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  1. #1
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    One Pic TR: Antarctica

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    Bagged #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  2. #2
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    Badass

  3. #3
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    Nice blog, albeit a little wordy

  4. #4
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    Apr 2006
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    You've skied the seven summits? JFC

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    you see a tie dye disc in there?
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    switch to sea?

  6. #6
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    Feb 2005
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    the most beautiful place in the whole wide world
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    wow. we need to hear more about this! congrats.

  7. #7
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    Alright, back from having fun with the kiddos on safari in Africa and can add more to the story.

    My buddies and I decided (drunk at a bar one night) that we wanted to ski all 7 continents in 7 years back in 2004, before I was even on this forum. We quickly got to 5 in 5 years and then all got married, had some kids, and got sidetracked for 9 or 10 years. With the kids getting grown up, I decided to get back after it and in February 2021 I was able to snag a spot on a transport plane and permission to venture off and put some skis on my feet on Antarctica. Well, covid had other ideas and the planes were diverted to evac scientists instead while I sat stranded in Capetown.

    I picked the dentist-y way (*not an actual dentist) to go by plane vs the boat from South America just based on sheer amount of time getting to and from the continent. I'm a boater and have done really long open ocean trips, but I don't think I'd be a good passenger for weeks based on what I saw of Drake's Passage, etc.

    In the meantime, I was able to rebook for this year and ticked off the High Atlas in Morocco a year later (TR on here).

    I was given a 7 day window I had to be in Capetown on call. I love Capetown and the surrounding area - was able to bring my kiddos this time as it would hopefully be my last time getting called down there to be on deck for Antarctica. I can add a Capetown TR if anyone is interested. Should be on your bucket list!

    Anyway, we got pulled up to a Monday safety briefing and Tuesday flight due to an approaching storm that threatened to scrub our flight altogether. 2am pickup, 4am flight time, cleared customs and we were on our way 6 hours to our destination.

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    The "runway" is just a patch of glare ice with some snow pushed on top and hit with a snow groomer - it takes 22 hours prior to arrival to groom out the 3km length. They use a bunch of weather services and predictive tools to figure out when the surface temps will be exactly -6 to -9 degrees Celsius for landing and take off for the wheels to stick and then back that up timing-wise to know when to start the grooming and the flight. Winds also have to be below 20 knots as protocol.

    We landed uneventfully and I grabbed my skis out of the hold while they were busy unloading the cargo bound for the various countries that have scientific station there. I set my sights on the Nunatuk (rock poking out of the glacier) called T-Rex (you can see why) and the snow off to the right looked like a good spot close enough to the runway.

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    I had trouble getting ahold of a snowmobile but was able to hitch a ride in a Hilux over to it to save time. The driver was kind enough to hang around and take a video and some pics. Wind was whipping as I skinned up to the top. The snow, if you can call it that, was not great, but that's not the point. I did find some windblown soft stuff at the top and had a smile on my face just to have gotten there and put skis on my feet.

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    He gave me a lift back too and was able to check out a crevasse near the runway before hopping back on the plane for a 6 hour ride home.

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    We were there 3 hours wheels down to wheels up while they unloaded and loaded up people, cargo, etc. Wind was over 24 knots when we took off but they made the call to go or else we would likely be there for several days because of the incoming storm.

    Yes, it was sort of a "check-the-box" way to ski there, but I'm happy to have notched continent #7 and now need a new life goal apparently (that's what everyone keeps asking). For now, I'm just going to enjoy completing this one...
    Last edited by BCR; 12-13-2023 at 09:21 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2005
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    North Vancouver/Whistler
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    Good job pegging it to work! Well done

  9. #9
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    I love the dedication! I bet it feels good to fall asleep at night knowing you ticked that box that was open for years.

  10. #10
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    Can hear the wind whipping... A lot of folks were pretty beat up on our departure - frostbite, extreme sun burn, etc. Even with the right gear and it being the warmer season, it's an incredibly hostile environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  11. #11
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    Congrats. Was total trip cost much less than going with ice axe or was short duration the motivation?

  12. #12
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    Much less, but I established a price with them prior to inflation, Covid, and all that.

    They are an even bigger operation now with more trips and packages like Ice Axe and it might be much closer.

    The deciding factor for me was spending a week in Capetown vs 2 on a boat. I'll post some Capetown info - it's such a beautiful city and so inexpensive you can do all the things while you hang around for your ride.

    Plus to get more inland and remote. Only 400 total people a year go through that runway vs the 100,000 people now visiting Antarctica. The balance are on the peninsula where Ice Axe goes. I was looking for something quieter even if not as gnarly.
    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    Alright, back from having fun with the kiddos on safari in Africa and can add more to the story.
    I want more on the safari!

