Alpine Club of Canada

SpringGazette2017

Issue link: http://acc.uberflip.com/i/792372

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 5 of 31

Mountain Guide Jim Gudjonson, who also serves as ACC VP for Facilities, and it promised to be the best skiing epic ever. Still, Endurance filled my head with tales of suffering—of falling into icy sea water, starvation that required eating raw seal blubber, frostbite from Antarctic gales, 90‑foot seas crossing the dreaded Drake Passage. I was hooked. Oh, what fun we were about to have! We met in Ushuaia, at Argentina's southern tip—John Kirk, Scot Diamond, Brian Lambert, our guide Jim Gudjonson and me—and did a shakedown day of ski touring in the Tierra del Fuego moun‑ tains on the Martial Glacier to make sure everything was OK with our gear. Yes, the skiing was great. I emerged the only one with a gear problem: I'd grabbed the wrong skins from my garage. Rookie mistake. I spent the day slipping up an otherwise easy slope like a newbie! A few minutes with a dull skin‑cutting tool fixed the problem, although my ego never fully recovered. At least it was fixable and John's broken boot buckle was our only other gear problem for the week. Bad weather delayed our ship for a day, so we hiked up a small peak high above Ushuaia. is bad weather delay more accessible places—always won out. Argentina, Japan, Switzerland, Iceland, all seemed easier to reach and would, undoubtedly, involve less suffering and a reduced risk of losing digits. But then Greenland happened. Greenland, where we slept in a tent on a ‑30 C degree night; where we skied with a rifle on our backs in case of polar bear encounters; where a tweaked knee could have become a life‑threatening emergency. We were rewarded with epic terrain, incredible conditions and bluebird skies. After Greenland, the whispers of "what about the Antarctic?" evolved into everyday unabashed conversations of "WHEN are we going?" I binge‑read the book Endurance by Alfred Lansing on the flights from Calgary to Buenos Aires. Admittedly, this was about all the research I'd done for this trip. is was a ready‑to‑go package deal, doing daily ski tours from a ship chartered from Quark Expeditions by Ice Axe Expeditions for just such an adventure: "cruise‑ship assisted ski tour‑ ing". Quark and Ice Axe are both highly professional organizations dedicated to ensuring epic, but safe ski adventures. Add in the guiding talents of ACMG by sandy Walker T he whispers started 10 years ago, almost as if we didn't dare wake the sleeping ghost of the great Shackleton with talk of ski touring—for fun—on his revered continent. Each year when we discussed where our next big adventure would be, the whispers grew louder. Other places, however—easier and Antarctic ski touring: mind officially blown Skiers from the ship Sea Adventurer begin their day of ski touring. Les skieurs du navire Sea Adventurer commencent leur journée de ski. photo: sandy Walker Jim Gudjonson blows some cold Antarctic smoke. Jim Gudjonson dans le froid Antarctique. photo: sandy Walker

Articles in this issue

view archives of Alpine Club of Canada - SpringGazette2017