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May 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #687DedEyeMember
No, not during your contract.
I was wondering, since I heard it was possible to exchange your return ticket for a round the world ticket (how much does that normally run extra, by the way?): is it possible to somehow book transportation to reach Vincent Massif at the end of your contract?
Somehow I imagine getting there would require leaving the continent and coming back, but if there were a more direct route, I’d love to hear about it.May 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm #7444
I think this is more up Scitechs alley. What do you know Glenn
My best guess is that the only way you get to vincent massif is to sign on with the company that operates Patriot Hills. There would be no way to get there from any of the US bases. You would more than likely have to get to South America and fly in from there.May 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm #7445
During the summer the private company Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE) flies Twin Otter tourist flights from their camp at Patriot Hills to South Pole. In theory, if you were at the Pole you could pay them to fly you to Patriot Hills and then to Vinson Massif. (Expect around $30K)
There’s a couple problems with that idea, however… Most Pole contracts end well after the last ALE flight, so you’d have to bail on your contract. The other problem, probably a show-stopper, is liability. The USAP is responsible for returning you safely off the continent; I suspect they might take issue with an unapproved exit, even if you pay for it. You could try asking for permission…
As Mike suggests, the ALE flights typically originate in South America (Punta Arenas, Chile). If you’re working at Palmer, no problem-o. But most people end up in New Zealand after working on the Ice… You could take the LAN Chile flight from Auckland to Santiago, stopping in Tahiti and Easter Island. Sounds like fun to me!
If you wanted to start a whole ‘nother discussion about Antarctic tourist destinations, I got lots more to say!May 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm #7446DedEyeMember
I had a feeling the idea was a non-starter, but thanks for the info all around. I’d like to give the Seven Summits a shot and was hoping to kill two birds with one stone if I got a contract, but alas, this just gives me another excuse to come down to the ice again ;).
So, what’s the story on climbing Erebus then? I read that there are excursions organized to keep folks relatively sane, is that possibly one of them :)?May 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm #7447spideyParticipant
I would love to get up erebus. I read the interview with the guy who snuck up there on his day off.
Think I would rather go on an organized trip, but it would be a shame to miss that.
What are the details on the options once back in CHC? Obviously you can fly home, but what is the credit/exchange option deal?
Can you stop off in Thailand on the way home with no additional airfare expenses?May 14, 2009 at 11:31 pm #7448
Erebus? If you’re a climber, maybe try out for the SAR team. No guarantees.
WARNING: SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION FOLLOWS…
[attachment=0:3k47g7tt]erebus.jpg[/attachment:3k47g7tt]May 15, 2009 at 12:19 am #7449NeutronMember
WARNING: SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION FOLLOWS…
Ok, so in keeping with the notion and spirit of “shameless self promotion,” is that one of Tommy and Ray Magliozzi’s shameless commerce division of “Car Talk” mugs in your left hand?…And has anyone ever mentioned that you bear a striking resemblance to John “Bugsy” Lawlor, spiritual advisor and menu consultant to the aforementioned? 🙂 You can see for yourselves here
http://www.cartalk.com/menus/show.htmlMay 15, 2009 at 12:47 am #7450
…you bear a striking resemblance to John “Bugsy” Lawlor
I’ll take that as a compliment.
The “mug” is actually the wide-angle lens of my second camera (never climb an active volcano without at least two). The ice axe was mandatory for the hero shot.May 15, 2009 at 1:16 am #7451skua77Keymaster
Okay..I can’t add much more about the option (or lack thereof) of scheduling a Mt. Vinson climb as part of your trip home.
There is lots of discussion here in other threads about the post-deployment options, but basically there are 3. You can schedule FAA (first available air) which means theyu’ll try really hard to get you home as soon as possible, probably with only one night in ChCh (and if your flight from the ice gets delayed, they’ll do their best to rebook you home quickly). The second option is that you defer your flight back from Christchurch but basically follow the same flight pattern as your trip down. These first 2 options shouldn’t cost you anything. The third option is that you change your itinerary to, well, anything. You will be given an official cash value for your basic return ticket and you can credit that to whatever you want to do. Using the designated travel agency, you’re dependent on the phase of the moon and whatever cheap fares pop up on the day they look. That deal used to be much better than it is now, but it is still better than most of my trips to the ice 20+ years ago when the Navy bought the tickets for everyone and you couldn’t do anything with them except adjust the departure date from ChCh, Or throw the ticket away and buy your own. Been there done that.
Now as for Sciencetech, we know he didn’t walk up Erebus 🙂 But the other travel options up there don’t always work out either. A friend of mine ended up with an unexpected overnight camping trip up there once….
