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Mountaineers at Mount Vinson are still stuck

The Vinson Massif

“Morale is waning, that’s clear,” Dominik Müller, head of the German expedition operator Amical alpin, tells me when I talk to him about the situation in Mount Vinson Base Camp. As reported, a total of 48 mountaineers, including a five-member Amical team, have been stuck there in bad weather for a week and a half now. Food is running out slowly but surely. “Our Christmas dinner was bizarre, sweet mashed potatoes with jam and cinnamon,” wrote Jürgen Landmann, one of the German climbers, on Facebook on Christmas Day. “We built a small chapel and a Christmas tree out of snow. We also took a group picture with all 48 mountaineers here in the base camp.”

Date

27. December 2018 | 15:33

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Whiteout at Mount Vinson

Mount Vinson

Christmas with the family beneath the Christmas tree – this might not happen for about 40 mountaineers in Antarctica. For about a week now, several teams have been stuck in the base camp at the foot of the 4,852-metre-high Mount Vinson, the highest mountain of the continent. Severe storm with speeds of around 100 kilometers per hour and heavy snowfall have been preventing aircrafts from taking off or landing there for days. “We rationed the food for one warm meal a day,” writes Manuel Möller, with whom I was on an expedition to the 7,129-meter-high Kokodak Dome in 2014, where we succeeded the first ascent. Manuel had actually wanted to be home again on 21 December: “We are now prepared for still spending Christmas here.”

Date

22. December 2018 | 19:38

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Fiennes stopped on Aconcagua by his back

Ranulph Fiennes on Aconcagua

Ranulph Fiennes on Aconcagua

Is he really getting old after all? Sir Ranulph Fiennes has back trouble. Britain’s best-known adventurer had to be flown off from Aconcagua by a rescue helicopter at the beginning of the week. On the highest mountain of South America, the 72-year-old suffered from so bad back pain that he could not continue his ascent to the highest point on 6,962 meters. “I was within just a few hours of the summit but problems with my back meant I couldn’t continue,” Fiennes said. “I’m very frustrated, but I’ve learnt that at my age you can’t ignore any pain.”

Date

19. January 2017 | 21:30

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