Vinson Massif: Summit!

Posted by: Dave Hahn | December 26, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Vinson Massif
Elevation: 16,067'

Good things come to those who wait.  We waited until 7 AM to start the stoves this morning.  There were puffy clouds about, but no wind in the neighborhood.  It seemed like we should go climbing. 

We left highcamp at 9:20 AM, loaded for bear… or more correctly, covered in goose feathers.  The clouds came and went during our march up valley.  When they came it was too cold, when they went it was too hot.  But eventually, we got high enough that it was just plain cold anyway.  But the wind never really developed and so we didn’t feel the cold as intensely as we might have.  True to the forecast we’d received, the day got cloudier, but we were still surprised to get some stunning views of the sharp peaks to our north.  And when we reached the beautiful and fun summit ridge, we were treated to endless views to the South and East, so that we could see a hundred miles worth of the Ellsworth Mountains in that direction.  The final ridge was magical today.  There was new snow sparkling on all the rock and not a breath of wind, so it was quiet, calm and inviting as we pulled onto the top of Vinson at 5 minutes after 4 PM.  We took a million pictures of each other, made a few important phone and radio connections and smiled a lot.  We left the top at 4:45 and made good time down to high camp in a cool and gradually thickening cloud.  We were home by 7:05 PM and happily eating dinner in our POSH tent not very long afterward.

The day worked out well and we hope for one more good hard climbing day tomorrow, descending to Basecamp.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Audio Transcription:
Hey this is Dave Hahn calling from the summit of Vinson Massif, the highest point in Antarctica!  I am up here with the whole crew - five of us on top today.  It is a beautiful Day. We are in the strong sunshine. It is a little after 4:00 in the afternoon for us, and everybody is taking pictures on top and enjoying this place.  We have a big view of the Ellsworth Mountains. It is a really enjoyable day up here, Boxing Day – the day after Christmas. Nicole, Bart, Brian, Joe and Dave all send you their best wishes from 16,067’.

Bye for now!

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Climbers on the Summit of Vinson Massif - RMI Photo Collection

Dave Hahn calling from the Summit of Vinson Massif

On The Map

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Congratulations Nicole and the entire team!  Enjoy your New Year!  We will celebrate when you get back.

Posted by: Lisa on 12/30/2012 at 7:35 am

Congrats to all. Well Done.

Posted by: Jack on 12/26/2012 at 3:08 pm

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