December 14 – Great weather at Vinson High Camp

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

Igloo tent with ice-block wind barrierIt’s Sunday, December 14 and I’m calling you from high camp on Mount Vinson at 13,500 feet on the saddle between Vinson and Mount Shinn.

This little team, myself, Gus Pope and Will Cross, besides being a great team, enjoying one another and performing solidly in this demanding environment, these guys are great to climb with.

We’ve just rolled right through and we’ve been blessed with amazing weather. I’ve been to the Ellsworth Mountains three times prior to this, always in January. And I’d always heard the earlier season has more stable weather. It’s certainly true so far, I can’t believe this, we rolled right through to camp.

Mountains in the Ellsworth range poking through the Antarctic ice.Yesterday at Camp 2, I was a little tight for satellite coverage, so my attempt to get the dispatches out didn’t seem to go very well. But updating you, we rolled from base camp into Camp 1 at about 10 300 feet. Camp 2 is a great spot even though there are crevasses all around. If you’re careful and pick a good spot, you get a lot of sunlight.

We lost the sun past midnight last night and got it back at 9am this morning. It briefly went away for 45 minutes. If you wonder where the sun goes in Antarctica, don’t worry it’s always light, 24 hours of light here. But we’re in the Ellsworth Mountains so a lot of what you do is try to gage when the sun is going to go behind one of the big ridges of the Ellsworth Mountains. Then it gets seriously cold.

It’s always way below freezing. That’s why it is so easy to live here, nothing melts and if you dress properly it’s really a clean and easy environment to live in. But you don’t like wind and you don’t like it when the sun goes behind the ridges, you want to be in your sleeping bag then.

We brought our first cache to high camp and will return to Camp 2. And tomorrow, we’ll come up and occupy this camp for our planned attempt to climb Mount Vinson on Tuesday.

This BAI expedition
is sponsored by:

AlpineAire Foods

Panasonic Toughbooks