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South Georgia: A Photo Essay
Posted on: March 26, 2008
"Locals" near the Ada 2, with Gritvyken, a settlement populated solely by seasonal museum employees where the team started their expedition, in the background. [Photo] Courtesy of EXPEDITION GEORGIA SAT 2007
Editor's Note: Alpinist followed the progress of a French mountaineering team during its two-and-a-half month sea-supported ski mountaineering expedition to South Georgia. (Read the November 28, 2007 NewsWire and the January 15, 2008 NewsWire for reports on the first and second half of the expedition.) The team was kind enough to share some of its photos for this Feature. Please visit the Across South Georgia at the Summits website for more pictures and information.
The Ada 2 heading towards Harpon Bay. Sugartop, the team's last attempted peak before returning home, is the background on the left. [Photo] Courtesy of EXPEDITION GEORGIA SAT 2007
The team was comprised of Philippe Batoux, Manu Cauchy (aka Doc Vertical) and Lionel Daudet, and Isabelle Autissier—a sailor based on the specially modified sloop, the Ada 2, out of Ushuaia, Argentina—and her two mates, Agnes Lapeyre and Tristan Guyon. Over twenty days in November and December the team made a successful crossing of the 106-mile-wide island, which included the first ascent of Sheridan Peak (ca. 900m), the sixth ascent of the island's tallest point, Mt. Paget (2934m), the third ascent of Surprise Peak (ca. 955m) and the first ascent of Mt. Worsley (1104m).
The Ada 2 left South Georgia on December 31, and after almost two weeks and 2000 kilometers of passage, the ship returned to its home port of Ushuaia, Argentina; the expedition concluded on January 13.
South Georgia is the largest of a group of islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean known as the South Georgia group. The islands are part of a larger British Overseas Territory ca. 864 miles east-southeast of the Falkland Islands. British Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton led the first east-west crossing of South Georgia during a Trans-Antarctic expedition from 1914 to 1917. The island has been crossed twice northwest to southeast: once by Duncan Carse, who was mapping South Georgia. It took him five years, from 1951 to 1956. The second was by the English team of Patt Lurcock and Angus Finney in 1999, and it took them a month to cross the island by the less-exposed north coast.
Isabelle Autissier, Ada 2's captain, banging saucepans together to create a path through the aggressive fur seals who lived on the beach. [Photo] Courtesy of EXPEDITION GEORGIA SAT 2007
En route to the team's first ascent of Mt. Worsley. The team attempted two peaks near the Sea Leopard Fjord; summitting Mt. Worsley on December 2, 2007, but 30 mph winds and zero-visibility conditions prevented them from climbing Trident the next day. [Photo] Courtesy of EXPEDITION GEORGIA SAT 2007