November 27 – Getting Stronger on the Climb

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

It’s the 27th of November, 3pm local time, 6pm GMT.  We are at the camp just around the corner from the valley that leads up to the headwall and our upper camp on Mount Vinson. Woodie, Martin and I are over 10,000 ft (3047 m).  The carry that we did yesterday just after I last gave you a call went extremely well.  You hope to get stronger on these trips and in fact we are.  The carry that took us 8.5 hours the first time we did it only took us 5.5 hours yesterday.

The sun is always up high in the sky 24 hours a day, but in the Ellsworth Mountains it will go behind ridges, steep ridges for a period of time.  This is the time we treat as night time.  We lost the sun at about 2pm local time and the temperature quickly dropped to 28 below Celsius (-18.4F).  We did not get the sun back until about 1pm today.                                     

I broke up the sausage I cooked for our breakfast with my ice axe this morning.  I’m looking at the guys building better walls at camp here.  We are going to take a rest here today before we move higher.  We left the Toughbook with Margot Talbot at Vinson Base, we speak daily with her by radio. 

Even though we are getting great photographs of our life here on the ice, we will not be sending dispatched jpegs by email until we get back down to our computer ourselves.  But we’ll report daily as long as I can keep the solar charger going on this Iridium phone.  We are doing great, we’ll rest today, the boys are strong and we are going to take our time and do this climb the right way.