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Entries By dave hahn

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Reach Low Camp with High Spirits

We made the all important break from basecamp today.  The day began sunny and calm and we were feeling good, so the decision was easy.  We began stirring at 9 AM and made it a leisurely morning of packing and sorting.  Our rope team of three pulled out of Vinson Base Camp just after 12:30 PM.  At first, the sun was strong and we stripped a few layers so as not to sweat, but as we neared yesterday’s high point, some clouds intervened to make it a little cooler again, but not desperately so.  Our faces weren’t freezing but we couldn’t lounge around at rest breaks.  We took on the sleds full of supplies that we’d stashed yesterday and made the tricky pull up and around the Branscomb Glacier’s big 90 degree corner and made it under the two great ice streams pouring 2,000 meters down Vinson’s West Face.  Walking conditions weren’t the easiest, the surface was alternatively rough or super smooth and firm.  We put on crampons to gain better purchase, which helped but which isn’t exactly the normal way of things below Low Camp.  We made it in to 9,300' Low Camp just after 7 PM and set to work building platforms for the tents, setting up and anchoring tents, and getting moved into them.  That and digging a kitchen and dining area in the super hard packed snow/ice took a good chunk of the evening.  The sun finally pulled out of the clouds to make our 10 pm dinner a bit more pleasant.  This camp gets direct sunshine until 2 or 3 in the morning, making the tents comfy in the evening, but then it gets a seriously cold shadow until 11 AM, making mornings cold and slow.  But since we’re in the comfy phase now, we won’t worry about tomorrow. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Carry and Return to Base Camp

We made progress.  

It was definitely colder in a tent at 7,000 ft on an Antarctic glacier than in a hotel room in Punta Arenas, but we were happy and comfortable enough for the night.  Local conditions (shadows and breezes) dictate a slower start in the mornings, so we didn’t get moving around until after 9 AM.  We ate breakfast and then did a bit of training and review and of course -gear sorting.  We took a last COVID test (our sixth in six days) and then roped up and went walking up glacier.  We carried loads for two and a half hours, to “half camp” our intended cache point.  Most of our journey was in murky glacier fog, but we broke out of clouds near our cache point and could look up on Vinson’s great western wall.  We could see neighboring peaks Shinn and Epperly, but they had a few clouds stuck on and around them as well.  We secured the food and gear we’d carried and then walked back down into the cold and frosty clouds.  Glacier conditions were reasonable and we didn’t sink into the snow too much or slip and slide on ice.  There were some crevasses visible here and there, but we didn’t have any openings to step over. 

Back at camp in the clouds, we ate dinner and turned in for a well deserved rest. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Arrive at Vinson Base Camp

Pretty smooth day all around.  Considering that in other years it has taken weeks to get from Punta Arenas, to the Ice and then to Vinson, we are mighty lucky to have done it all in a day.  And for that, it wasn’t even a stressful day.  No angst about whether we were going to go or not… no waffling weather or closing window for flying.  It was just a day of green lights from the get go. 

We left the hotel at 6 AM and there wasn’t too much slack time out at the airport.  There were eighty of us, dressed in quite the variety of colorful cold weather gear and fancy boots.  We mingled and had mini reunions with old and less old acquaintances.  And then we trooped on out the gate to board our plane.   Things are different this year!  We used to ride in cargo and troop transports… this year we walked into a shiny Icelandic Air Boeing 757.  And it was nice and nobody was fighting over the mask mandates.  I have to say though, that a little bit of the cowboy feel to flying to Antarctica is now gone.  It was a lot like going from Seattle to Denver or Dallas.  Time to watch movies or sleep.  The pilot put the wheels down on Union Glacier’s ice runway at 12:45 PM just like he’d been doing it forever.   We bundled up and came down the stairs.  It was a remarkably fine day for November.  Our faces and fingers weren’t in danger of freezing as we milled about on the ice, snapping pictures.  Then we got on board a souped up van with great big wheels and were chauffeured over to Union Glacier Camp.  It was comfortable there and we were immediately warned not to get too comfortable.  The plan was for the three of us to be on the first airplane out to Vinson.  There was time for a tour of camp and a hot and hearty meal in the dining tent and then we loaded into a ski equipped Twin Otter for the hop out to Vinson.  After 45 minutes and another perfect landing - this time on the snow strip of the Branscomb Glacier at 7000 ft of elevation- we were walking around in our new and beautiful home at Vinson Base Camp.  This was around 4:15 PM.  The work began.  Lots of camp building and digging and sorting gear and getting settled.  We didn’t eat dinner until after 9 PM, which didn’t matter too much, the sun was quite strong making our dining tent comfortable.  Not all eighty passengers on the 757 were Vinson climbers, but there are six different guided groups out here as of today to kick off the first climbing season since the pandemic began.  Now it is 12:30 AM, still with good sun, but time for bed. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Set To Fly

Seven in the morning and we are out at the airport in Punta Arenas, through security and ready to fly to the Ice. 

