In 1966, the American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition set off for the vast, unclimbed peaks of the Sentinel Range in the Ellsworth Mountains of Antarctica. The expedition, led by Nick Clinch from the American Alpine Club and sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society, was wildly successful. On December 18, 1966, Alaskan Bill Long unfurled the Alaska state flag (along with others) atop 16,067 foot Mount Vinson, the highest point in Antarctica. It was the first ascent of the peak. Accompanying Bill were expedition members Pete Schoening, Barry Corbet, and John Evans. In the following days, other expedition members – Nick Clinch, Sam Silverstein, Charley Hollister, Eiichi Fukushima, Brian Marts, and Dick Wahlstrom – would reach the summit as well. No one would reach Vinson’s summit again until 1979!
Several weeks later, John Evans and the late Barry Corbet stood atop the jagged summit of Mount Tyree which, at 15,919 feet, is the second highest peak in Antarctica, but considered far more challenging than it’s higher neighbor. In 1997, the American alpinists Conrad Anker and Alex Lowe went to Tyree with Dave Hahn; Anker and Lowe reached the summit, the 6th and 7th people to ever stand there.
On April 1, 2009, John Evans and Conrad Anker will join us as part of the BWAMM Speakers Series at the American Mountaineering Museum to share stories of then and now from the great mountains of Antarctica. (Conrad’s appearance has been made possible by The North Face.) At the same time, we will proudly display for the first time the original Alaskan flag unfurled by Bill Long 43 years ago atop Vinson!
Since we expect a large turnout for this great event, it will be held in Foss Auditorium at the American Mountaineering Center. As with all the Speakers Series events, this event is free and open to the public. Donations to the Museum are appreciated! Contact the Museum with any questions!