Antarctica: A bucket-list destination

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The February meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers features a trip report from the Southern-most wilds: Antarctica, the Falklands, South Georgia and Tierra del Fuego.
The business portion of the meeting will be 7 p.m. Feb. 19 in the main room at Fuller Lodge. The presentation will be after the meeting and is free and open to the public.
The presentation will be given by Bill Priedhorsky, long-time LA Mountaineer and outdoor trip leader and Melissa Bartlett, an artist specializing in wildlife and landscapes.
Priedhorsky and Bartlett spent 21 days at sea on a cruise that took them to the Falkland, South Georgia and South Shetland Islands, Tiera del Fuego and Antarctica.
The trip was populated by fellow passengers, penguins in the hundreds of thousands, seals, whales and unique birds. There also was a fur seal that took a special and aggressive interest in Priedhorsky, as he will describe at the presentation.
For many years, the Antarctic was the domain of explorers and scientists, but in recent years a tourist trade has burgeoned, drawing upward of 40,000 visitors a year, mostly arriving in cruise ships. Although the continent itself is bare and mostly without color, the seas that fringe it are full of exotic life and majestic icebergs.
Priedhorsky has been a Mountaineer member since 1979, leading dozens of adventures, especially to the Utah/Arizona canyon country, but this sea-borne adventure was a first for him. Bartlett, an associate member of the Pastel Society of America, can often be found sketching and painting in the outdoors.
The Los Alamos Mountaineers, founded in 1952, promotes a variety of outdoor-oriented activities.
For information on the Mountaineers and upcoming trip opportunities, including skiing, hiking, biking and horse-packing, visit lamountaineers.org.