Wanaka man makes rare Antarctic summit

Wanaka adventurer Mark Sedon has reached the summit of The Spectre, a prominent 2000m rock spire in the Gothic Mountains in the Antarctic.

Mr Sedon achieved the feat alongside expedition teammates Leo Houlding and Jean Burgun, of Britain and France respectively.

While the team originally planned to summit the peak via the south face, conditions forced them to climb up the north face instead, achieved only once before, by Edmund and Mugs Stump of the US.

Mr Houlding said the team struggled for hours to gain altitude and would have been in serious danger had the clouds packed in and wind picked up.

"If Antarctica snarls, it is very quickly a survival situation," Mr Houlding said.

However, luck was on their side, and after a gruelling ascent, they finally reached the summit around midnight on Thursday last week.

The team has now switched its focus to its secondary objective, a skyline traverse of the Organ Pipe Peaks from left to right.

They will then begin to make their way back to Union Glacier Camp, where they will return from the Antarctic in late January.

To get there, they will need to haul into the wind for 450km, kite 1000km, and haul a further 100km to reach the camp.

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