December 4, 2006 – Snow at Vinson Base

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Supplies at Vinson Base

It’s the morning of the 4th of December and we awoke this morning at Vinson Base Camp to a lot of snow, light cold snow and clouds.  Wayne, Larry and I got together in our cook tarp and had our favorite breakfast which is Wayne’s quesadillas and drank a lot of coffee.  Now I’m standing outside watching it continue to snow.  Larry and I are finally getting rested after our very long descent off the Vinson/Shinn Col which was our High Camp from where we made our summit attempt of Mount Vinson.

On the evening of the 2nd at about 7:30pm we decided to take off.  The weather had gotten somewhat better and we took about 1.5 to 2 hours to pack up all of our frosty, cold gear and we began our descent.  There were crevasses at the top of the headwall and down to Camp I, it took us a number of hours and we finally got in to Camp I at about 12:30am on the 3rd of December.  It took us probably 2 hours to pack up the gear we brought, including all our tents and garbage and then we began our descent back to Vinson Base Camp.  It was extremely windy and I got blown over a couple of times as I pulled the heavy sled with my big pack on my back.  I looked back to see Larry coming strongly behind on the rope.

We finally got to Vinson Base at about 6:15am on the 3rd and of course we have been here since.  Now back at Patriot Hills where the Ilyushin comes in it is still a bit too windy for the big aircraft to come down from Chile and of course it is still cloudy here where the two twin otter crews, either of them to come in.  The two twin otter crews are Lindsey and Wally from Canada and also Steve and Amy.  Both pilots are waiting back at Patriot Hills.  There are a bunch of us here at Vinson Base that would love to get back for that Ilyushin flight back to Chile.  But in the meantime we have quesadillas and a pretty good life here in the snow at Vinson Base Camp.