140 miles long, battered by the ferocious winds of the South Atlantic and sitting inside the Antarctic convergence zone, South Georgia has a well earned reputation. Difficult to get to and even harder to leave against the prevailing north westerlies, most of the island is covered in snow and large glaciers flow down into the sea but the island has many magnificent snowy peaks and is a wildlife haven, home to many types of Albatross, Pengiuns, Fur, Weddel and Elephant Seals and despite its reputation attracts over 8,000 cruise ship passengers each year during the summer months.
We have come in early spring, hoping to get the best of the snow conditions to explore the mountains on the central ice cap as well as see the returning Albatross, Penguins and Seals after their winter cruising the ocean in search of food with the females ready to give birth.
Our 800nm passage from Stanley in the Falkland Islands was notable for a period of rare light winds and we made good time arriving exactly 5 days after leaving Stanley.
Our dawn approach showed nothing of the island, shrouded in mist but with the hope of better visibility to come as the sun came over the horizon.
We took the opportunity to scout out Possesion Bay en route to check in at Grytviken and were lucky to have the mist clear and see the mountains and glaciers at the back of the bay.
This brief exploration gave us ideas for a number of ski tours and climbs using the broad and snow covered glaciers to access the interior.