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Entries By dave hahn


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Back at High Camp After Summit

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The team didn’t seem particularly tired today, considering that they’d been within 1,200 feet of the summit yesterday.  We had sunny skies and not much wind upon waking at high camp and so we were able to get going at 8:30 AM.  We traveled with our big parkas in the packs for much of the day, just putting them on and off at rest breaks.  That changed as we got near the final summit ridge.  Things got a bit more serious with a ten mph wind that let us know just how cold the air was.  We put on parkas, expedition mitts, goggles and face covers in a hurry.  Just then it seemed we’d be in a battle to get to the top, but as soon as we did a few of the steeper snow ramps to get on the ridge proper, we got above the wind.  It was a calm and even comfortable walk along the top of Antarctica.  We got to the true summit at 3:30 PM and stayed for 45 minutes because it was so nice.  We could see for hundreds of miles.  We shook hands and congratulated one another… and in particular we slapped Dale on the back for completing his seventh continental summit.  We took pics and made calls and then started walking carefully downward, mostly in dead calm and easy conditions.  We were back in camp at 7 PM.  Ironically, there was wind in camp so we served dinner in the sleeping tents.  We’ll get down to basecamp tomorrow assuming that the weather holds. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Summit!

December 10, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 16,067'

Hey, this is Dave Hahn calling from the summit of Mount Vinson, highest point in Antarctica. Us four remaining climbers are up here. Our fifth climber is safe at high camp. All is well. We have really lucked out. We’re up here in windless conditions on top. Very comfortable even though it’s probably on the order of -35 degrees. So we’re doing very well. We’ve made good time coming up here. It’s 3:30 local time. We started at 8:30 local time. So we’re doing quite well and we’ll give you a dispatch from high camp when we get back there safely. All the best from Antarctica!

RMI Guide Dave Hahn


RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls in from the Mount Vinson summit!

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Congrats, Matt!  Looking forward to celebrating when you return. Five down, only two more to go!  Scott Schlesner

Posted by: Scott Schlesner on 12/10/2018 at 8:36 pm

Congrats, Matt!  Looks no forward to celebrating when you return. Five down, only two more to go.

Posted by: Scott Schlesner on 12/10/2018 at 8:34 pm


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Close, Will Try Again Tomorrow

December 9, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 12,400'

We got close to the top today and we’re trying again tomorrow.  A persistent 10 mph wind rattled the tents all night long and carried into the morning as well.  That -combined with the cold- made gearing up and getting ready difficult. We hit the trail by 10 AM. At first, it was something of a hassle to keep glasses and goggles from fogging and our faces from freezing, but within about 90 minutes we’d left the wind behind and could just concentrate on good walking.  The weather up on Vinson’s peak seemed perfect and we were growing steadily closer.  At 3 PM we’d reached 14,800 ft (Vinson is just over 16,000 ft) when one of our climbers made the difficult decision to go no higher.  Running the fuel tank dry anywhere is a hassle, but it can be life threatening on a high, cold, remote Antarctic peak.  We needed to turn around and get back to high camp.  We were down by five and the team immediately set to “work” resting and rehydrating.  Four of us will go for it tomorrow while our teammate rests in high camp.  The forecast is still looking good for tomorrow and of course we hope to get the job done. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Move to High Camp

December 8, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 12,400'

One of the days we were waiting for.  It was obvious from the start (10 AM) that this was our day to move up to High Camp.  Skies were brilliant blue, peaks were clear of cloud caps, and little wind could be detected off the High Camp ridge three thousand feet above us.  By midday we’d spoken to Vinson base and learned we had the forecast in our favor as well -conditions improving on each of the next two days.  That could work out well.  It wasn’t actually so nice down at Vinson Base Camp… they were in fog and murk and couldn’t get airplanes in or out.  We left Low Camp -which had been our home for six nights- at 12:42 PM.  Having the fixed ropes to ourselves was pleasant in a lot of ways, but it was still uphill forever and our packs were heavier than when we’d gone up for our carry.  As we neared High Camp at 6:20 PM, the “wind” was about three miles per hour… but that little bit of movement reminded us quickly just how cold the air was (likely 10 or 15 F below zero).  We built our tents and ate dinner while strategizing over a summit bid tomorrow.  It would be tempting to stay out in the late night sunshine looking over “the edge” for hours (one hundred feet from our tents is the upper rim of the great western escarpment of Vinson)  the peaks are jagged and vivid, the backdrop is an endless sea of clouds and ice… but we’ll stare at it all some other time.  Gotta get our sleep.  Big day coming up. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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WOW. PICS ARE AMAZING.
THANKS.
STAY SAFE, WARM as can B

Posted by: Bill Osten on 12/9/2018 at 12:58 pm


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Wait for Better Weather

December 7, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 7,200'

There was improvement all around when we checked weather this morning, but not enough to permit moving up yet.  The clouds were almost gone, which seemed to fit with the forecast that high pressure was building, but there was still wind up high blowing big streamers of snow off the ridge overhead.  In the below zero temps we work in down here, one just can’t get a whole lot safely done while walking into wind.  But today’s winds were nothing like yesterday’s.  We followed our familiar Low Camp rest day routine of alternating naps reading and feeding.  We didn’t cut blocks or add to our snow walls today though… we’re finally feeling temporary, like we’ll leave this camp tomorrow.  We checked in with Base Camp a couple of times today, as usual.  Their weather was actually worse than ours and the climbers were still waiting for clearing to be able to fly back to Union Glacier. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Holding On at Low Camp

December 6, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 9,100'

