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Antarctica, South Georgia, 1989-1990

South Georgia, 1989-1990. Our expedition spent three months on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. It was jointly led by Stephen Venables and me; the other team members were Brian Davidson, Lindsay Griffin a film-cameraman Kees’t Hooft. The expedition was only possible thanks to the generous support of British Forces in the Falkland Islands and HMS Endurance, which carried all our supplies from Britain and our team from the Falklands to South Georgia. We landed on the island on December 14, 1989 and walked from Cumberland East Bay to Royal Bay, where half our supplies had been dropped by helicopter, giving us a chance to attempt peaks in the Salvesen Range at the southern end of the island. Persistent storms with violent winds hampered our load carries up the Ross Glacier and it was not until January 4 that we established a snow-cave base on the Ross Pass. We occupied this for the next 23 days, sometimes confined by blizzards for four days at a time. During brief lulls, we made first ascents of various minor peaks and Vogel Peak (4436 feet). A final weather improvement on January 21 allowed Griffin and me to make the first ascent of Mount Kling (6069 feet) by the south flank. Meanwhile, Davidson and Venables skied south to make the first ascent of Mount Carse (7649 feet), taking 31 hours for the 30-mile round-trip from the snow cave. After relaying equipment back to Cumberland East Bay, we had three weeks in February to try peaks further north, in the Allardyce Range. Our three attempts on Mount Roots were foiled by storms and no more serious climbing was achieved. However, we completed a successful film, which we hope to have networked by British Central Television and National Geographic Films.

Julian Freeman-Attwood, Alpine Club