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Madness Team Summits Vinson!

Images from a past expe­di­tion. MM collection.

We just got an excit­ing phone call from Willie Bene­gas, the Moun­tain Mad­ness guide on Vin­son-Mas­sif. At noon Pacif­ic Stan­dard Time on Jan­u­ary 18, 2010, all four mem­bers of the all-star team reached the sum­mit of Vin­son!

The orig­i­nal weath­er fore­cast was very good, but Willie report­ed that when the team reached the sum­mit ridge this morn­ing they were hit with strong wind and very cold tem­per­a­tures, mak­ing the last hour of the sum­mit push bit­ter­ly cold. But the team pushed through, and all arrived at the sum­mit hap­py, if a bit cold.

The group includes Shawn Daw­son, who is climb­ing the sev­en sum­mits to ben­e­fit a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion; Suzanne Al Hou­by, the first Arab Pales­tin­ian woman to sum­mit Vin­son; Michael Rodriguez, who has now sum­mit­ted six of the sev­en sum­mits; and John­ny Collinson, who is now the youngest per­son to climb the sev­en sum­mits (includ­ing the Carstenz Pyramid). 

Suzanne reports that her face was freez­ing on the sum­mit ridge, but that it was worth every sec­ond. She asked us to pass a mes­sage along to her fam­i­ly and friends: Thank you for believ­ing in me. I love you all!” 

John­ny skied from the sum­mit down to high camp, where the group is now tired but hap­py. They’ll spend the rest of the evening recov­er­ing from the sum­mit push and prepar­ing for tomorrow’s move down the moun­tain to base camp. Tomor­row, Johnny’s plan­ning to ski down to Camp 1, where the entire group will rope up to descend back to base camp safely.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to all!