Lots of excited and oddly dressed people.  There will be eighty people on the flight.  Some climbers for Vinson, some skiers for the South Pole, some Emperor Penguin lovers and some eclipse watchers. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Vinson Massif:  Hahn & Team Assemble in Punta Arenas

Happy Thanksgiving from Patagonia!  The RMI Vinson team has assembled, there are three of us.  Under normal circumstances, it is a little bit of a big deal to successfully negotiate and navigate through airlines and airports to reach Punta Arenas, Chile complete with climbing equipment, ready to take on Antarctica.  In this pandemic year, it is a really big deal to accomplish such a feat.  We’ve been testing constantly and jumping through bureaucratic hoops in order to travel safely internationally.  And now we are almost there.  Today, our gear will be collected and weighed and packed on the jet.  We hope to fly to the Ice tomorrow, but we will hear more later as to current weather and what is possible.  These last few days, Rajat and Mark and I have been walking the streets of Punta Arenas (in masks), flashing our “mobility passes” to get into restaurants, and tracking down last bits of essential gear.  We’ve had some good walk and talk sessions along the shores of Magellan’s Straight, gazing out at Tierra Del Fuego and a million wind-driven waves.  We hope that today is the end of our hotel based “testing period” to ensure nobody brings the virus to Antarctica. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Mt. Rainier: Hahn, Delaney & Teams Summit!

Mt. Rainier summit!  The teams led by RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Jack Delaney reached the top at 7:13 a.m.  They reported clear skies, a light breeze, and smoke to the East.  After spending some time at the crater rim marveling in the sights from the highest point in Washington, the team began their descent.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congrats Dr.Xue!

Posted by: tom on 8/30/2021 at 9:48 am

So exciting, congratulations Galen, Morgan, Paul & Richard!!!!

Posted by: Lori on 8/29/2021 at 9:13 am

Mt. Rainier: August 7th Teams Turn at 13,200’

The Four Day Climb led by RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Nikki Champion climbed into a cloud cap with rain and wind, this forced the team turned at 13,200' on Mt. Rainier. Despite turning before the summit due to weather, the sunrise at the top of the cleaver was very rewarding!

The team is back at Camp Muir and will be descending soon. 

Congratulations Team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Howard and howie so amazing and your awesome. Get back down safely

Posted by: Favorite sister and Jim on 8/7/2021 at 10:32 am

Congratulations to all the climbers!

Posted by: Katie on 8/7/2021 at 9:57 am

Mt. Rainier: Hahn, Halliday & Teams Summit!

This morning RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Alex Halliday led their teams to the top of Mt. Rainier!  The weather is cloudy and smoky from some wildfires up north.  The team began their descent from the crater rim at 9:25 a.m.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congrats! I heard the ladder crossing was out the day before..assuming it has been repaired now? Gaining the cleaver is not too difficult now? Im planning a climb tomorrow.

Posted by: Isaiah R on 8/1/2021 at 10:40 pm

I’m so thankful for experienced guides who monitored conditions diligently and kept in communication about the bridge status.  Congrats to all!!

Posted by: Jill Follett on 8/1/2021 at 2:58 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Climb Teams on Top!

RMI Guide Dave Hahn radioed from the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning to let us know the Four Day Climb July 23 - 26 teams had reached the summit and were starting their descent.  Dave reported sunny skies and light winds and a perfect day.  The teams were beginning their descent from the crater rim around 7:20 am.  Once back at Camp Muir they will rest, re-hydrate, repack and continue their descent, another 4.5 miles and 4,500', to Paradise.

Nice work today team and congratulations!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Way to go! What a accomplishment for your whole team!

Posted by: Pam Kilcullen on 7/26/2021 at 12:13 pm

Great work team!!!  Even though I had to make the tough decision to drop out yesterday, for both the sake of myself and the team, I feel having the opportunity of getting to know you and our shared experience greatly overshadows this fact. I wish all of you the best today and for the rest of time. You have earned an evening good food and drink this evening back in a place which is warmer, greener and with an enjoyably thick atmosphere.

Posted by: Dave Ozolin on 7/26/2021 at 9:49 am

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Teams Summit!

The Four Day Climb led by RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Alan Davis reached the summit of Mt. Rainier at 7 am today.  Alan reported light winds, clear skies. It took the team just under 6 hours to top out via the current route up Disappointment Cleaver. The team is en route back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today's team! 

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Any summit of Rainier is extremely memorable and spectacular in beauty! Clear weather surely makes it nice. Congrats to all!

Posted by: Bill Bussey on 7/23/2021 at 8:40 am

Awesome! Attempting the same next week. Hope it goes as well!!!

Posted by: Patrick Barrett on 7/22/2021 at 9:48 pm

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