an expedition with the same difficulty but reaching Vinson base camp with skis (then summited) instead of the South Pole.

  It has been gratifying hearing all praises bestowed to a group of Italian people, who left a great remind as men and well prepared and experienced climbers: in particular for Marco, who was a S.M.ALP (Alpine Military School in Aosta) member.  
  We must thank all people who helped us to realise this dream, to begin with our families we left home for 45 days to the “sponsors” and friends for the financial and moral support. And thanks also to Focus World Expedition (and their correspondent in Antarctica) for the excellent flawless organization, even in such a remote mainland.  
2008 © Antarctic Top and Heart - All rights reserved