December 6, 2006 – Update from Vinson Base Camp

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

Okay on the 5th of December the report for Larry, Wayne and I, the Berg Adventures Vinson team, is that we are stuck in the middle you might say.  That is the middle of some climbers that are still up high on Mount Vinson and Patriot Hills base where ultimately we are looking forward to getting on that big Ilyushin jet and flying back to Chile.

When I got up this morning there was sun on my tent here on the Branscomb Glacier at Vinson Base Camp.  I hoped when I unzipped the tent that I would see blue sky all around but unfortunately we have good sun right here at Vinson Base, actually lovely conditions today.  But the first thing I saw looking up at Vinson was a huge ominous looking cloud cap that covered the entire mountain and I can see the folks up at Camp I were still in really bad weather.

Later by radio we found out that Patriot Hills is also completely socked-in today, blowing snow not flyable for the Ilyushin from Chile which of course for us right now is not particularly bad news because we would just as soon that Ilyushin not come down until we are back at Patriot Hills.

We talked to everyone at Camp I by radio, the three teams that are up there are hunkered down there you might say. They are holding the tents on more or less and not too much else.  Very high winds. They are going to be fine because there is a lot of experience up there but there is not much going on except holding the tents down and thankful they have shelter right now.  They need the winds to subside substantially before they can move.  Of course we are ready to go and help them come down and we will eventually when they are ready to start.  But for now we are just talking via Iridium and radio and all staying in touch with one another.

Mount Vinson is showing an ugly side of itself right now but we are proud to be together as a team in Antarctica, living well and enjoying the beauty and space around us, thinking of home of course.  This is the adventure we asked for and we are doing fine day to day.  We’ll continue to report on our progress on getting back to Patriot Hills and getting everyone off the mountain and heading home.