Entries From Vinson Massif 11-13-11

Vinson: Season Beginning Soon!

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Dave Hahn, Seth Waterfall | November 08, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif

Dave Hahn, Seth Waterfall and Billy Nugent leave the US for Punta Arenas, Chile, in a few days!  Once in Punta Arenas, the team will meet for their orientation and final preparation before flying to the Union Glacier in Antarctica!

If you would like to follow along as the RMI team pushes their way to the highest point in Antarctica, please sign up for alerts below.

Flying over the Ellsworth Mountains with Vinson Basecamp below. An RMI team arriving in Antarctica. Seth Waterfall arrives on the ice for his first Vinson expedition, January 2011.
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great success cheryl holman :):):) toy

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Posted by: wayne on 11/15/2011 at 5:23 pm

Be safe!  Enjoy!!!
I will miss you MAW!!
Diane

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Posted by: Diane Barnett on 11/14/2011 at 1:39 pm


Vinson Massif: Guides Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | November 14, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif

This is Seth and Billy checking in from Punta Arenas, Chile.  We arrived yesterday afternoon after 31 straight hours of travel.  Lucky for us all of our 13 bags made the trip with us!

We’re meeting up with the rest of the crew this evening and in the meantime we are going to get some fresh food to take to Antarctica.  We are also going to continue to enjoy the one (1) song that is on continuous loop here in the hotel restaurant.

We’ll check in again tomorrow!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent arrives in Punta Arenas, Chile with gear for the Vinson Massif Expedition.
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MAW,
Here hoping for clear conditions so you can get to Antartica and start your ascent!!!!
Di

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Posted by: Diane on 11/16/2011 at 10:36 am

Good climbing, Big-D!

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Posted by: TRACY OWENS on 11/15/2011 at 8:40 pm


Vinson Massif: Site Seeing in Chilean Patagonia

Posted by: | November 16, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif

Greetings from Torres Del Paine National Park in the heart of Chilean Patagonia.

That isn´t exactly where we were supposed to be today, but it is quite nice.  At our briefing yesterday morning in Punta Arenas, our logistical partner (ALE) advised us that big snowstorms were complicating travel to Union Glacier in the Antarctic interior.  We were given three free days to explore.  This is something of a luxury since ordinarily, waiting in Punta Arenas to begin a Vinson Expedition means not knowing from one hour to the next whether the fight will be imminent.  Of course we´d rather be down on the Ice right now, but storms and delays are quite normal when one is traveling to Antarctica and we do not want to go flying if conditions are not absolutely right.  Safety first.  Last night, the team got together in Punta for a round of the traditional Chilean cocktail, the Pisco Sour and then we enjoyed a fine dinner at La Luna restaurant.  This morning, most of us piled into a van and enjoyed the Patagonian countryside and wildlife as we cruised for about six hours to the park.  We were treated to big and beautiful views of the massive stone towers, normally obscured by cloud down here at the edge of the Patagonian Icecap.  Guanaco were plentiful and our driver, Roberto, graciously halted the vehicle for every photo opportunity.  We´ll spend two nights here at the end of the road, some in the hostel and some in the hotel.  All of us are looking forward to stretching our legs for hiking tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Looks like you and the team saw pretty much the same gorgeous views as we did when at the Explora Lodge. Good Luck—will be following you!

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Posted by: Pat Purnell on 11/17/2011 at 1:36 pm

David-
I hope the weather breaks and you have a successful soon.  Best of luck!
Lou

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Posted by: Louis Krause on 11/17/2011 at 11:45 am


Vinson Massif:  Hiking in Torres Del Paine National Park

Posted by: Dave Hahn | November 17, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif

Fine days are known to be rare in Torres Del Paine National Park.  We enjoyed one today, start to finish.  It was an agreed upon “free day” in which our team members were advised to use the time as they wished.  Most team members went hiking since the weather was so beautiful and since we´d done so much travel by airplane and automobile in the last week.  The hike of the day was around 10 kilometers, one way, gaining over 700 meters in altitude.  This brought many of the team to a viewpoint looking straight onto the Torres -giant granite towers, looming over a picturesque alpine glacier and lake.  The path led through wonderful forests and ultimately up through big jumbles of rock.  Plenty of Andean Condors could be seen circling on thermals, waiting for hikers to stumble.  The gang will meet up in the Hotel Torres bar and restaurant this evening to compare notes on the day and to begin to refocus on Antarctica.  We´ll use tomorrow to return to Punta Arenas and will resume gearing up for the Ice.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn


VINSON MASSIF: Back from Torres Del Paine and Ready for Take Off

Posted by: Dave Hahn | November 18, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif

Hello once again from Punta Arenas, in the far South of Chile.

