Mountain of Ice

Mountain of Ice

2003, Nature  -   5 Comments
Ratings: 7.33/10 from 30 users.

Nova: Mountain of IceIn this episode of NOVA, Conrad Anker leads an expedition to climb the highest mountain peak in Antarctica: Vinson Massif. Anker was joined by author Jon Krakauer, guide Dave Hahn, glaciologist Dan Stone, extreme skier Andrew McLean, NOVA producer Liesl Clark, and a three-person camera crew. This eight-person team survived through powerful winds and extreme temperatures to capture high-definition footage of this mostly unexplored area of Antarctica.

Their successful journey in 2001 is compared with other historical attempts to scale the mountain. Mountain of Ice was originally broadcast on PBS February 11, 2003.

NOVA delivers another fantastic show with this Antarctic expedition to one of the Seven Summits! Granted, I am already a big fan of NOVA, let alone when they cover my favorite topics (mountaineering!) Featuring Conrad Anker, Jon Krakauer, Dave Hahn, and assorted crew, they lug hundreds of pounds of gear up a new route on the east side of Vinson Massif, which, at a gain of over 12,000 feet (to a final altitude of 16,077 feet,) is no small task.

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8 years ago

The closest I got to this i'm afraid, is my foolish same day scramble to within 300'>< of the top of Longs peak in colorado 14,600'+ in a pair of sneakers, a sweater, and a spring jacket in 1978. Considering what I know "now" about hypothermia, the leading cause of death in the mountains, it was a really stupid thing to do. I'm glad we didn't die, because it sure was beautiful up there looking 2500' down to the glacial lake in the ravine below, stepping on boulders the size of trucks that moved beneath you as you jumped one to another. When your not a wealthy kid, but have an adventurous spirit, you will take foolish risks, because you know your opportunities will be limited. You have to make the best of the opportunities you have. By the time I made it down to relative safety I was soaked to the bone, well into the throws of severe hypothermia, only copious amounts of hot snow and pine needle tea, a hastily prepared fire, and sheer luck saved me. I really felt like I was dying. Two bits of advice for those that follow. Train, train, train, and never, ever, never, ever go into the mountains above 9000' without warm clothes, emergency rations, and "rain gear". Cold wet weather, and thunderstorms form literally in seconds exactly where you are standing, without warning, they simply materialize from thin air as winds are blown across the ridges. Lightning, rain, sleet, snow, ice forming on the path, and rocks that were dry a few minutes before, huge drop offs everywhere that will eat you with the slightest misstep, Take crampons, maybe even an ice axe even in the summer, or you may have to change your underwear back at camp if your lucky enough to make it , I nearly didn't. Fore warned is fore armed I say. See you in the mountains.

13 years ago

looks amazing, great to see documentation of a new route rather than the same old slugging on well traveled ones.

hopefully you can post the full video.

Will Adams
Will Adams
14 years ago

Hey Vlatko! i really enjoy this website. More so than any other i've found. There are so many fascinating documentaries on here. Is there any possible way to get this specific documentary posted? The Mountain of Ice Nova special? i've been wanting to see that for a while. Anyway, just want to say keep up the good work. Great site!



Rocky Keaton
Rocky Keaton
15 years ago

i too am a fan of mountaineering! nice clip from the documentary, the setting reminds me of the movie eight below