Expeditions: Vaughan on Vaughan

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, March 1995

Expeditions: Vaughan on Vaughan
By Todd Balf (with Jim Kelly, Martin Dugard, and Alison Osius)

It took him 65 years, but last December 16, at 8 A.M., Norman Vaughan stood atop Mount Vaughan, the previously unclimbed 10,302-foot Antarctic peak named for him by explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd. "By climbing this mountain for my 89th birthday I dared to fail and met success," he said triumphantly in a statement read at the summit and E-mailed around the globe. Vaughan, who was the sled-dog driver on Byrd's 1928 - 1930 expedition to the South Pole, overcame a mild case of snow blindness and dismal weather, in addition to a disastrous first attempt a year earlier when his DC-6 supply plane crashed on the ice, forcing him to cancel. In early December his four-person team flew via Twin Otter to a base 450 miles inland from the Ross Ice Shelf. After five stormy days at a bivouac halfway up the mountain, the team got a window of clear weather and made the summit push.

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