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Antarctica, Mount Vaughan Attempt, Queen Maud Mountains

Mount Vaughan Attempt, Queen Maud Mountains. From 1928 to 1930, Norman D. Vaughan was a member of Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s first Antarctic Expedition. In 1929, under the leadership of Dr. Laurence Gould, a party made a long geological sledge route across much of the southern continent’s unexplored terrain. Vaughan was an important member of the team, being one of three in charge of the sled dogs. In honor of his service, Admiral Byrd named Mount Vaughan (3139 meters, 10,300 feet) for him. After 1993, sled dogs will no longer be allowed on the continent. Vaughan conceived the idea of sledging 300 miles to the mountain and climbing it, hoping to reach the summit on his 88th birthday, December 19, 1993. Vaughan was accompanied south by his wife, Carolyn Muegge-Vaughan, guides Vernon Tejas and Skip Horner, Dr. Ken Zafren, Dolly Lefever, who recently climbed Mount Everest, dog handler Larry Grout, veterinarian Dr. Jerry Vanek and several others. On November 6, an advance party with 20 dogs, Grout, Vanek and the plane crew took off from Punta Arenas in Chile in a DC 6 plane. The plane crashed on landing at Patriot Hills. Fortunately, only Dr. Vanek was severely injured. Four of the dogs escaped. The whole group and the remaining 16 dogs were flown back to Punta Arenas. On January 4, 1994, both Vaughans, Horner, Tejas and several others were flown to Patriot Hills. They hoped to be flown from there to a Base Camp at 6000 feet on the Vaughan Glacier at the foot of the peak to make an attempt on the mountain. For the next two weeks, the weather made it impossible to fly in or out of Patriot Hills. Finally, on January 19, 1994, it was decided to abandon the expedition for this year and to use the good weather to fly back to Punta Arenas.