Summit Date: Jan. 16, 2017 Time: 10 days
Nine months after returning from Everest, I was ready to head to Antarctica. Getting there was an adventure itself! The continent is serene and beautiful.
When you see photos of tourists or penguins, they’re usually on one of the smaller islands, but once you reach the mainland, there’s nothing there. No animals or plants in sight. As a visitor to this unspoiled land you must be responsible and take absolutely everything back with you when you leave.
The weather was incredibly cold. They keep the plane cold, otherwise you could go into shock, going from a warm plane to such sudden cold. When we got off the plane, I took off my gloves to take a photo, and my hands immediately felt frozen.
January is summer time there, so the sun never sets. That’s an unexpected challenge, having to sleep outdoors when there’s 24 hours of daylight.
We landed at Union Glacier, and then took a ski plane to base camp, which is further inland.
This climb was my first time using sleds. For my other climbs, we had Porters or Sherpas, but here we had to carry all our own gear, with sleds and massive backpacks. I learned a lot about mountaineering from my guide on this climb.
Standing at the top of Vinson was absolutely gorgeous. You just see miles and miles of beautiful mountain tops with pure white snow. It’s pristine. There’s nothing else in sight. No animals, no other climbers, just gorgeous beauty.
I love being totally immersed in nature and not worrying about any of the stress of everyday life. It’s always a bit overwhelming once the climb is over and I’m coming home.
Liz Rose is a 26-year-old mountain climber from West Vancouver, British Columbia who is poised to become the youngest Canadian to climb the Seven Summits of the world. For her seventh summit she is raising funds for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Donate to her fundraiser.