Brian, Nick, Simon, Ian, Alexey, Taylor and Keith stood on top of Antarctica today! Well done, boys!
They summited Vinson Massif, and did so in unrelenting cold. Gone were the blue skies and still air of two days ago. No one was climbing in shirtsleeves today.
The temperature dipped to -25 Celsius, and the wind sustained 25 mph, gusting higher. These conditions produced a sustained wind chill of around -41 Celsius--serious, serious cold.
You must stay active in that kind of cold. Otherwise you put yourself at risk for cold injury or exposure issues. That's why the team didn't linger on the summit. Everyone worked so hard to make the summit, but once they did, they knew it was about time to get moving again.
The plan for tomorrow is to descend to base camp and catch flight back to Union Glacier, where they just might meet up with the rest of the South Pole team. If all goes according to plan though, Heather, Diego, Michel, Dale, Niall, Sasha and John will be on their way to Punta Arenas tomorrow.