Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Arrive at Basecamp
Tuesday, December 28, 2021 7:47 pm PT
When we met for breakfast at seven this morning, we were optimistic…about COVID test results, about weather in Antarctica and about a thousand moving parts and plans meshing perfectly. Turns out our optimism was warranted; this was a great day. We fired up the Gulfstream 7 at 12:30 PM and flew out of Patagonia headed South. We watched out the windows as sea ice began to appear and then mountains and massive glaciers. Our pilot slash climber extraordinaire, call sign -Sniggy- landed the plane ever so gently on the ice runway at Union Glacier just after 4 PM. We got out, marveling at our new world, unloaded our gear and then watched pilots Kurt and Rob lift the G7 off the ice and back into the sky bound for Punta Arenas.
We boarded two ski equipped Twin Otters and took off just after 5 PM for Vinson Base Camp. It was a clear and sunny day, so we could see thousands of the jagged and angular peaks comprising the 200-mile-long Ellsworth Mountains. We landed uphill at 7000 ft on the Branscomb Glacier a little before 6 PM. We met Hannah, Scott and Forrest, the excellent ALE guides we’ll be partnering with for this trip. With Superstars like Conrad Anker and Ed Viesturs on the team, there were plenty of outgoing climbers anxious for handshakes and pictures. Then it was an easy and pleasant evening of getting settled in camp and sorted for moving up the mountain tomorrow. We ate a fine dinner in the comfortable basecamp dining tent and attended to chores, some jogged in the snow around the 1/4-mile perimeter of basecamp for a little exercise. All of us spent a fair bit of time with our mouths hanging open, just staring at gigantic and precipitous Mt. Vinson a few miles East of basecamp. And then we called it a day. But a great and memorable day.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team
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