The story of Lord Forsyth's climb of Mount Vinson in pictures
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Our Russian Ilyushin cargo jet ready for take-off at Punta Arenas, Chile
No-frills travel on the Ilyushin
Inside the Ilyushin - view towards the rear cargo door
The amazing, natural blue-ice runway at Union Glacier
Stepping into Narnia...
The eagle has landed
Grounded at Union Glacier, awaiting a clear weather window
The view from my tent
Yes it's a proper bed in a double-skinned tent at Union Glacier Camp
The communications mast at Union Glacier Camp
The relative comforts of the dining and kitchen tent at Union Glacier Camp
Inside the Twin Otter - with guides, staff and Swiss and Malaysian climbers
A frozen wilderness below
Our first glimpse of the Ellsworth mountains
At last we can get climbing
Chatting with the Canadian pilot who, sadly, slips here a few days later and breaks his arm
Our new homes... the dining/communications tent is the pink one at the back
Inside the kitchen, dining and communications tent at Base Camp
My guide David's tent, with our skis and Vinson's peak towering in the distance
Heading up the 2,800-metre acclimatisation climb
Switching to crampons on the steeper ground
Still another 1000-metres to go
Posing with the distinctively shaped Mount Shinn in the background
David Hamilton and me enjoying a break
The view from the top of the acclimatisation peak...
... and back down on skis
View of Vinson's summit from Base Camp
A view of the summit of the 2,800-metre acclimatisation climb
Preparing for the New Year
Setting-off the next day for Low Camp
This is hard work!
Continuing up the glacier
Negotiating a small crevasse...
Rest and recovery
Low Camp - protected against the wind by ice-block walls
Our cooking tent at Low Camp
A fortress against the storms
My tent at Low Camp is on the far left
Rest day recreation
Setting-off on the 3,300-metre acclimatisation climb
On steeper ground, with patches of bullet-hard blue ice
Transmitting a post and photo for my blog using the sat phone connected to the PDA
Mount Shinn to the left, and the route to High Camp to the right
Continuing upwards towards the ridge
Setting off with a very heavy load for High Camp
I'm not enjoying this!
Easy ground beyond Camp
The route ahead (spot the other climbers and note the scale!)
Starting on the fixed-ropes - one step at a time...
Into thinner air
Halfway... and a short break
Yesterday's ridge climb is below left
The final 300-metres
At the top of the fixed ropes
Shattered but pressing on, with Mount Shinn in the background
Finally... High Camp
Dinner is served, but I am shivering with cold
Setting off from High Camp for the summit
Only 10 hours climbing to go!
One foot in front of the other
A mirror on my world
The route ahead
Roped-up in case of crevasses
Less than three hours to go...
The summit push begins
Views to die for
The sting in the tail
On the narrow summit ridge - puffing like a steam engine
Will I make it? I'm now very tired and out of breath in the thin atmosphere
The final push - with an Antarctic panorama reflected in my goggles
Scrambling to the top
One more heave
Urging myself on now
Just a few steps more...
My moment of joy!
It's taken 14 months of planning and hard training to get here
On top of the bottom of the world!
But the summit is only halfway!
Starting to pick my way down
Negotiating my way off the summit ridge
Big drops and deep breaths
Out of danger
Using the satphone to leave an audio message from High Camp for the blog
Back to High Camp after 10 hours at the very top of Vinson
Savouring our success - the experience of a lifetime
The pee hole at High Camp
Yes, that's what it is. At -25C, speed is desirable!
Beginning the descent to Low Camp
Back to that heavy pack again
Descending the fixed ropes to Low Camp
Still a long way to go
Base Camp ahead
Base Camp with the plane ready to fly us out to Union Glacier Camp
This one I've earned!