Now as for the flight between NZ and Santiago via Easter Island, that is something I always wanted to do too. ST didn’t you do that once?May 15, 2009 at 4:00 am #7452
The alleged solo unauthorized trip up Erebus is not reasonable. Probably stupid would be the operative word if it even happened at all. You will get a pretty intensive orientation to safety on the ice when you first arrive. Part of that are the stories of people who have died or almost died falling into crevasses.
The SAR team has a safe route up erebus and once every year or so they go go up there. It’s the multi-year experienced mountaineering SAR members that get to go, not just anyone. The reason is that it’s conceivable that someone could get trapped at one of the field camps and would need to be rescued.
To do it on your own, not knowing where the crevasses are, would be sheer stupidity.
MMay 15, 2009 at 4:45 am #7453
Now as for Sciencetech, we know he didn’t walk up Erebus
Harumph! I’ll have you know I walked at least the last 500 vertical feet. …Because the snow machines couldn’t make it up the steep slopes of pumice… and the helicopter had already left LEH.
Erebus would make an incredible tourist destination — I don’t know why the tourist companies haven’t caught on to that yet. As Mike said, there is a route from Cape Royds to the top that is a walk-up. Non-technical, aside from the weather. But if you stray… they won’t find your body. Somewhat surprisingly, the area near the top tends to be safer than down below because there’s so much bare rock. Just don’t get hit by a flying lava bomb.
Now as for the flight between NZ and Santiago via Easter Island, that is something I always wanted to do too. ST didn’t you do that once?
I took the flight from Santiago the other direction, stopping-over at Easter Island and turning around at Tahiti. IMO Tahiti was incredibly beautiful but boring unless you’re newly married or filthy rich. (Mike landed there the hard way — that’s another story.) Easter Island was incredible! I highly recommend that trip; I liked it so much I went back there again a couple years ago to go diving.May 15, 2009 at 11:54 am #7454spideyParticipant
Sounds like the solo trip was shear luck that he made it back.
Hopefully they keep up the boondogles.
A little sun after the ice with drinks in coconuts, long massages, and a hut on the beach sounds like the way to go.
I wonder what the average out of pocket expense for a week or two in the islands would be.May 15, 2009 at 1:10 pm #7455
The tahiti hard landing was in a sailboat that washed ashore with us on it in a storm. 3AM pitch black, we jumped in the ocean and waded ashore. It was the start of a pretty neat set of adventures.
Tahiti was pretty cool. We stayed for free for a month or so because the boat was put on land in the shipyards and paid for by insurance. Don’t think we could have afforded it otherwise. It’s a rather pricey place. My favorite was each night in the ferry dock parking lot, all the mobile restaurants set up. It was fun to taste all the food. Walking from town back to the boatyard brought us past the bakery. Bread (and chicken) were subsidized back then. We would buy armloads of baggettes, usually eating a fair portion on the 2 mile trek. We worked as crew on other boats after that. Before and after the shipwreck we visited Nuka Hiva in the Marquesses Islands, Rangiroa in the Tuamotos, Tahiti, Moorea, Raitaia, Huahine and Bora Bora in the Society Islands, American Samoa, Western Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand. Every one of them were great. Traveling by sailboat gives you access to places others don’t normally get to.
From the Program. We generally would stay in NZ for a month or more and then hit a tropical destination on the way home. For many years we wintered on the ice and the problem is that at the end of the season, you go back to winter in the states. I needed to feel the warmth.
Fiji was ok. We stayed on the main island, but it was after a hurricain had passed through and they hadn’t totally cleaned up. Even so, it reminded me of a Mexican border town. There is some minor conflicts between the native population and the indian population. The outlying islands are apparently much nicer.
We stayed in Australia once. Rented a house on the Capricorn coast for 6 weeks and chilled out. A little beach town called Agnes Waters. I found it using the ham radio at MCM. I was asking for a sleepy beach town that nobody knew about. It was a five minute walk to the beach. Personally, I find traveling every few days, unsatisfying. In order to really learn a place you have to put down roots for a while. We had a great time here.
We did the Rarotongan Islands one year for about a month. Broke our rule about staying in one place, but we were on a time schedule and Lorie was taking a class on one of the outlying islands. We stayed 10 days on the main island of Rarotonga, Then flew to Aitutaki for a week or so and finally on to Attu for 10 days. We returned to Raro for the trip home. Rarotonga was OK. It was the main tourist island, but I didn’t find it as nice as the others. Maybe just too built up. If you go, make sure you rent a scooter and get a Rarotong drivers licence. Aitutaki is a signature island with lagoon, less developed so you have to get a bit more inventive. Lots to do. Attu is a step back into time a little. There were little tourist things. No real restaurants, The stores didn’t sell much fresh items, because everyone had a garden. If you made friends you did a little better. It was my favorite of the bunch. I got a member of the local tribe to bring me on a tour of the family burial caves. Pretty facinating. There is a lot of culture from the past that is still intact there. .
Thats my places, Still I enjoy New Zealand as much as the rest of the places.
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