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Vinson Massif

Vinson Massif: Hahn, Waterfall & Team Summit!

If at first you don’t succeed…  The forecast really wasn’t all that good for today, but when Seth Waterfall and I looked out of the tent at 7:30 AM, we couldn’t find too much wrong with the day.  We started stoves, woke the team and geared up once again for a summit bid.  We got out of camp at around 10 AM and made steady progress in bright sunshine.  Eventually the sky clouded up (as we’d been told it might) but we kept a careful watch out for wind on the heights… and didn’t see any.  The team moved well, with many commenting that they actually felt stronger today than they had in yesterday’s bid.  We reached the old high point and then seemed to be getting above the clouds as we worked our way onto Vinson’s summit ridge.  We all thought it was going to be cold and windy on the final ridge but instead it was delightfully calm, sunny and even warm (it certainly didn’t feel like the forecasted -28 C…although it might have with any wind whatsoever).  The team loved the big blocky rocks and delicate traverses of the summit ridge.  We got on top at 5:00 PM and stayed there for thirty minutes, shooting pictures and shaking hands.  The clouds took a way a good chunk of the view possibilities, but we had glimpses enough through the mist to know we were way up in the air over Antarctica.  The descent took a mere 2.5 hours and we were back in camp by 8:00 PM.  Tired and happy.  Our plan is for the majority of the team to rest at high camp tomorrow while I make one more try at the top with a climber who sat out today’s bid. 
Weather permitting. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

[Transcribed audio]  Hey this is Seth checking from the summit of Vinson Massif, highest point in Antarctica. Had a great day of climbing. Started out in sun, ended up in the clouds, but we were on top in almost zero wind and light snow flurries.  We are up pretty high.  We are going to take a couple of photos and head on back to high camp and we’ll check in then.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall from the Vinson Massif summit

On The Map

Comments (39)

THREE CHEERS!!! So excited for everyone!!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it. Continued Blessings.
Steph and Jane

Posted by: Steph and Jane on

FELICIDADES CAMPEONA, gracias por este hermoso regalo, si se pudo, tu espíritu inquebrantable, fortaleza, y Dios lo hicieron posible, FELICIDADES PRIMERA TICA EN ANTÁRTICA,  te esperamos sana y salva ,, si se pudo la num. 6, Bravoooo, mami te manda felicitaciones de corazón, pensando que siempre sales adelante eres una pequeña gran mujer.

Posted by: Graciela Carmona Soto on

Sterling, I still think a snowmobile would have been a better option…. Good job.

Posted by: Bill Johnston on

Sterling, CONGRATULATIONS. We knew you’d do it. Can’t wait to see your pictures. Have a safe trip home. WE hope to see you over the holidays.

Posted by: Dave & Shirley on

Congrats!!  SO proud of my BFF!! :) Hurry back so I can hear all about it.  Meanwhile, here at home, I’m still rolling that boulder up the hill.

Posted by: Sisyphus on

Yay King Derwin!  Do they all know you’re their lucky charm for the trip’s success?  How’s Erato handling the elevation?  Ps - can you go up again tomorrow?
Love, Missy and Betsi

Posted by: Betsi on

Choo!!!!! you are the man! Dream Connection has posted so much on your travels and the Summit! We are very proud!BTW Gruden seen in Vestal!Can’t wait to have you back. Be safe on the way back down.

Posted by: Bruce on

James, Congratulations!!  I know you’re loving it!!  Safe travels back home!

Posted by: Bunny Ball on


Great Job! Congrats to you and the team! The pics are amazing. I know you are excited to check another box off the list. Be safe.


Posted by: Kendra on

Never a doubt with Sterling on the team.  BEAST!

Posted by: Dan on

Way to go, Sterling and compadres! Congratulations on reaching the summit. All those days of training really paid off. Look forward to a fiesta welcoming you back to the Rogue Valley. All the best, Rand & Lynn

Posted by: Rand & Lynn on

Congratulations James!

Posted by: Jonathan Harwell on

Gina , Hola Campeona estamos con tigo, mandándote todas la buenas vibras, rezando por ese buen clima, Te Queremos.

