On January 14, 2019, Takayasu Semba, along with ALE guides Sam Hennessey, Nate Opp, Victor Saunders, and Seth Timpano, stood on the summit of Mount Tyree; Antarctica’s second highest peak standing at 15,919 ft (4852m). This was the 7th overall ascent and only the 2nd time that Mount Tyree has been guided.
Stable weather out of the south and west provided calm, albeit cold -31° F (-35° C), conditions allowing the team to ascend the lower NE ridge into the Grand Couloir; first climbed by a French expedition in 1997. Although the lower elevations of the mountain had above average snow levels, the upper mountain had been scoured of snow, resulting in 22 pitches of exposed neve and ice.
The team left their bivy at 10,663 ft (3250 m) at 7am and reached the summit at 9pm after 14 hours of alpine climbing. Due to the icy nature of the route, much of the descent was made via rappelling. The team returned to their bivy camp safely and without cold injury, 10 hours after leaving the summit, resulting in a 24 hour summit push. All members returned to base camp on the Patton Glacier on the 15th and flew to Union Glacier on the 18th of January.
Seth and Victor have now reached the summit of Tyree twice, making them the only two people to reach this elusive summit multiple times. But more impressive is Mr. Semba’s quest to climb the tallest two mountains on each of the seven continents. After a successful ascent of K2 and now of Mount Tyree, he has but two summits remaining in his pursuit. ALE wishes him the best of luck this May on Mount Logan in the Yukon Territory of Canada!