The team made its way back from Torres Del Paine this morning on a blustery day.  Storm clouds were swirling across the towers as our driver piloted his van out of the park and back toward our Antarctic adventure.  The word was that ALE -our logistics company, had managed to get two preliminary flights accomplished, clearing the way for our own flight to go forward.  We were sorry to leave Torres Del Paine since we’d all glimpsed a the possibilities for endless hiking and climbing, but we were excited to get back to working on our primary goal, Mt. Vinson.

We did see a number of Condors and Guanacos during our drive out of the park and a lot of wind whipped lakes and lagoons.  Back in Punta, we reconnected with some of the other passengers-to-be for our flight to the ice and we compared notes on a couple of great days in Patagonia.  In the late afternoon, we tried to get our equipment squared away for a weigh-in tomorrow morning and the subsequent loading of the airplane.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Billy, Mark, Robert, David and Seth. Photo: Dave Hahn A guanacos at Torres Del Paine. Photo: Dave Hahn The team enjoying a beautiful view at Torres Del Paine. Photo: Dave Hahn

Vinson Massif: Beginning the Expedition

Posted by: Dave Hahn | November 20, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 7,000'

This is Dave Hahn with the RMI Vinson Expedition, V1, we are starting the Vinson season. Myself, Seth Waterfall, Billy Nugent along with our climbers have had a run of good luck now.  We flew from Punta Arenas last night.  At quarter to midnight we left the ground after a day of stop and go, hoping for a flight and being stopped short earlier in the day.  And then finally, late last night we departed Punta Arenas and arrived in Union Glacier around 5 am.  Things were great there, it was nice and calm and our good luck continued.  During the day the staff at ALE managed to get us all out to Vinson Basecamp and that is where we are sitting right now, on the Branscomb Glacier below Mt. Vinson.  We are at about 7,000’,  it’s partly cloudy and again calm.

We are excited, after a few days in Torres del Paine, which was not that bad of a delay being in a National Park in Southern Chile, to come on the very next day and already be on the mountain.  Everything is looking good now.

More when we can,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Vinson Expedition ready to fly to Antarctica.  Photo: Dave Hahn


RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in from Vinson Basecamp.

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CH
Good luck and have fun.
Bruce

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Posted by: Bruce2 on 11/21/2011 at 10:10 am

Hey Cheryl! We’re rooting for you here in Beaver Creek and will be thinking of you Wednesday, opening day!!  See you soon!  xo, lin

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Posted by: Lin Bercher on 11/21/2011 at 9:29 am


Vinson Massif: First Carry above Basecamp

Posted by: Dave Hahn | November 21, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 7,000'

We’ve got an entire day on Mt Vinson under our belts now.  By the time we turned in last night it seemed we’d been awake for days… Mostly because we had been -with the midnight to four a.m. Ilyushin 76 flight onto the Antarctic continent and then a day of waiting at Union Glacier basecamp.  Our Twin Otter pilots came through nicely though and the entire team was on the Branscomb Glacier at 7,000’ by early evening.  Vinson Basecamp (VBC), but not until we built it.  We all felt pretty lucky to have gotten in since visibility and contrast weren’t great.  It was calm at Vinson Basecamp though, which was nice.  And cold, which was expected.  We stayed in our warm sleeping bags until 9 a.m. and then wandered out to stare at our surroundings and to eat breakfast.  It took several hours to sort ourselves out and to switch gears from hopping continents to hopping crevasses but finally we stretched our ropes and our legs and got busy doing a carry of food and fuel partway to Camp One.  The weather wasn’t spectacular and we wanted to be careful not to overdue things on this first day, so we covered about two and a half miles before caching the gear and returning to VBC.  Weather was slightly nicer by then in basecamp and so having dinner in the strong, warm 9 PM sunshine was a treat.  We have big plans for tomorrow.  We’d love to move up the mountain but it will depend on how everybody is feeling and what we see for weather.