Posted by: Graciela Carmona Soto on

Sterling!and the rest of you youngsters! Congrats on a successful summit…Safe travels back down and home again to all! LUV IT!

Posted by: Candi Kersey on

Yay, Julie and team! How exciting it was to read the word “summit” in the email. Blessings to y’all on the return.

Posted by: Barbara Bauer on

Whoo-hoo!!! I am so happy for you and everyone on the team! Can’t wait to read more about it and see more pics.  This blog has been the greatest and I love Seth’s commentary from the summit.  Be safe and enjoy the remainder of your trip - you’ve earned it :)

Posted by: Laura on

Congratulations Choo!!! We miss you here at work. Stay safe!

Posted by: Brandy Bledsoe on

James…Congratulation…You dah man…Proud of you + team…As fella in rear periodically here’s hopes for last man today…,Your summit came on the anniversary of Norweigian explorer Amundsen and team becoming 1st men to reach So Pole…Good timing !...Godspeeding continue…Waltero

Posted by: waltero glover on

Congratulations, Julie! I guess that just leaves summiting the North Pole for #8!

Posted by: James Braun on

Way to go Mark!  Congratulations.  It’s been fun to read this blog and follow your climb.  Safe journeys home.
Mimi & P.J.

Posted by: Mimi on

Congratulations Mark!  We knew it would happen.  It’s been fun reading this blog and following your climb.  Safe journeys home.
Mimi & P.J.

Posted by: Mimi on

Congratulations Bruce! Must be an awesome feeling and sense of accomplishment! Hope you are well and looking forward to hearing from you.

Posted by: Tara Zier on

Congratulations all!!!  Looking forward to your stories Julie.  I’ll raise an Austral in your honor!  Eric

Posted by: Eric Jackson on

Richard. Congratulations on your summit! That is fantastic.  Safe travels home. We look forward to a slide show sometime. Dave Vicki Jared and Evan

Posted by: Manzo family on

Yeah…congratulations!  I am so excited for all of you.  I cannot wait to hear more.  Stay safe the rest of the journey.

Paula Selland

Posted by: Paula Selland on

Sterling, Congratulations to you and your younger teammates!  Way to go OLD man.  Stay safe and watch out for those bears!

Posted by: Ronny Sever on

Congratulations to James and the team! Just marvelous!!!
Enjoy majestic view from the summit of Vinson Massif and stay alert to get down safely. Proud of you!!!

Posted by: Soonja Choo on

Congratulations Bruce - you did it!  You are truly amazing.  What a huge accomplishment for you and the team!!!

Posted by: Gale on

Sterling - Congratulations to you and the team.  Can’t wait to hear from you.  Safe trip down. Love, Sue

Posted by: Sue on

You make me one proud mama.  I gave it the E.H.S. cheer. Love you, have a safe trip down and home.  I have one big grin on my face.

Posted by: Caroline on

Congratulations Sterling and the rest of the group!

Posted by: Tackett on

Kudos to you and your team!  Savor the trip down the mountain and your remaining time on this adventure.  Your mom and I are toasting you tonight with White Russians… Oz is over the moon and no doubt will be bragging on his dad tommorrow at school!
Love you and see you soon!

Posted by: Stephanie on


Posted by: fran and dad on

Sterling I had put a call into the weather Gods after your first summit attempt just to remind them who they were dealing with.  I guess they finally realized they should take better care of you and the rest of the group.  We are prepairing your throne for your return.  You are my HERO !!! Congratulations to everyone.

Posted by: John Johnston on

Congratulations to all of you!!  You’re halfway through your journey (but at least your egos have been appeased for now).  Be safe heading down.

-Larry Seaton

Posted by: Larry Seaton on

Congratulations! So happy for you all. Big hug for my brother, D. G.

Posted by: Lori Bartek on

HW: Congrats!!!!! So happy for you and so proud of you! The peak looks beautiful and the team look so cool. Enjoy the moment. Please be careful on the way down. Dave / Seth: thanks for the update from the summit. Please post more details when you get back to the high camp. Love to hear more. Congrats again!!! Love, -Fan

Posted by: Fan on

Congratulations Richard - that’s all 7!!!

Posted by: Maggie on

Congratulations to the team! Safe travels home.

Posted by: Nicholas Bozarth on

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