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Antarctica, Vinson Massif

Vinson Massif. Vern Tejas climbed the highest peak in Antarctica in 14 hours from Base Camp to summit to Base Camp on December 11, five days after guiding two other men to the top. His only difficulties on the day-long journey, which began at four A.M., were whiteout conditions on the lower part of the mountain on his return to the 7500-foot camp. When Tejas left his resting companions, he merely said he was going for a long walk. On the first climb on December 7 with Frank Fischbeck and Keith Kerr, both of Hong Kong, he planted the Alaskan state flag on the summit. On the solo climb, Tejas traveled very lightly, carrying no rope or tent and eating snacks as he went. He scooped up the flag he had left on the summit the first time to display as proof of his solo.

Lewis Freedman, Sports Editor, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska