At 16,067 feet in elevation, and 746 miles from the South Pole, Mount Vinson is the highest summit in the Antarctic. Although that’s a long way from the Grand Teton, Exum Mountain Guides has enjoyed a long relation with the mountain since it was first discovered by a Navy aircraft in 1957. Exum guide Barry Corbet was a member of the successful expedition in December 1966, sponsored by the U. S. Navy, the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the American Alpine Club. Since then a number of Exum guides have worked for government scientific expeditions and other guides services operating trips in the southernmost continent. Mount Vinson is, of course, one of the classic Seven Summits.
This winter five Exum guides (at least) are working in the Antarctic. Recently, one of them, Molly Loomis, sent the following note:
“Exum Guides Mike Ruth, Andy Tyson, Susan Detweiler and Molly Loomis are all busy at work for Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions in the continent’s interior. Last week Andy Tyson and Susan Detwiller guided an international team of three Italians, one Brit and one American to the summit of Mount Vinson, Antarctica’s highest peak. Molly has been holding down the fort as the Vinson Base Camp Manager, squeezing in some ski tours and climbs on surrounding peaks. Mike Ruth is busy at Patriot Hills keeping the runway clear of snow for aircraft, and the skiers happy with the world’s most southern piste. Temperatures are slowly beginning to warm up as the days creep toward the summer solstice. We saw a snow petrel at Base Camp the other day. So incredible! Seems it was the first recorded non-human sighting here!”