Climbing North Stork

Day #44 in Antarctica ·

Last Sunday, Scott, Mairi, and I spent the afternoon climbing North Stork, a 600m peak next to Rothera’s skiway. Having done a small amount of climbing before in the UK (all single pitch climbing in the summer), this was a new experience: multipitch ice climbing in Antarctica!

Scott, one of the field assistants, lead Mairi and I up the pitches, the first two climbing up a narrow gully with limited protection, before moving onto snow arête that led up to the summit.

When not concentrating on where my next axe placement or toehold was going to be, the views were spectacular - looking out across the local recreational travel area to Vals and Reptile Ridge in one direction, and to the North-East the peaks of Trident and Meredith were visible - both of which I’d visited during my linked travel training.

After a brief break on the summit for some food and water, we headed down the north ridge which was a scramble over snowy rocks back down the the ice below, and roping up for the walk back to the skidoo.