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Author Topic: Climber stranded at base of Vinson, Allen misses flight after successful climb  (Read 3712 times)


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"It's beginning to look like a very white Christmas for Columbus mountain climber Bud Allen.

The real estate developer and two climbing companions reached the craggy peak of 16,067-foot Mount Vinson, the highest point on the continent of Antarctica, Sunday evening. After lingering at the top about 40 minutes, they began descending the mountain, reaching the base Monday only to find they had just missed a twin-engine airplane flight to a larger camp called Patriot Hills. On top of that, fog began rolling in.

"He's stranded at the base of the mountain right now," Allen's wife, Terri, said Tuesday. She has been communicating with the climbing team sporadically via satellite telephone.

"Basically, it's wait and see now, which is not what we wanted to hear," Terri Allen said. "He was kind of aggravated. But at least they did summit, so he's not sitting there disappointed because they didn't make it to the top of the mountain."

Allen, 46, is on the Antarctica expedition with Peter Amantia, from New York, and Dave Hahn, a guide with Canada-based outfitter Berg Adventures International.

Allen left Columbus Dec. 8 en route to Punta Arenas, Chile, where he caught a jet flight to Patriot Hills on Antarctica. From there, the expedition began in earnest, with Allen carrying about 70 pounds of equipment on the $30,000 expedition.

The trek to the summit began Sunday morning, taking 8 hours and 40 minutes to reach the top. Wally Berg, owner of Berg Adventures, has been on Mount Vinson four times. He said it's a surreal experience.

"There is nothing that compares to being on top of the highest point in Antarctica and looking out across the ice caps, the expanse of glacial pureness," Berg said.

Berg, who has been communicating with the team, said the weather and temperatures have been very kind to Allen and his fellow climbers. The skies were sunny and it was likely between minus 10 degrees and minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit on the summit. The biggest dangers on the ice-covered continent, which experiences 24 hours of light this time of year, are the temperatures and the wind.

Mount Vinson is just one of seven of the world's highest peaks on each continent Allen is attempting to scale. He already has made it up Kilimanjaro in Africa and Elbrus in Russia.

Next spring or fall, Allen and Berg are planning to tackle Everest, the tallest peak in the world at 29,035 feet.

For now, however, Terri Allen doesn't want to hear a word about Everest. Instead, the family will wait patiently, readying a traditional homecoming meal of stew and cornbread when the father of two grown daughters returns, be it before or after Christmas.

"This is just part of the whole experience," she said. "It's just not a horrible thing for us... . We'll have Christmas when he gets home."

Found here, written by TONY ADAMS

"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
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