December 21 – Sitting Tight at Vinson Base Camp

Vinson Base Camp

Transcript of Dave Hahn sat phone dispatch:

This is Dave, Peter and Bud calling from Vinson Massif where we are at base camp right now.  Yesterday morning we woke up to somewhat stormy weather up at high camp, with a little wind going and it was pretty cloudy.  We could see lenticular clouds on the summit, not a real promising day.  It was little bit cold and it was hard to get going out of camp.  We broke camp and came down; we left there at about 11:00 in the morning.  We didn’t have too much trouble coming down. 

We got to base camp in just under six hours and for a time it seemed like we had a chance of getting extremely lucky.  The conditions were not so bad down at base camp, it was a little cloudy but there was a possibility that we were going to be able to fly right from base camp to Patriot Hills and there was talk of the Ilyushin being in the air heading for Patriot Hills already.  We just missed it because our weather then closed in and nobody flew out of Vinson base camp yesterday as it turned out.

All the other climbers that we were on the mountain with are in the same boat now, here at base camp, hoping to get back to Patriot Hills when the weather clears.  We didn’t get our connecting flight that did go off from Punta Arenas to Patriot Hills and back, it went without us.  We are now looking at getting on the next one we can which we hear might be on the 23rd.  So we are going to be a little bit delayed getting home but we are still in Antarctica and here at Vinson base camp it’s not great weather at the moment but…..(lost transmission)