The weatherman was spot on.  By morning there were wind sculpted space ship clouds stacked over all the peaks and the ridge above us began to sprout streamers of snow flying out into the air.  Not a whole lot of choice for us but to stay put.  The teams at high camp were able to get moving downward before things strengthened at midday. We greeted and congratulated our traveling companions as they did a quick reshuffle of their gear and got hauling sleds down to basecamp.  And we went back to cutting snow blocks and building stout walls to protect our tents.  Before long, the winds were visible reaching all the way down the fixed lines and it was blowing pretty hard -perhaps 40 or 50 mph- on the glacier just a few hundred meters from our camp.  We’re considering ourselves quite lucky that it stayed relatively calm and even sunny in camp all day.  The jealousy for the victorious teams that hit the narrow two day weather window perfectly has passed and we are now a little excited to have the entire mountain to ourselves.  It feels a little more “Antarctic” in some way.  What better way to commemorate that Antarctic feeling, than with burrito night in the cook tent.
We are each confident and motivated for climbing Mt. Vinson just as soon as the wind drops. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Rest at Low Camp

December 5, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 9,100'

Definitely the nicest day of the trip so far.  We spent it resting at Low Camp.  Rest was welcome after the big effort yesterday, but the day would have been a bit more relaxing had we not received the news that the wind would come back tomorrow.  Things worked out well for the other teams on the mountain.  While we all climbed the fixed lines to High Camp yesterday, ours was the only group electing to carry and return to Vinson Low Camp.  The others stayed up and went to the top today.  Of course we are happy for them, but we’ll be truly happy when we’ve gotten equally lucky with a calm day of our own up high. 
We enjoyed the profound quiet today, without people and without weather.  We read and rested, cut a few snow blocks for walls and ate a few more meals in our kitchen tent.  We’ll enjoy the late sun on the tents tonight and we’ll hope the weatherman and the weather have both had a change of heart by tomorrow. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Carry to High Camp

December 4, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 9,100'

Finally, an all around nice weather day.  We made good use of it, carrying food and gear all the way up to our 12,000 ft high camp and then returning to Low Camp.  It felt great to walk out of camp at 1:50 PM with crampons on and an ice axe in hand.  About thirty minutes into the day, we started up the “fixed ropes”.  We gained about 2,500 vertical feet climbing straight up a steep snow slope while clipped in to lines anchored to the hill.  While the slope isn’t vertical or even close to vertical, it is certainly steep enough to fall down.  After about three hours on the wall, we topped out to walk on an easier angled glacier to high camp.  We made it up in just over 5 1/2 hours.  Views of the surrounding peaks were magnificent, but there was still a sea of cloud and fog shrouding most terrain under 9,000 ft.  Crucially, it was calm and sunny at high camp as we rested for a few minutes and cached our supplies.  The descent of the steep slopes took a little time, even with lighter packs.  We were back into Low Camp by about 10:30.  Dinner took us to 12:30, but of course it is a sunny night so the hour isn’t a problem. 
Matt Brennan sends his best regards to Gayle Stafford’s reading class and to Karli L.  He doesn’t have access to Instagram from down here, but he’ll be back in range when we hit South America.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Matt Brennan-Sounds like an exciting adventure.  Good luck reaching the summit. We’ll celebrate with some Red Schooner when you return!  Scott

Posted by: Scott Schlesner on 12/5/2018 at 8:45 am


Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Rest Day at Camp One

December 3, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 9,100'

The sun WOULD have hit our tents at 10:40 this morning, but by that time there was a lot of cloud to get through.  As forecast, it was good and windy pretty much everywhere except in our camp.  We ate breakfast and hung out talking in the cook tent until midday, at which point a nap was due.  We passed the day reading, digging, meditating, and kicking back.  The winds above and around us quit in early evening -which was good- but the clouds had increased. It became a world of murk with the lightest of snow falling… the kind of crystals that can come down for hours without adding up to an inch.  We did a late dinner from 9 PM til 10:30 and then retired to the tents, this time without the sunshine to make for the warm and easy end to the day that we enjoyed yesterday. 
The forecaster, back at Union Glacier, suggested some improvement for tomorrow.  If we get that we’ll endeavor to carry a load up the fixed lines toward high camp.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Move Into Camp One

December 2, 2018

Posted by: Dave Hahn

Categories: Expedition Dispatches Vinson Massif

Elevation: 9,100'

Something had changed overnight.  We woke to brilliant blue skies and sunshine.  Of course we could still see the wind beating up the ridge atop Vinson’s Western escarpment and there were still fog layers lying thick just to our west, but everything looked different and we liked that.  The forecast was still calling for another day of wind, but we figured it was time to get on up to Low Camp.  We busted out of basecamp at 2:20 in excellent walking conditions.  The track in the snow had firmed up a little since all the other teams had gone up in the days previously, stomping their feet and dragging their sleds.  We made it in a respectable four hours and thirty minutes.  For the last hour we could see and hear the wind on the ridge two thousand meters up over our heads.  It was gratifying to reach camp and find it calm and sunny.  We rejoined all the other folks on the mountain in a tight little cluster of tents.  We threw ours up to one side and worked to dig a kitchen and dining area in the firm glacier surface.  That took a little doing, but by 10 PM (still in strong sunshine) we were sitting down to dinner in our new and higher home.  Most of the gang was in bed by midnight.  I warned them that the sun would continue blazing until at least three AM but that it would then go behind the mountain and plunge us into shadow and bitter cold for the following eight hours.  Life at 9,000 feet in Antarctica. 
Happiest of birthdays to my Dad. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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hi im in Gayle Staffords reading class please can you get Matt Brennan to respond. If he can that would be great and please ask him if he has an instagram acount so Mrs.Stafford can follow him there to this will be sent to my moms ohone but i dont have an email acount.

Posted by: Karli L on 12/3/2018 at 10:59 am

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