Among the Seven Summits, Mount Vinson holds a particularly daunting reputation.
With a height of about 16,000 feet, the summit requires a push covering more than 2,000 feet of elevation gain while facing temperatures down to -50 degrees.
In other words, it’s a big, cold mountain usually requiring several days of effort to summit and return to base camp. Brazilian athlete Fernanda Maciel did it in 9 hours and 41 minutes — less than 7 hours for the ascent and 3 hours to get back down.
As The North Face documentary of her journey attests: Maciel’s achievement will be writ large in the mountaineering history books.
At the same time that many of us were enjoying Christmas morning with family and friends, Maciel was drinking champagne to toast her victory in the unending winter wonderland of Antarctica.
The edit ends with Maciel offering a heartfelt farewell to her mentor Hilaree Nelson, who died in an avalanche on Manaslu last year.
Runtime: 10.5 minutes