Joe Butler just called in minutes ago. The team is all at Union Glacier, having descended from high camp yesterday to Vinson Base Camp, where they arrived to find an awaiting, ski-equipped Twin Otter airplane, unroped under its wing and stepped aboard!
Apparently, the flight from Vinson Base Camp to Union Glacier was incredible, with great light providing depth and texture to the peaks and glaciers they passed over. I spoke with Joe just before he called in the audio post below, and he said that everyone is thrilled with their time down on the ice and, while they are all ready to head back to “the real world,” it seems as if there is also going to be a bit of reluctance to leave the beauty and vastness of Antarctica.
The team is loading up on the Ilushyn jet that delivered them to the continent two weeks ago and will fly off the ice in an hour or so. The trip back will take roughly four hours and we have rooms for everyone at the very nice Dreams Hotel, where they can take their first showers in weeks and relax in the luxury of soft beds after sleeping on air mattresses for so long.