Vinson Massif: Carry High, Sleep Low

Posted by: Dave Hahn | December 22, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 9,100'

We made pretty good use out of today.  The weather wasn’t perfect, it still seems like the long, slow storm is lingering, but it wasn’t all that bad either.  There was still a ton of cloud hanging around when we got out of the tents at Low Camp this morning.  We’d done the traditional sleep in until 11 AM so as to avoid the cold cold Vinson shadow that haunts Low Camp, but the surprise turned out to be that it really wasn’t all that cold.  The clouds had kept some heat in for us.  Everybody was feeling good and well-rested, so we grabbed some supplies, shoved them in our packs and headed for high camp.  The goal was to do a carry, to bring food up for our eventual move to high camp.  But moving that food up wasn’t nearly as important as getting everyone familiar with the climbing route and getting in some good exercise at altitude.  We did all of that.  The “meat” of the day was toiling for about three hours on the steep and continuous “fixed rope” section of the hill.  By the top of the ropes, the weather had taken a slight turn for the worse, with a slight, but persistent breeze blowing new falling snow,  We carried on the extra hour and a half to high camp anyway, since it seemed we were getting such good experience in and everyone was climbing strong.  We were up to high camp by about 7:25 PM, meaning we were spot on the expected six hours.  We just took a few minutes to cache the gear and food and then we were off down the hill.  We got warmer as we descended and made pretty good time with light packs.  It was 9 PM when we reached the base of the ropes and just another fifteen minutes or so brought us into camp.  The sun came out while we were eating dinner and getting ready for bed, making all of that just a little bit easier. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI Team camped at Low Camp on Mt. Vinson. An RMI Team ascending the fixed ropes toward High Camp on Vinson Massif.

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