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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Return to Punta Arenas

Excellent weather at Union Glacier this morning.  Our return flight to South America was never in question.  We ate huge breakfasts and then went back for seconds. There was a little easy packing and a little easy waiting, sprinkled through with meetings and reunions with climbers and guides and staff from other trips in other places.  The 757 landed in early afternoon with another load of Vinson hopeful climbers.  We got on board shortly afterwards.  There were excellent views of the Ellsworth Mountains east side, with Craddock, Vinson and Tyree standing out.  Then it was seatback movies and the drink and snack carts for the four hour flight.  We touched down in Punta Arenas around eight. My team was checked in to hotels and showered and ready for a celebration dinner by ten.  This is the easy part. 

Best Regards
RMI Guides Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Have Dinner at Union Glacier

Up at high camp this morning, things were blessedly calm.  So much easier, after a long summit day, to have breakfast and pack up in windless and sunny conditions.  We set out at noon and took on the hardest part first, getting big packs and tired legs down the fixed lines.  It felt good to get that all behind us as we rolled into low camp and repacked for sled hauling down the lower glacier.  We pulled in to basecamp at around 7 PM with a Twin Otter waiting.  Some hurried packing, sorting and organizing followed and the Twin got off deck at 8 PM.  They held dinner for us tired but excited Vinson folk.  We stuffed ourselves and caught up with all the expedition folk we’d been sharing the mountain with.  Our tents went up for a final night in Antarctica.  It looks good for flying tomorrow so we may make it all the way to Punta Arenas on this whirlwind finish to the trip. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guie Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Return to High Camp

Sunday, December 5, 2021 - 8:26 pm PT

We were back to high camp at 10:45 PM for a round trip time of just under 13 hours. Pretty normal for Vinson. Great views, fine weather.  We had dinner back in camp and ran stoves forever to melt snow for water. Now 1:30 AM, the end of another long but magnificent day. 

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Awesome Dave!!!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 12/7/2021 at 3:28 am

Vinson Massif: Team Reaches Summit!

Summit in perfect conditions at 7 PM!  More from high camp this evening!

Dave, Rajat, Mark

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Congratulations guys! I really appreciated the updates!

Posted by: Don Huntington on 12/5/2021 at 7:21 pm

Congratulations to you all!

Posted by: Shweta on 12/5/2021 at 5:33 pm

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Move to High Camp, Enjoy Eclipse

Greetings from Vinson High Camp @ 12,500. Much nicer day. No wind. Up in 6 hrs 15 min.  We are looking good for top tomorrow.  Other teams rested at high camp today. Forecast is for continued good weather.   We caught the 99.2% total eclipse this morning at 4:44 am. We were able to see Venus, but no stars. Still pretty bright out, surrounded by ice and snow, but a different light. We enjoyed it. Team is psyched for tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Foiled by the Weather Again

The weather came around today, but not quite in time for us to make good use of it.  The skies had cleared of cloud but at noon there was still wind whipping snow off the high ridges and peaks.  We didn’t want to chance having to battle such a wind for the final hours into high camp and for the time needed to build that camp.  So we got ready, but we waited for improvement.  The winds did diminish but not convincingly enough for us to pull the trigger.  The teams around us did go for it and seem to have done just fine, although now, at 9:45 PM there is still wind visible in the high camp area.  We’re going to put our efforts into these next two days, Saturday and Sunday, for which the forecast is fine.  We have the place to ourselves… not entirely by design, but the quiet is nice.

We’ll set alarms tonight for 4:44 AM… not for an alpine start to the climbing -which would be quite cold- but to catch the solar eclipse.  At the time of totality, Mt Vinson will be squarely between us and a view of the sun, but perhaps we’ll see stars -a rarity in an Antarctic summer (like never).

