• 22
    Jan
    , by Alex

Some trips never end, it is as if an infinite line of landscapes and sounds moves in front of your eyes, composing a movie that you would have seen, but you know for sure that you have never lived it.
Something like this has been the expedition we have made in Antarctica, it is a continent that has all the parameters of an absent, uninhabited, silent space, where the sea embraces wandering blocks of ice, fallen from walls that one day covered mountains that we want to climb.
It all started in the Falkland or Falkland Islands. A flat land, with small elevations that sustained combat posts that succumbed to the fire of all enemies. Wars are like that, just nobody wins and many lose.
A few days through those desolate places do not warn that cold, fog, bad weather and a strangely charming fauna will be the protagonists of our next days. Ypake is the name of the three-ton ship that we will inhabit for a month. It is moored in Port Stanley from where we will depart on a crossing of almost 900 miles to the Antarctic Peninsula. That was in mid-December. One morning with a gentle wind we head south. The south was our goal, the whole south.
Those days of unusual calm (after vomiting without feeling like it) we began to learn the names of all the birds that were planning at incredible speeds next to our sailboat: giant petrel, black petrel, black eyebrow albatross, royal albatross, cloth, petrel checkerboard, etc etc. The days were flowing with the same rhythm of the currents that in the same way that pushed us made us stop by their onslaught. The sea is always in perpetuum mobile and offers constant, hard fighting.
One morning, very soon, as soon as the gray light took on another clarity, we sighted land. We feel ancestral sailors; they were the Melchior Islands, a cluster of small portions of land covered with ice. We arrived with enthusiasm, hallucinated by the almost unreal surroundings. We prepare our tackle and begin to climb the ice and ski in that snow. It was like repeating a dream we had hidden. That night we celebrate Christmas Eve.
The following days were incredible. We sail through the Gerlache Strait to Orne Bay where we dock to make our first major climb. The lines we brought from home well looked, but that was real and was in front of our eyes. As night does not exist, time was insignificant. In the afternoon we do not head towards the Spigot Peak, a small watchtower over the Gerlache. The chinstrap penguins accompanied us part of the way from where we saw our first whales navigate in perfect choreography. The show was crescendo. A sunset without traps left us on the summit. It was almost ten o'clock at night ... but on what night?
After that fabulous day, the dawn woke us with a danger we did not know. The winds from the west had introduced a good amount of icebergs into the bay that began to threaten the ship. The smallest (type of train wagons, cars, vans, washing machines, ...) brushed the helmet producing an almost claustrophobic sound. It was as if they wanted to oppress their structure. At four in the morning we were fighting with the little ones, but a priori we knew it was a useless battle, of great risk to us, because if we fall into the sea we hardly have a couple of minutes to leave. Life freezes here in a spasm of time. This threat made us whistle out of the area, losing the possibility of climbing our first line. Anyway, we had more in our pocket.
That same afternoon we arrived at Cuverville Island. We landed in his lap from where we saw the mountain called Wild Spur (1,057m) as an attractive magnet. The line emerged in our minds and we went to the mountain to paint it. After 18 hours of exhausting attack, Captain Ezequiel picked us up again on the stone beach that he had left us a few hours ago. We had drawn a line along its west edge: Lorezuri. We made the peak later than 10:00 and returned almost at 05:00 in the morning, but what matters here if the time does not limit you. It was an ascension of those that you dream of a place that nobody had stepped on before.
Days later we docked at Dorian Bay, near Port Lockroy, a place with a beautiful landscape, full of mountains that incite its ascent. One of them is Jabet Peak, where we made a superbueno ski descent. From its summit we contemplate our next objective, Wheat Peak. We did not decide on the route since they all had huge mushrooms at their exit that would prevent us from reaching the top. The risk to assume was high; the avalanches that were on the ground already informed us of possible landslides. We decided on a more open corridor on the left to access one of its secondary summits. After a few hours about us it is.