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    My buddies and I decided (drunk at a bar one night)
    Was it a dive bar? The Padded Room wants to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    I can add a Capetown TR if anyone is interested.
    Of course
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "everybody's got their hooks into you, fuck em....forge on motherfuckers, drag all those bitches across the goal line with you." - (not so) ill-advised strategy

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I want more on the safari!



    Was it a dive bar? The Padded Room wants to know.



    Of course
    Of course it was a dive bar, out in Western Mass where we grew up. Almost ALL dive bars there.

    Ok, here's Capetown. I'd describe it as a combination of San Francisco (city on a hill, facing the water, can have dramatic changes in weather and temperature), abutted at the back by beautiful mountains (Devil's Peak, Table Mountain, Lion's Head and Signal Hill) that are visible from wherever you are, behind those is a Napa Valley-esque wine region (many, actually) with many excellent vineyards, and right around the corner are beaches of all kinds, from sandy Camp's Bay to Boulder's Beach where you are surrounded by African penguins as you swim in the Indian Ocean. Best of almost all the worlds. I know there are quite a few small ski resorts up North of the city, and Safari/Game reserves all between an hour to 3 hours away. Then you can go further into Kreuger for a more wild experience.

    The currency conversion is so advantageous as well - an Uber is .$75 to dinner to $4.00 to Lions Head to hike, it's hard to spend more than $20 on the best bottle of wine at any restaurant, and dinner for 4 with wine we tried like hell but couldn't spend more than $50-60.

    It is a visually stunning place that combines the water, mountains, and a city that is both old and new with a ton to offer. Photos are of the last 2 trips combined, can see how the weather, even in Summer varies greatly.

    Table Mountain from the marina
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    Along the Victoria & Alfred Waterrfront
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    View from the ferris wheel of the old waterfront warehouses, many turned into food and shopping
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    Looking down into the city from the base of Table Mountain
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    Paddling in the city's ocean canals
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    Last edited by BCR; 12-16-2023 at 11:09 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  15. #15
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    Visited both the Bo Kaap (former apartheid ghetto) and Robben's Island (where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years) this time around with the kids and was really impactful - they only had former political prisoners from Robben's giving the tours inside the prison and hearing their stores from inside the cell where they spent so many years was really moving. That and seeing the millions of people living in small corrugated metal shacks after fleeing to South Africa, waiting for a chance at a better life was insane to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  16. #16
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    Camps Bay
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    Along the coast
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    Boulder's Beach
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    Cape of Good Hope
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    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  17. #17
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    Lion's Head - great place to see the sunset, have a picnic, and a surprisingly gnarly hike/climb with ladders, chains, staples, etc to get to the top, right in the middle of town
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    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  18. #18
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    Table Mountain - hiked it last time, took the cable car this time with the kids. It's not a super long hike, but steep up Skeleton Gorge and very exposed to the sun and intense heat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  19. #19
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    Last, the wine regions - Highly recommend Leeu and Waterford in Franshoek and Stellenbosch, and didn't visit but love the Springfield wines as well
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    I'll post Safari later when I have time...
    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for sharing, went very well with lunch

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat in january View Post
    Thanks for sharing, went very well with lunch
    Happy to hear it!

    Here's the safari info - these are 2-3 hours from Capetown, so not the Kreuger, but a fun, inexpensive, quick escape and worth every dime.

    Last trip without the kids did Inverdoorne, specifically the Kuganha tent camp. A little more secluded, very nice tent, private soaking pool to watch the animals from, and excellent food delivered and cooked on the braii for no more than 4 groups of guests. Also had a cheetah rehab facility and watching them run was one of the highlights. This time, did the sister camp Aquilla which had a huge pool, buffet meals, and kids games, mini golf, etc for the downtime and was way better with kids. About an hour closer roundtrip too, which they appreciated. If seeing rhinos is important, there is a family there and the first live birth in South Africa in a very long time. Inverdoorne's rhino went through an attempted poaching a couple years back and is secluded as it is traumatized, so no opportunity to see there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  22. #22
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    Once you pay for the flights, which unfortunately more than doubled from Feb 2022 to Dec 2023, everything else when you get there is so affordable, you have to put it on your bucket list.
    Quote Originally Posted by tromano View Post
    Apathy is harder for me to understand than passion.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    11,341
    Well done BCR. Taking your kids to Africa on a safari has to be the closest you can come to taking them to another planet. My mind was blown daily in South Africa as an adult - can only imagine what it’s like for a kid to experience that. I’ve recommended to all my friends with kids to strongly consider it.

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