Vinson: Checking in from Camp 1

Posted by: | January 07, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 9,100'

Rest Day

First off, my apologies at not getting a dispatch off last night. After downloading images to my netbook, I encountered some issues with both charging the computer and a corrupt driver for the satellite phone. Fortunately, I brought a backup laptop with me; unfortunately, that laptop had been left at Vinson Basecamp. So, last night from 10:30 PM until 2:30 AM, I had a nice journey back down to Basecamp to swap out laptops, pick up some additional gear, and head back to Low Camp. Not what I had in mind, but being out during the “night” was a great time, albeit a long one!


Rest days are always nice.

This morning we awoke leisurely, mainly because here at Low Camp we’re in the shade from 3:00 AM until 11:30 AM while the sun is behind Vinson. As a result, the temperatures drop from reasonable and pleasant to painfully cold during those hours. It’s best to stay inside.

Seth and Caroline - after making another great breakfast - left to make an additional carry from Vinson Basecamp to Low Camp of some additional food and equipment. Meanwhile, the rest of us went about our day. Peter and Ben began with ice sculptures, carving a great First Ascent “A” out of the ice. Kent and I moved up the glacier to do some shooting with Ed.

The highlight of the day was our journey up to a nearby Col which was part of the original route used by the 1966 first ascent team on Vinson. It was the common route until about 15 years ago. From Low Camp, a short, 30 minute walk leads to the Col, and immediately a stunning landscape is laid out ahead. An ocean of white, pockmarked by black-rock peaks, and bounded on one side by the giants of Shinn, Epperly, and Tyree. It is a stunning sight to behold, and one more of what will be many happy memories of this special land.

- Jake Norton

Peter, David, Ed, Cindy, and Ben walk around a glacial moat en route to the col on the original, 1966 ascent of Vinson. Ed Viesturs gazes out across the expanse of Antarctica from the Col used by the first ascent party in 1966.

Peter Whittaker from Camp 1

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