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Entries By dave hahn


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Summit and Storm

We made it to the summit of Vinson today!  In the nick of time as it turned out.  While our time of ascent was a blazing fast seven hours, the mountain was anything but easy today.  We started with blue skies, bright sun and a nagging 10 mph breeze when the stoves were fired shortly after seven this morning.  That breeze made things like fastening harnesses and crampons quite cold.  We roped up and got moving at 9:45 hoping to lose the wind as we got into the protection of the valley glacier that would take us to the summit.  That worked a little, things were reduced to occasional gusts.  Those gusts increased in frequency and force as we got up near 15,000 ft.  By the time we were scrambling onto the summit ridge, it was blowing a more or less steady 30 mph.  We worked pretty hard to keep each other’s faces frost free and to keep sunglasses and ultimately goggles from fogging up.  Hitting the top at 4:45 was a thrill, but not at all one we could linger over.  We squeezed off just a couple of photos (which we’ll post after getting back to the Wi-Fi world) but it really wasn’t the day for bare hands on the summit.  We set out to get off the ridge and down to high camp.  This was accomplished in about three hours, during which we watched winds increase and a storm move into the Ellsworth Mountains.  At 8:00 when we pulled into camp, the sun was in the clouds and winds were rock steady at about 20 mph, moving plenty of snow around.  The victory dinner was in tents as it is far from pleasant at High Camp tonight.  We snuck this one in… now to get down the mountain.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations!  Well done.  Stay safe on the descent.

Posted by: Dale on 12/11/2017 at 9:32 am

Congratulations Steve and Vinson Team.  I am happy to have joined you, Steve, on two of your five summits on five continents!  Great job.  I have enjoyed Dave’s blogs, but can hardly wait to hear about your experience in Antarctica.

Posted by: Greg Miller on 12/11/2017 at 8:33 am


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Cruise into High Camp

Today was just right for moving.  We were up and getting ready shortly after the ten thirty sun hit the tents.  Launch time was 12:50 PM and with perfect conditions, we made steady and excellent progress.  Certainly the 2,000 vertical feet of the fixed lines were still difficult with heavy packs, but we had the benefit of being on familiar ground.  We cruised into High Camp at 6 PM, still feeling strong, but also noticing just how much colder it is up around 12,300 ft.  We dressed up and built camp, got stoves going and sat down out in the sunshine for dinner.  The views from here are other-worldly, with ice stretching beyond the visible horizon in any direction and mountains rising to ridiculously sharp summits all around.  The teams we waited with at Union Glacier all hit the summit today and we greeted them each with a “congratulations” and a fist bump when they rolled into camp on their return. 
Perhaps we’ll get as lucky tomorrow.  We will be ready. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi Steve,

How cool is this that I get to write you a little note.  I have been thinking about you and what an amazing experience you must be having.  I’m looking forward to hearing about it when you get home.  Be Safe!!!  I’ll tell mom about this web sight.  We love you!!!  Joke: What do you call a cold ghost?
A: casp-burr!
Stay Warm!!!

Posted by: Allison Gibbons on 12/10/2017 at 9:08 pm

Steve,
We are praying for you and your team. We hope that today will be the day. Be safe and enjoy this special time. We will be anxious to see you upon your return.
Best to you. Jack and Camille

Posted by: Jack and Camille on 12/10/2017 at 5:32 am


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Start Out and Then Return to Low Camp

Still just a bit breezy up high.  The teams at High Camp reported steady 15 knot winds but thing looked a lot better from Low Camp today, the giant airwave lenticular cloud to the west of the mountains was gone and we had high hopes for going high if the snow streamers off the ridge died down.  They did, a little later than we would have liked but we decided to break camp and make the move.  We only got to the base of the fixed ropes before deciding to give it one more day.  The team wasn’t firing on all cylinders and the continuing cold winds above the fixed ropes could make the last hours into High Camp quite difficult.  We set up Low Camp again and set our sights on tomorrow. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hang tough Sue and team.  You will pull this off and if memory serves me this will be number 3 of the big 7!

Posted by: Russ Frederrickson on 12/9/2017 at 5:45 am

Hi Sue & crew! Praying for a break in the wind so you guys can make it all the way! Best of luck for tomorrow!! God Bless!
Your So Cal crew!!

