Snowboarding Antarctica PART 1: From Beagle to Glacier

“In preparation for landing, we ask that all passengers power down their approved electronics”

To hell with that. I have to get a picture of this!

After traveling for nearly 28 hours, my plane had  just flown over Ushuaia, and we were now circling back over the Beagle Channel to make our approach for the runway:

November 5, 2011

Sleeping on the plane was easy; I had stayed up all night packing.  I was pushing things to the last minute as usual.  Whatever, I got it done.  With my board-bag, backpack, and one massive piece of luggage and I was set to leave for Antarctica.  Since I have the greatest parents in the world, they made the 3 hour trip from Medicine Had just to see me off at the airport (Given my history of serious injury, maybe they were convinced that it would be their last opportunity to see me alive).

November 6, 2011

Ushuaia was a neat little city with one main drag.  At the end of this street there is a museum that is an old prison.  Unfortunately I never made it there.  I was planning to do so on the way back through, but they were not open on Sundays (oh well, I’ll just have to go next time I’m casually passing through the most southern city in the world).

November 8, 2011

After settling in for a couple of days, and meeting the rest of the Ice Axe team, we got together in our groups and headed to the Martial glacier to make sure our equipment was in order and to get some turns in.  It was a bit of a hike to get to the glacier from the parking lot, but the scenery was nice.

While most teams went up early in the day due to bad weather rolling in, we did not.  We went later in the day.  We got wet.  We got very very wet.  Thankfully I had the foresight to put plastic bags over my snowboard boots, which I had slung over my backpack for the hike up.  When we reached snow we changed footwear, dropped our skis (or splitboard as the case may be), and started our approach.  Did I mention that we were wet?

Did I also mention that this was my first time skinning?  It took me a while to get the hang of it, but managed to reach our destination.  Switching to ride mode, it was time to make our first turns.  South America – check!

One more reason to go to Antarctica: you get a bonus continent along the way!

Next up: Boarding the Clipper Adventurer and making our way across the Drake Passage.

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