Everywhere we looked we were surrounded by beautiful white snow covered mountains, with the surface of the sea dotted by ice-bergs of all shapes and sizes.
Shortly after enjoying a hearty breakfast, we arrived at Water Boat Point where it was to be the beginnings of a very busy day for all of us, jam packed with a frenzy of activities.
Very excited by the prospect of snowshoeing, we all lathered on sun block, packed our backpacks and were transferred from the ship by a zodiac onto land, where we prepared to tackle a rather steep looking slope.
After fitting snowshoes we started to climb. The whole team found it fairly challenging but enjoyable, and were rewarded with a breathtaking vista.
“Snowshoeing up that slope this morning reflected that no camera can possibly capture the ambience and unspoilt beauty of Antarctica,” said Fatima.
Right after the hike we had the opportunity to pay a visit to the Chilean base Videla Gonzalez, which among other things monitors the water and weather conditions in the area. While there we interacted with hundreds of penguins that nest there on the grounds of the base.
After a much needed lunch, we set out to summit what has now been named ‘Pink Ribbon peak’. After arriving at the foot of the mountain by zodiac, we split up into two groups with 6 to 7 people all attached to one rope.
We were all issued with harnesses, caribiners ice axes and and given instructions to stay on a certain path.
We then set off with a guide at the front of each rope. It proved to be a challenging climb which took us two hours. With such a strong sense of camaraderie and moral support between the team members we all made it to the top.
“The mountaineering was an experience of a lifetime, it wasn’t easy getting to the top but once we were up there, there was an overwhelming sense of achievement. The peace and serenity was simply stunning,” said Frida.
“Climbing this mountain was a personal triumph for me. It was the first time that I have set such a tough physical goal for myself and achieving it has given me a great sense of accomplishment. I did not climb this mountain just for myself, I climbed for my mom as a tribute to her strength and fighting spirit and I also climbed for all my friends who continue to courageously fight this disease. Reaching the summit today was a celebration of how far I have come since being diagnosed 18 months ago,” said Linda.
“I wasn’t sure if I’d set an unrealistic goal for myself and was a little concerned that I would hold the team back, however I needn’t have worried as although it was challenging, the guides were motivating and the team spirit made it easier for me to achieve the summit. The peace and tranquillity was simply breathtaking,” said Lara.