Posted by: Laura on 12/8/2017 at 10:13 pm


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Continue to Wait

Today was a lot like yesterday.  We were up at the crack of 10:30, and despite fine conditions where we were it was windy where we wanted to go.  Again, we ate breakfast and watched for some sign of calming.  We talked via radio to the three teams holding on at High Camp who confirmed that they were holding on.  We bided our time, buffed out our snow camp and chatted with the guides and climbers of the only other group at Low Camp.  We read, drank water, watched TV, napped, cut snow blocks and watched the sun collide with the stationary lenticular cloud in the western sky.  Just like yesterday, it made for a chilly afternoon and evening.  But a pretty one.  Each time we came out of the cook tent or one of the sleeping tents, there was the temptation to just stare, slack-jawed, at Vinson’s immense rock wall, or Shinn’s delicate summit, or Epperly’s rarely traveled vertical gullies. 
We’ll get our chance to go upstairs soon enough and we’ll be ready to make the most of it. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Following along! This is fascinating! Hi to Lindsay Z! You’re amazing, Woman! What an adventure!

Posted by: Jeanne Vrabel on 12/8/2017 at 6:26 am

Hang in there team!  Your day is coming.  As the old man said to his little girl, we didn’t come this far and work this hard to not climb the mountain.  Rock on!

Posted by: Les Z on 12/8/2017 at 5:25 am


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Wait at Low Camp for Better Weather

We thought we were moving up to High Camp today.  No dice.  It was too windy up high.  Although it was sunny and calm where we stood at Low Camp, we could see big streamers of snow jetting out from the ridge we wanted to be on.  We packed up about halfway anyway and ate breakfast watching to see if things eased.  Radio communications with the teams already at High Camp confirmed that it was miserable and cold up there and that they were just in hunker-down-and-wait mode.  We did the same, without the misery.  If anything, the wind got a little worse in the early afternoon, chasing snowy dust devils all the way to the base of the fixed ropes.  We thought for a time that the wind might work on over to Low Camp, but we were spared.  The afternoon did get a bit cold though when the sun ran into a high stationary cloud sitting west of the mountains. My team took it all in stride, retreating to books and sleeping bags for a second rest day.  In other places, such winds wouldn’t be a big deal and you could push on through, but with the colder temperatures we deal with down here, there’d be too much chance of frostbite and hypothermia.  We’ll wait for a better day. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Have a Sedentary Day at Camp

Today was perfect from start to finish.  Perfect for resting and catching up on our acclimatization and hydration.  It was another cloudless and windless day, at Low Camp -that is- our radio check-in with basecamp revealed that they were in fog down below.  But we had fine weather and a forecast for more of the same.  We had a leisurely breakfast followed by prolonged snacking and napping.  The troops were instructed to down a few liters each of water as their primary chore for the day.  After a couple of longer, tougher days, this was a welcome change and we hope the rest sets us up well for the move to higher altitude tomorrow. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Carry Loads to Top of Ropes

As expected, when the sun went behind the mountain at Low Camp last night around 3 AM, the temperature took a dive.,.  probably down around zero F.  It made it past the mountain again at 10:30 this morning, making it just about ten times easier to get out of our sleeping bags and unzip the tents to begin the day.  We went for a carry up the fixed lines to 11,500 ft today.  Shifting gears a bit, yesterday it was dragging sleds and using ski poles, today it was crampons and ice axes and no sleds.  We got going at about 1:40 and hit the top of the ropes at 7PM.  It was a fine day for climbing with nothing but blue skies and calm and still conditions, which made it a little easier to concentrate on good techniques for climbing continuously steep snow.  We carried food and supplies for our summit push and cached at the top of the lines, basically at the beginning of the long, tilted summit plateau.  Descent back to Low Camp took us two hours.  It was nice, after the last few days, to come into an existing camp.  It didn’t take too long to get dinner and a bunch of water for drinking.  We’ll rest tomorrow, which also makes it easier to relax tonight. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Thanks Dave for the everyday updates, reading what all you guys doing in that amazing place inspired me to do one trip with you in the future, Sue enjoy every minute there and if can take lots of pictures.
Good luck to all and be safe.

Posted by: Sandra E Sanchez on 12/5/2017 at 5:23 pm

Best wishes to the entire group.  Thanks for this blog so we can follow the groups progess and keep some peace knowing Sue is in good hands.

