Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Updates From Mt. Vinson
While the Antarctic trekking/skiing teams have, for the most part, completed their journeys, there is still some climbers at Mt. Vinson, taking on the highest peak on the continent and trying to claim the most remote of the Seven Summits.
First up, we have this report from Dave Hahn yesterday. He is currently in Vinson Base Camp, where over the next few weeks he'll be guiding a team for Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. Dave says that it has been a busy couple of days, culminating with ALE delivering him and his team, along with all of their gear and supplies, to Patriot Hills. After a brief rest, they hopped into a smaller Twin Otter aircraft and were flown to BC, where they went to work building camp, including setting up kitchen tent, sorting gear, and generally getting everyone settled in. From the sounds of thing, BC is still a pretty active place, and Dave says that the weather is great right now as well. (Thank for the tip on this one Alan!)
Alpine Ascents has stayed busy on Vinson this season, having three different teams tackle the mountain. According to their climb updates page, Team III arrived in BC yesterday along with the one from RMI. They also set up camp and began preparing for their climb, and note that there is a lot of snow on Vinson at the moment, and that it looks "intimidating". Team II was still in BC up until a few days ago, but having successfully completed their climb, they're now on their way home.
Also on their way home is the IMG Vinson Team, who reached the summit back on January 6th, and finally caught a ride out of Patriot Hills yesterday. They are all safely back in Punta Arenas and will soon be returning to their home countries, with a 100% success rate on the mountain. All ten climbers reached the top, and in an even more impressive stat, IMG remains 100% successful on all of their Vinson climbs dating back to 1988. Wow!
For those that aren't aware, Mt Vinson is the tallest peak in Antarctica, standing 16,050 feet in height. Because it is one of the Seven Summits, it continually sees the most traffic each climbing season. There are, of course, plenty of other peaks in the region, some of which remain unclimbed, but due to the remote nature of the continent, not many make the journey to challenge those mountains.