Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Move to High Camp
We woke to the same thick blanket of cloud concealing the mountaintops and the sun and the blue sky. The good thing was that blanket held in a little more heat than normal, so getting started wasn’t particularly mean and cold. We ate breakfast, caught the forecast passed on from the meteorological folks at Union Glacier, and debated what to do about it. Our decision, since we had no sign or signal that the wind was blowing, was to push up into the cloud and make our move to high camp. It took until 1:00 PM to bust camp and be packed, but that worked just fine. There were occasional snowflakes falling, and we were certainly on the lookout for deteriorating weather, but all-in-all, conditions were stable and we pressed on. We took a short break at yesterday’s high point and then moved higher up the steep snow slope without much at all for views. It was a little like climbing inside a milk bottle. Our boldness was rewarded when we topped out the ropes to find calm and easy conditions (although still cloudy) on the plateau. We pulled into high camp at 6:30, for a respectable five and a half hour push to 12,500 ft. The gang found it tough going... it worked us in about 12 different and mean ways, but everybody set to building camp with good energy and enthusiasm. By that point we’d put on all the big and puffy clothing -down coats and down pants- which seemed just right for our cold new home. We filed into ALE’s good, strong cooking and dining tent and had a deluxe session of hot drinks, dinner, and strategizing for tomorrow. We hope the calm holds and that we can take a good shot at the top to start 2020 off right.
All of us want to wish our friends and loved ones the very warmest and best wishes for their own celebrations. Happy New Year!
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
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