Posted by: Rosalee Lustig on 12/5/2017 at 12:56 pm


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Carry to Low Camp

It was nice to wake up at Vinson Basecamp.  We started the stoves at 8:30 AM when it was nice and sunny, but still a little chilly with cold air flowing gently down the glacier.  The consensus was for moving lock-stock-and-barrel up to Low Camp but we had a fair bit of organizing and packing to do first.  We took a break from it all for a time and went to sit with ALE’s basecamp manager, Darren, while he briefed us on current route conditions, communication schedules, etc.  At 2:20 we were ready to roll and went slowly out of basecamp, roped together, carrying heavy packs and dragging heavy sleds.  It was a beautiful day, but we were a little surprised when a layer of cloud formed up.  That ended up being a good thing though as without it we’d have baked in the sunshine.  The terrain wasn’t so complicated or difficult for the most part but the couple of hills we had to chug up got everybody’s attention.  Crevasses were lurking, but we had good route conditions and no dicey bridges to cross.  We pulled into 9,200 ft at 8:20 PM as expected, and set to work getting situated at Low Camp. The cloud cover was kind enough right then to go away, giving us nice warm sunshine and big views of Shinn and Epperly, the next spectacular peaks to Vinson’s north.  And with full visibility we could crank our necks to see Vinson’s giant western rock escarpment towering about a vertical mile above us.  We ate a late supper and headed to bed, still in strong sunshine… we should get it until about 3 AM here.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Dave, Thanks for each descriptive blog and for the summit route map. We are following along on Google Earth. We were surprised to see out to the right of base camp on Google Earth…ski tracks. Hoping you have a beautiful day tomorrow! Say hi to Steve from the Butterfield Bunch.

Posted by: Vickie Butterfield on 12/4/2017 at 9:41 pm

Help me understand why they do cross directly from first blue marker to path to red marker.  I don’t have a map or able to tell what obstruction is in your way.  So from uneducated view it looks like you took a longer route.  Please this is not a critic of effort just would like to know.

Posted by: keith on 12/4/2017 at 12:11 pm


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Arrive At Vinson Base Camp

Good things come to those who wait.  We got out of good old Union Glacier Camp at about a quarter to five this afternoon.  The weather was beautiful at Union and clearing at Vinson for much of the day. Our Twin Otter flight through the Ellsworth Mountains was an absolute delight.  For forty five minutes we cruised through jagged crags and over gigantic glaciers.  Ice and/or mountains stretched to every horizon.  The mountains got progressively higher as we approached Vinson and at 5:30 we touched down ever so gently at basecamp on the Branscomb Glacier.  We were busy enough then, unloading gear and building a camp, but we stopped every few minutes to stare in wide-eyed wonder at our surroundings.  The western escarpment of Vinson rises a dramatic 2000 meters just a few miles away, And down below our 7000 ft home, the Branscomb pours into the larger-still Nimitz Glacier.  With our sleeping tents up and secure, we dug a deluxe living room in the snow and topped it with a cook tent.  We sparked up our stoves and then sat down for a late but great meal… not quite as great as the fine food served up at Union all of this last week, but it is possible we enjoyed it more for finally being in the right place after such a long journey.  It is now 1AM, the sun is shining brilliantly -although it will dip behind the mountain in another hour and introduce us to real cold in a hurry.  We’ll figure tomorrow’s plan, carrying or moving, when we s7ee how the night treats everybody. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

YES!.. Today was the day! We are all thrilled that you are finally at base camp. Rather you just carry tomorrow or move, may you all be healthy, strong, and safe. Summit of Vinson, here they come.. Yeah!! Vickie

Posted by: Vickie Butterfield on 12/2/2017 at 10:04 pm


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Another Day at Union Glacier Camp

There was some reason for optimism today.  Even though we woke to the same old clouds with light snowfall, the forecasters called for clearing… which is what we got.  But that took a good chunk of the day, and ultimately the weather turned out to be not up to snuff at the other end.  So we saw sun and felt a little warmth and finally got a great view of the jagged mountains all around us, but Vinson Basecamp ended up in fog.  That is a dealbreaker when you aim to fly over in a Twin Otter on skis in order to land uphill on a valley glacier at 7,000 feet. 
We passed the day playing games and reading, some attended a history lecture dealing with the 1897 Belgian Expedition -the members of that trip had a few significant weather delays as well.  We each went outside from time to time in order to stretch, walk and ride bikes around camp.  Dinner was still quite pleasant, even as we had to give up on this particular day for starting our climb. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Steve, Let today be the DAY!! Can you hear us on the other side of the world, cheering in a bright, beautiful, sunny day at the Vinson Massif Base camp? We are! Love Vickie

Posted by: Vickie Butterfield on 12/2/2017 at 9:21 am

Hang in there Sue and team. The weather will soon smile on you!

Posted by: Norm Symonds on 12/2/2017 at 5:35 am

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