Vinson Massif (16,067 feet)

Vinson Massif is the highest mountain in the continent of Antarctica. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe Antarctica–stunning, pure, pristine, breathtaking, stark, barren, brutal and unforgiving are just a few. My trip up Vinson Massif started on January 10, 2006, ended on January 28, 2006, and we summitted on January 19. Why did I stay so long in this frozen continent after summit day? Bad weather! The planes could not fly, which left us stuck at Base Camp and Patriot Hills for 8 days. We filled our time reading, playing cards, death sledding, tight rope walking, ice sculpting, kite sailing and, mostly, praying for better weather. This was another international expedition, which included climbers from Mexico, Canada, India and the United States. This was one of my favorite trips.