Vinson Massif: Team Moves Uphill

Posted by: Dave Hahn | December 06, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 9,500'

Another day of storm, as predicted and expected.  But it seemed as though things were improving gradually and so we thought we might sneak up into position at Low Camp so as to be ready for the good weather.  This plan worked well, at first.  We packed up and got rolling from basecamp at 1:30 PM.  At the big right-angle turn of the Branscomb Glacier we picked up our cache from yesterday and marched on.  Travel was actually easier than it had been for the first Vinson team since much of the soft snow blew away.  With a good path and calm and even occasionally sunny conditions, the miles flew by.  We hit low camp at 9,300 ft right on five hours, at 6:30.  That also happened to be the moment that the first big cold and random wave of wind played through.  Sure enough, the storm had a sting in its tail.  We got hammered by gusts as we carefully built our tents and lit stoves.  It all certainly lent drama to our situation, but the team remained in good humor and coped well.  Meals were served up in the sleeping tents instead of in the POSH, but that worked out just fine.  By 10 PM the wind was behaving much better and it pretty much quit by midnight (although it can still be heard howling through high camp, 3,500 ft directly above us).  Obviously we want our share of good and stable weather to begin tomorrow, but if necessary, we can wait right here for whenever the fine stuff shows up.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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