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Weather the Storm at Low Camp

The storm got real last night around 11 or midnight, and sneaky -blowing hard from the previously unprotected side of our tents.  Most of the camp population was dressed up and out stumbling around in the storm, laboring to cut and carry more snow blocks to reinforce and extend walls. When the bigger gusts would power on through, people would tend to just stop whatever they were attempting and turn their backs to the assault of wind and ice pellets.  It was definitely enough of a storm to break tents, but there was only so much you could do outside to protect them.  That done, the other strategy was to get back in them and put a shoulder to the walls to help aluminum poles stand up to the blasts.  Whenever there was the perception that things had eased, one could try sleep, but that was a little like trying to nap next to a machine gun in a fire fight.  The wind howls and screams through mountains, but when it hits tent fabric, it drums. Hard and loud.  It continued well into the morning and finally eased by around 10 AM, making it a little easier to get out at 10:45 when the sun came around the mountain to hit us through clouds.  Breakfast was calm enough, but then the winds came in again and the game of snow blocks resumed for a few more hours.  By about 2:30 PM, there was a cease fire at Low Camp.  The storm was still everywhere else, with fog below and multiple cloud layers on the mountain and wind trailing big streamers of snow off the heights up by High Camp… but it got quiet and calm at Low Camp and we were able to get enough sun through the tent walls to be comfortable through the afternoon and evening.  Predictions are that tomorrow (Friday) could be a nice day and if so, we’ll be on the move.  We’ll take it step by step though.  For the moment we’re happy not to spend the night building snow forts. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Stay safe above all else.  How high would you estimate the storm winds were/are ?

Posted by: Michael Madin on 12/3/2021 at 10:56 am

Wishing for clear skies and a safe trip!

Posted by: Chad Burgert on 12/3/2021 at 9:06 am

Vinson Massif: Dave Hahn and Team Wait Out Storm at Low Camp

The wind came in at 2:50 this morning.  It had been up above, already working high camp since 11 or midnight but we hoped it would forget to come down to visit.  Thankfully it didn’t blow hard down here, although we could hear it howling elsewhere.  And it eased off of camp by sun up at 10:40 AM, making it a bit easier to get out for breakfast.  We were getting sunshine but there were big and serious storm clouds raking the peaks above.  It was an easy decision to sit put… a storm day was declared.  There was plenty to do, as far as toughening up our little camp.  The kitchen/dining pit needed to get deeper in the ice for protection, snow block walls needed to be quarried for the tents.  We alternated between snacking, napping and working hard.  Forecasts call for the storm to continue tomorrow (Thursday) but there is reason to believe that things will be better on Friday.  Cold fingers crossed. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn and Team

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Cache Gear at 11,800’

Mission accomplished.  For today, that is.  We had fine weather today, sunny and calm (but you might be surprised to see how much clothing and gear we still put on for sunny and calm conditions).  We made a carry up the steep and nasty part of Mt Vinson… the fixed ropes, and put a cache of supplies at 11,800 ft. before returning to our 9,300 ft camp.  By intention, we stopped about an hour short of 12,500 ft High Camp.  To go up and back is a lot of work, but we hope it is the kind of work that will help with our acclimatization, making us stronger and safer when we go up there for real.  The fixed rope section is a continuously steep and firm snow slope which definitely gets your attention as a physical challenge.  We normally get up it in three hour long pulls with some dicey rest breaks thrown in on precarious ledges.  The views are otherworldly… with ice stretching to the western horizon and then blending with the sky, and jagged peaks of rock and ice increasingly visible to our north.  We were out a little more than seven hours, returning to Low Camp at 9 PM.  The strong evening sun kept us comfy in our dining tent for a 10:15 supper.  Rumor has it that winds may increase on the upper mountain tomorrow.  We shall see. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Hey Dave, Sending good wishes for great weather and strength for you and your team!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 12/1/2021 at 4:18 am

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Rest Day at Low Camp

Today was a fine and calm, sunny day from start to finish.  Just perfect for resting.  We took it easy and tried to catch up on napping and hydration.  This camp is 9300 feet above sea level and so it was a good acclimatization day as well.  The sun hit camp at about 10:40 AM and melted the frost collecting overhead in the tents… the perfect alarm clock.  We ate a leisurely breakfast in our small dining tent and then retreated to the warmth of the tents for the day.  Dinner was in strong sunshine at 8:30 PM.  We intend to put in a good hard day tomorrow, carrying loads up the fixed ropes. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated your updates. May you have safety and success

Posted by: Don Huntington on 11/30/2021 at 3:51 pm

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