Vinson Massif: Team Carries to High Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Seth Waterfall | December 09, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 9,300'

Morning at Low Camp is a tough, tough thing.  The sun doesn’t hit camp until about 11:15 AM and until then, things are mighty cold in the shadow of Vinson.  It isn’t dark at night, since the sun doesn’t go below the horizon, but when it goes behind the mountain we burrow pretty deeply into our down sleeping bags. 

We rolled out this morning to find a lot more cloud than we expected.  But there didn’t seem to be any wind blowing on the high peaks and so we geared up to do our carry to high camp.  We set out bright and early at 1:45 PM.  It started snowing lightly as we approached the fixed ropes, but it wasn’t particularly cold.  The rope sections were a workout, for sure.  We climbed continuously steep snow slopes that averaged about 35 degrees for hour after hour.  Leaving the ropes we still had a final hour and a half of glacier climbing to reach high camp.  All in all it took us about 6 and a half hours to get there.  Views weren’t unlimited since the cloud and intermittent snows stayed with us, but we got glimpses of the giant mountains around us.  We cached supplies at high camp (12,300 ft) and then skedaddled on down reaching our tents and some good strong sunshine at 10:30 PM.  Dinner and hot drinks finished the day.  A fine and hard day of climbing, we all agreed. Now we look forward to a rest day at low camp. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Low Camp, Epperly and Shinn Behind. Photo: Dave Hahn

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James,  What an endeavor!  Hope the mountain stays friendly for your expedition.  Be safe and healthy, and good luck!  This your cousin from San Francisco.

Posted by: Linda (Shin) Sager on 12/11/2012 at 8:29 am

Julie-Prayers your way as you attempt the summit. You can do it!  Kara & Cindy

Posted by: Kara on 12/10/2012 at 10:00 pm

James, glad to see a beautiful picture, but…. how cold is it to spend a night in a tent on Ice / Snow? Certainly, it takes a strong person with determination!
Be safe, stay warm, enjoy beautiful scenery, and bring lots of good memories. Wishing you and everyone good luck.

Posted by: Soonja Choo on 12/10/2012 at 4:24 pm

James Choo:

We are all missing you, but we have good news to report.  We passed our state licensure for both the ASTC and Level III procedure room with flying colors.  On to Medicare…

p.s. don’t poop over any bear traps!!

Posted by: ALANA BOOTH on 12/10/2012 at 11:02 am

CZ: Rest day?! Come now! 
Love love

Posted by: Betsi on 12/10/2012 at 9:12 am

Thinking about you out there as you’re soaking up all that beauty and wonder around you.  It’s the Sweetest Thing. :)

Posted by: J.J. on 12/10/2012 at 7:51 am

Hi Bruce,
Wow, you and the team are working so hard.  I am so proud of you! Your efforts have inspired me to take a serious look at the Kilimanjaro adventure you recommended.

I am sitting here working hard with my warm Chai Tea Latte in hand, chuckling at David Hahn’s comment, “It started snowing lightly as we approached the fixed ropes, but it wasn’t particularly cold.”  It wasn’t particularly cold, seriously?  I guess that is by Antarctica standards.  I know you are cold under normal circumstances, my goodness, you must be a block of ice by now. 

Everyone misses you back home and we cannot wait to hear all the great stories when you come home. 

Stay warm, be safe, and most of all, have fun.


Posted by: Gale on 12/10/2012 at 7:46 am

Julie, keep those knees iced down, and toes warm!  You’ll be happy to know there is a ton of snow back home.  We got 3 feet in one day over the weekend!

Posted by: Allen on 12/10/2012 at 7:39 am

Is this a textbook climb (so far) or what?  I know that you all are working hard, but as always the benefits surely are a reward in themselves.  It seems fair to say that I can’t conceive of the weather you are experiencing—after all I sent Oz to school in shorts today.  I won the Mini game this morning for the first time in weeks.  Oz wants you to dance Gangman style at the summit of Vinson, by the way.  I told him that there may not be room (unlike Kili) and he conceded that anywhere on the continent would serve his purposes!
Much love,

Posted by: Stephanie on 12/10/2012 at 7:08 am

Julie, it sounds like everything you love best, gruelling output of energy hour after hour in God’s beautiful outdoor world. Hope you have enough feather power to be warm.

Posted by: Carol Stuebs on 12/10/2012 at 6:28 am

HW: Sounds like very tough climbing from Camp One to High Camp. Hope you are enjoying the rest day today. Very interesting to read the sun is stronger at 10:30pm than 11am where you are. We went to see the holiday toy train show at Grand Central which the kids loved. Wish you guys good weather in the coming days. We are all cheering you on. Love, -Fan

Posted by: Fan on 12/10/2012 at 5:41 am

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