The first Greek Expedition trying to conquer Vinson Massif, left Greece on November 12 for the South of Chile (Patagonia), where it will remain for a few days, in order to follow an acclimatisation program in extremely adverse conditions in the surrounding mountains and glaciers.

On November 21, using a specially constructed airplane, Hercules, the Greeks will fly to Antarctica, to Patriot Hills, the only platform on earth consisting of blue ice.

From then, till December 6, which is the programmed date of return to Patagonia, the main mountaineering try will be effected.

According to program, the group will be back in Athens on December 10, but eventual extreme weather conditions will probably modify this date.

Nikos Lykos
42, from Athens.

Theodore Fatsis
25, from Florina. Mountain guide, river guide, marathon runner and snow skater.

Christos Lambris
38, the photographer of the Expedition, from Ioannina. Mountain and river guide, experienced from expeditions to Himalaya and Andes.

Theodore Papayiannis
30, already participated to expeditions to Himalaya and Andes.

Alekos Tsiloyiorgis
48, the "telecommunications" of the expedition, from Kavala. Mountain guide and mountaineering trainer, already participated to expeditions to Himalaya and Andes.

Michalis Tsoukias
Leader of the Expedition, from Athens. He already participated to expeditions to Himalaya and Andes. Ex president of the Greek Mountaineering Club of Athens and vice president of the Greek Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing

>What is Vinson Massif?

A mountaineer on the highest
point of Vinson Massif

Mount Vinson (4.897m, peak 5.140m), located 600 miles from the South Pole and 1200 miles from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, has the following coordinates: Latitude 78 35' S, Longitude 85 25' W. It is the highest peak on the Antarctic continent. Vinson is a part of the Ellsworth Mountains.

During the summer season, November through January, we have 24 hours of sunlight. Although the average temperature during these months is -28oC, the intense sun will melt snow on dark objects. Although annual snowfall on Vinson is low, high winds may cause base camp accumulations to 18 inches in a year. The temperature Low is -40C, with average of -27C.

The neighboring peaks are: MountTyree (5852m), MountShinn (4667m), MountGardner (4587m), MountEpperly (4520m).

It was nearly 200 years after James Cook circumnavigated Antarctica that the summit of Mt. Vinson was reached on December 17, 1966, by the team led by Nicholas B. Clinch. Vinson was named for Congressman Carl G. Vinson of Georgia, who was influential in promoting Antarctic exploration from 1935-1961. Lincoln Ellsworth, who made a number of flights across Antarctica between 1934-1939, named the Ellsworth Range, discovered on November 23, 1935. Best climbing months are December, January, February.

Photoes from the departure of the Greek Group

Good morning from the faraway ANTARCTICA!

Today, the ascent to Vinson Massif has been completed with great success from the 5 members of the Hellenic team under extremely difficult weather conditions, with the temperature reaching -40C and the wind speed at 25 km/hour causing the parameter of cold to fall down to -60C - we were wearing any clothes we had available - and after 10 hours of effort, the 5 members of the expedition stepped on the top. The head of the expedition was forced to return back due to problems he faced, caused by the stomach and the high altitude.

Now the whole team has returned to Camp III, where we rest and drink some tea. The weather remains fair but very cold and we have not decided yet about the future plans. We will be in touch.


With these few words the leader of the expedition announced the success of the effort!
Here below is a collection of photoes shot during the expedition.

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