January 11, 2010
Just spoke with George down at 80 degrees south. Amazing what you can do with technology these days. Weather is nice at the Patriot Hills. The trick is for the meteorologist working for ALE to ‘predict’ when the weather window looks like it’s going to hold. And, it needs to hold long enough to get people in Punta rounded up and to the airport there. Maybe a couple of hours. Then another 4 for the flight and a couple of hours ‘on deck’ at the Patriot Hills, getting the new crew off loaded and those flying north on board with luggage. Probably as much art as science but ALE does a good job. Short answer is that they’re not quite there yet. And this is a great example of the old adage, “when in doubt, don’t”. A great Denali bush pilot named Doug Geeting had that plastered on his Cessna 185. Makes a ton of sense.
So, it’s more card playing and more hot drinks. But that’s easy with already have climbed Vinson Massif. We’ll let you know when it’s wheels up.