MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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December 7, 2018

Team of four climbers are preparing for Vinson ascent

The team has arrived in Punta Arenas and jumped right into a long to do list. Yesterday we purchased 100 pounds of food, repackaged it all, and practiced setting up the tents. This morning all of our personal and group gear was packed, weighed and loaded onto the Cargo plane that will fly us to Antarctica. 

While the weather down there has been challenging for the last few weeks, it is now becoming more stable. The first teams on Vinson, this season, arrived in 25 knot winds and set their tents up in Minus 25F temps. Luckily for them a short weather window opened and about 40 people summited Vinson yesterday. 
A bit about the team:
Len Forkas has climbed Kilimanjaro and taken a mountaineering course from Mountain Madness. He is a serious endurance athlete: 2 time solo finisher (& 1 time winner) of The Race Across America, an ultra-distance road cycling race. Len completed the Leadman series of races (26 & 100 mile runs, 50 & 100 mile mountain bike races), numerous 500+mile bike races, Iron Mans and marathons. He is the founder of Hope Cam, a technology which connects children with cancer to their friends at school. To learn more about Len, check out his website; and read his book What Spins the Wheel. Len and his family live in Northern Virginia.
Michael Paterson is an Emergency Room doctor and philanthropist. His volunteer medical service includes running Ebola clinics in Africa and surgical education in Haiti. Michael has climbed Denali, Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro and leads rafting trips to remote rivers in the Arctic and Alaska. Mike and his family have traveled and lived in South America and Asia, but now live in Evergreen, CO.
Guntis Brands is a Latvian-Swedish entrepreneur now living in Zermatt, Switzerland (in the shadow of the Matterhorn). Guntis has summited three 8000 meter peaks and countless smaller ones. When Guntis and his family are not in Zermatt, they putter around their home in Tuscany. 
Chris Warner has led over 200 international expeditions, summited five 8000 meter peaks and pioneered new routes in the Himalaya. Through his many years in climbing he has known Scott Fisher, Chris Boskoff and Mark Gunlogson (the triumvirate of Mountain Madness CEOs). When he isn’t climbing he teaches leadership to Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams and covert and special ops groups. You can learn more about his leadership work at and read his book: High Altitude Leadership. Chris and his family live in Golden, CO. 
From left to right: Len, Michael, Chris, Guntis (photo by Chris Warner)
- Chris Warner