Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meet at the South Pole Penguins


7 Summits Expedition Team Mahitala

Living things penguin named it even more bizarre than the live picture in our minds or television. His figure is a combination of birds and ducks with the back and belly grayish white.

Part and a round head like a duck. However, small wings and grooves in the tail makes it more like a bird. As I walked, well this is the most ridiculous, they move unsteady skewed to the left and right, but stable pace. Vote "Wek, Wek, Wek" as they mingle on the gravel beach raises a strange noise in the middle of tense quiet.
Landscape flock of penguins playing on the edge of the beach was opened on our way to the frozen continent region. Silence and ambushed the temperature five degrees Celsius so we got off the plane in Punta Arenas Airport.

To see the penguins at the Penguin Colony beach, we drove about 2 hours from Punta Arenas. Out of the car, we had to walk about 1 kilometer to the beach where the penguins were set. Penguins are only in small amounts, 30-50 tails and small size, maximum height 40-50 inches. Very strong wind can reach 80 kilometers per hour.

All five of us, Sofyan Arief Fesa (27), Broery Andrew (21), Janatan Ginter (21), Purnomo Budi Hartono (51), and myself, Francis Xavier (21), will climb Mount Vinson Massif (4890 m).

Elbrus (6189 m)

This is the fourth peak that we climbed in the expedition climbing the seven highest peaks on seven continents (the Seven Summits). Long ascent which we live since 2009 that we bundle in Indonesia Mahitala Unpar Seven Summits Expedition. The team that is fully supported PT Mudking Asia Pacific Kingdom began the ascent of the Carstensz Pyramid (4884 m) and Kilimanjaro (5189 m) in Africa and Elbrus (6189 m) in Russia.
Carstensz Pyramid (4884 m)

It feels like a dream. Age-old could never have thought would set foot on the Antarctic region and meet the penguins. Unique animal pole occupant that exist only in dreams or, at best stuffed toys in childhood.

Kilimanjaro (5189 m)

Thousands of miles we traveled to undergo "a dream come true"is. From Jakarta, Sunday (28/11), we flew more than 26 hours to get to Santiago, Chile. A sense of fatigue immediately treated with friendly welcome Ambassador to Chile Mr Aloysius Alle Desk and its staff. Mr. Ambassador invited us to dinner with a treat tail soup, grill salmon, chicken rica green peppers, and various fruit and red wine Chile is famous for.

Santiago, Chile

From Santiago, we flew four hours and 10 minutes to Punta Arenas, a city on the southern tip of Latin America on Thursday (2 / 12). In this city's first meeting with a flock of penguins that became the opening of this story happened.

Polar Wind

We landed in Punta Arenas at 11:10 local time after a transit in Port Mounts. After landing, the plane was shaky because of the wind speed 48 knots. The pilot and crew had to wait about 20 minutes, brave new open exit door at the rear. He still did not dare open the front door for fear of damage that wind gust swept away. Many small plane failed to fly or to land because of the polar wind in the region.

Michael Horst, mountain guides of Alpine Ascent International, picked us up with a big car that can carry five of us with a 10 bale of goods. He describes the preparation team and the equipment carried.

polar bear

In Punta Arenas we are also waiting for Hiroyuki Kuraoka, also from AAI mountain guides who will accompany us in the ascent. The man from Japan is fun and rich experience in the snowy mountains.

When you first meet in Jakarta early last November, he said how lucky we were able to go to the South Pole at the end of this year. Each year only 200 people from around the world who get admission into the polar region. Strict quotas were imposed to preserve the frozen continent region that became the center of the country's research.
the South Pole

In Punta Arenas, on Thursday (2 / 12), we attended a briefing for all climbers or skiers who will be moving towards Antarctica. We were briefed on Antarctic history, geography, how to get there, weather conditions, what should and should not be done, lay out Vinson Base Camp, Glacier Union location, accidents frequently occur, equipment, procedures during his stay in Antarctica, frostbite and its prevention, procedures for defecation and urination. Feces must be brought back to Vinson Base Camp, to be brought back to Punta Arenas. So should not carelessly dispose of excreta in Antarctica!

Vinson Base Camp

Departure to Antarctica can not be ascertained due date, must wait for good weather and no wind blowing strong. They rely on the latest weather forecast margin is very narrow window of sky. That is, if you decided to leave, we were only given less than two hours should have checked in at the airport, immediately boarding, and the plane would drop us at the Union Glacier with a long trip around the four hour flight. Everything must be done fast aircraft, including the unloading of goods at the Union Glacier and back to Punta Arenas.

The time is less than 12 hours to move go home from Punta Arenas to Union Glacier. Because, usually the weather will deteriorate again with winds up to 180 km per hour so that the aircraft is not possible Ilyusin 76 takeoff or landing.
Union Glacier

From Patriot Hills we plan to be moving toward Vinson Basecamp at the foot of Glacier Branscomp using Twin Otter aircraft. Flight for one hour 15 minutes it was again very dependent on weather conditions and surface hardness of ice that forms the basis plane. We can just fly or wait for the situation permits.

the foot of Glacier Branscomp

Branscomp Glacier itself is a groove-shaped snow melt broad incline. Similar to the south side of Mount Merapi, which became lava down the mountain path and into the river below.
(Xavier FransMahasiswa Semester X FE Parahyangan Catholic University)

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