The good news came ahead of the 62nd anniversary of Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar). The Woman of Indonesia’s Seven Summit (WISSEMU) team has carved their name by conquering the Vinson Massif, Antarctica. This success was symbolized by the sounding of angklung (traditional Sundanese musical instrument) at the highest peak in the world’s coldest continent. Fransiska Dimitri Inkiriwang (23) and Mathilda Dwi Lestari (23), two active Unpar students who are members of Student Nature Lovers/Mountaineering Club (Mahitala) Unpar who will go down in history as the first two women from Indonesia who reached the Vinson Massif.
The climb up to the Vinson Summit began at Vinson Base Camp, January 1, 2017. Mahitala Unpar press release reported, after 12 hours of ascent from the High Camp , the last outpost before the Vinson summit. The WISSEMU team finally reached the summit on January 4, 2017, at 23:48 local time, or January 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm Western Indonesia Time.
This success has not been without its challenges. The extreme cold temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees Celsius made the climb difficult. The cold weather was also accompanied by snowfall. In addition, the team also had to face steep terrain with a slope angle of 45 degrees, which requires them to use a fixed rope .Both team members are also required to carry their own equipment.
“The success of raising the Indonesian flag at the highest peak of Antarctica is a tribute to the unity of the Indonesian nation,” According to Mathilda by satellite phone directly from High Camp , on her return from the Vinson Summit. In addition, the success of the expedition is also a special gift for Unpar that is now in its 62 years.
As reported by Kompas.com, the Rector of Unpar, Mangadar Situmorang, Ph.D., shared his pride of the WISSEMU team’s success through a press conference.
“My gratitude to the various parties who have helped and prayed. Thank you for making Unpar’s and Indonesia’s dreams come true. especially to prove the pioneering and fighting spirit of Indonesian women,” he said.
WISSEMU is an expedition organized by the Student Activity Unit (UKM) Mahitala Unpar. Previously, the WISSEMU team has completed four ascents at four different continental plates, namely Cartensz summit(Oceania), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Elbrus (Europe), and the last was in Aconcagua (South America).The WISSEMU team will complete the entire series of expeditions, by climbing Mount Everest (Asia) and Denali (North America) in mid 2017.