In the tent now, at 12:45 AM with bright sunshine and a cool breeze blowing down glacier.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Happy Thanksgiving! Good look on summit day. David you are missed, thinking of you.

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Posted by: Birgitta Schindler on 11/24/2011 at 10:35 am

PRAYING TODAY BRINGS GREAT CLIMBING WEATHER! BE SAFE!!

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Posted by: TOM WENDEL on 11/22/2011 at 9:26 am


Vinson Massif: The Team Moves to Camp One in Good Weather

Posted by: Dave Hahn | November 22, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 9,100'

Weather forecasts that were passed in to us from Union Glacier suggested that things wouldn’t be so great today.  But then the forecasts changed.  It was a fine and calm day with plenty of sun and blue sky.  We packed up our basecamp and at about 12:30 PM, we began marching up the Branscomb.  The going was slightly easier today as the track in the snow is getting packed down a bit better.  We collected our cached food and gear from yesterday and then made the big northward turn with the glacier.  This put us directly under Vinson’s great western escarpment and it was a thrill to look up at 2000 vertical meters of rock and precariously perched ice.  A few hours of easier going on a firm surface brought us to Vinson’s low camp at a little before 7 PM.  It was very comfortable in the sunshine but the slightest breeze or a small cloud putting us in shadow made everyone acutely aware of what the actual temperature was.  The forecast that called for good weather today pegged the summit temp at -36 degrees.  We got tents up and the kitchen going and had dinner sitting outside, surrounded by giant and jagged mountains.  After dinner a few of us got a quarry of snow blocks going and built some walls for the camp… Just in case the weather changes, as usual.  It is now around 30 minutes after midnight and the sun is blazing away on the tents.  The sun won’t set, but around 3 AM when it goes behind the mountain, we will know it.  At this camp, we won’t expect to see or feel it again until noon.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Happy Thanksgiving to all! We are hoping you have great weather. Keep warm.
Regards,
F/W Group in St Louis

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Posted by: F/W Group on 11/23/2011 at 10:38 am

I just turned up the thermostat another 5 degrees after reading this post.

Mark - hope you’re carrying your little stuffed moo-cow with you. I find it galling that its… read more

Posted by: Madhu Rao on 11/23/2011 at 7:43 am


Vinson Massif: Team Checks in from Camp 1

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | November 24, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 9,100'

Hey, this is Seth Waterfall checking in from Camp 1 on Vinson Massif on the continent of Antarctica.

The group is doing great, we just returned a few hours ago from a carry to High Camp.  We are sitting pretty now with our cache in up high and we are going to take a rest day tomorrow after three solid days of working our way up the mountain.  The full team is looking forward to catching up on our hydration and doing some reading and relaxing around camp.  Then we will be all set for a summit bid.

We are hoping for good weather, the forecast looks great for the next couple of days and hopefully that holds.  Today was a beautiful day up on the fixed ropes and getting on the upper plateau of Vinson.  We are hoping for continued sun and calm weather which has been the name of the game for last two days.

All is well here.  Happy Thanksgiving to everybody back home, we are thinking about everybody.  We need to stand on the top of this mountain and then we’ll start heading back.

Take care,

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

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Best wishes to all for a safe summit specially our two Canadian girls Christine and Veronique who by the way are respectively at their 5th and 7th summit!  Go girls… read more

Posted by: Helene on 11/25/2011 at 5:27 am

Happy thanksgiving… Miss you tons:) xoxo

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Posted by: Haley on 11/24/2011 at 7:34 pm


Vinson Massif: The Team Enjoys a Rest Day

Posted by: Dave Hahn | November 24, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 9,100'

We rolled out of the tents at 11:30 AM to find another perfect day.  Calm, sunny and clear, just the way we like things.  This was our well-earned rest day and we took full advantage.  A leisurely breakfast primed the team for a mid-day nap, which was followed by the mid-afternoon nap and the early evening nap.  The goal of it all was to prepare for a few tough days to come up high on the mountain.  Everybody did their best to catch up on hydration and calories.  Billy Nugent and Seth Waterfall rested by spinning on down to basecamp and returning with fuel and other supplies in a tight five hour round trip.  Thanksgiving dinner was held under our festive blue and white POSH tent.  Chicken and noodles with all the trimmings.  We’ll be even more thankful if this fine weather continues.

Best regards to all back at home.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn and Team


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