THE OMEGA

FOUNDATION
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High Sentinels from the summit of Vinson
Above: Midnight sun on the high Sentinels from the summit of Vinson - November 2004

 Dispatches

OMEGA Hi5 GPS EXPEDITION ANTARCTICA 2005

In November and December 2005 the Omega Foundation will return to the Sentinel Range to climb and measure Antarctica’s highest mountains. This expedition is a continuation of Omega’s scientific work in Antarctica since 1998 and the Foundation’s fifth Antarctic GPS mapping expedition. If successful, Omega will be the first and only organisation to have climbed and measured the five highest mountains in Antarctica. Last year the Omega team spent over a month high on Vinson Massif, Antarctica’s highest mountain, recording a new summit height of 4892m. They also climbed and measured 13 other points in the massif, including eight previously unclimbed sub-peaks of Vinson. Combined with Omega’s work on Mount Shinn in 2002, when they obtained the new height of 4661m for Antarctica’s third-highest mountain, this data is to be used to produce a new, more accurate map of the Sentinel Range in 2006.

The team will once again use the logistics services of Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions to fly from Punta Arenas, Chile to the company base at Patriot Hills and from there to a base camp in the southern Sentinel Range. The expedition will last approximately 60 days and involves the ascent of four of Antarctica’s highest and hardest mountains, with the collection of data on each of those summits and other relevant points.

 

GPS Mapping

The Omega team will again use their system of the Trimble 5700 GPS receiver (below) collecting data which is submitted via Iridium satellite phone to the Australian government AUSPOS website for processing.

The summit heights and ground control points collected by Omega will be added to a specially collected high-resolution IKONOS satellite image of the Sentinel Range. Combined with a Digital Elevation Model generated from corresponding ASTER imagery (left) they will produce a new, more accurate map of Antarctica’s highest mountain range, for free distribution worldwide.

© Damien Gildea / The Omega Foundation. This page last updated on 1 December 2005.