Coco in Antarctica: the long wait is over


Coco in Antarctica

Coco in Antarctica - Union Glacier

After the success obtained on 4th of January, when Coco completed the ascension of Mt. Vinson – a new age record for Romania, it followed a range of days in waiting of the departure to the next objective: Mt. Sidley, the highest volcano in Antarctica.

Finally, on Saturday 22nd of January, the team left to Sidley in order to climb to that place where no other teams ever get.

“We have already stayed in Union Glacier for 15 days waiting to leave. Meanwhile we did some ski and now we’re walking on the nearby peaks and we’re practicing. We are optimistic even though the end of the season is near and nothing seems sure for Sidley. Everybody say that tomorrow (22.01.2011) we’ll get off the ground. We’ll try to climb as quickly as possible. The problem is that nobody knows where we will land and what is there. After Vinson and so many days of training here, while there were many scenarios regarding the first leading team, now the team is for sure: I, Mario, Alex, the agent of ALE – Mike Sharp and one American guide that comes to learn the route – Scott Woolams will leave for Mt. Sidley.”, says Coco.

The departure of the team for Mt. Sidley was delayed due to a series of unpredictable events. In Punta Arenas, the ALE’s logistic base, a week of general strikes blocked all the access routes and the take-off of Ilushyn, in which the other alpinists should have been, was also blocked. When the strikes ended and everything was set for the departure, unpleasant news changed again the plans: one of the plane’s engine stop running. So there was another week of waiting while the Russian mechanics repaired the malfunction.

All this time, the weather was favorable, according to what Coco said us over the phone: „The weather was relatively good until now: it wasn’t cold and the temperature hasn’t come down under -34 degrees, but there was windblown every day. There was only 3 days of coldness and powerful wind.

When finally Coco managed to send the first pictures from the expedition, via a Russian pilot, she reassured his father that things are ok, by sending him a message written on a napkin: „You have no reason to be worried, everything is ok and it can’t happen anything wrong here.

Till now, Coco accomplished one of the two objectives of the Antarctica’s expedition: the ascension of Mt. Vinson completed on 4th of January 2011. If the ascension of Mt. Sidley (the highest volcano of Antarctica) succeeds, Coco will become the first alpinist in the world that completes the Seven Volcanoes circuit, managing to successfully climb the highest 7 volcanoes from the 7 continents.

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