Vinson Massif: RMI Team Reaches Summit
We had sunshine and calm conditions at 7 AM in highcamp today... which was better than the forecast called for. There was still plenty of cloud about, but we decided to go for the summit. It took until 9:50 to get fully fueled up and geared up for climbing, and by then a few more clouds had rolled in though we still had a good feeling about the day. Vinson put up a fight, of course, and a few of the team were feeling effects of the altitude and so not everybody topped out. Those that did, made it up in about 8 hours, spent nearly an hour on the summit and came down in just a couple more for a respectable round trip under 11 hrs. The conditions swung between sunny and calm, breezy and cloudy and everything in between... all at temps of about -20 to -25 Fahrenheit, so our rest breaks were short and business like so as to keep fingers and toes flexible. We enjoyed views of the tall and jagged peaks to Vinson’s north, and when the mountains were obscured, the sculpted cloud formations covering them were spectacular. On top of Antarctica’s highest mountain, the team lucked out with calm and sunny “gloves off” conditions for photos, fist bumps and flag waving. By 8:30 PM the gang was all back together at high camp. We spent a few hours brewing up, eating, drinking and laughing. A most memorable New Years Day was had by all.
RMI Guides Dave Hahn
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December 31, 2019
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