Vinson expedition update!
The Team landed at the Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica a couple of days ago where they switched planes to head towards Base Camp. But, with poor weather, a cloudy day with 30knot winds and a temperature of ‑10C, only 3 of 6 flights to were able to leave for Vinson Base Camp. Because of this, the Team was forced spend the night at Union Glacier Camp. But, as MM trip leader Chris Warner suggested, “hard to complain about the hot showers, catered food, and entertainment served up at the Union Glacier Camp!”
From left to right: Guntis, Len, Chris and Michael
Their next day was a balmy ‑8C sunny day, no flights were headed to Base Camp. Another forced day of R&R in Union Glacier is what they were left with, though Chris said their “fingers are crossed that we can fly in the morning.” And that was the case! The team had a smooth flight into Vinson Base Camp. And after a short time setting up camp for their return after the climb, and stashing gear, the team was up and moving to Low Camp within an hour!
The trip to Low Camp is a 5.6mile trek with 2100ft of gain, but the crew was happy to be moving. 70lb sleds and 30lb packs can’t keep these guys down! They also got a chance to utilize the 24 hours of daylight by leaving camp at 7:30pm and arriving at 1:30am. Though Chris mentioned that when the sun did cross behind a peak they got the so called “Insto-Burrrr!!!!” The sun soon returned around 3:30am while the team continued cooking and melting snow for water.
With rumors of a 24 hour storm system on the way, the team went up the fixed lines to drop gear at high camp and did great! Chris stated, “These guys are motivated but maybe too much so!” With enthusiasm running high, they just need a few days of good weather and some acclimatization to make the summit push.
Now the weather update stated that conditions should be stable with a high temperature of ‑26C, and winds at 5 – 10 knots. Seems that their Summit Window has appeared. And with that the plan is to move up to high camp today, the 12th, which will be an 8 hour climb up to 12,402ft. Summit day to the top of Antarctica is going to be tomorrow if all goes as planned, and anticipated to be a big push at 9 – 12hrs.
Wish them luck!
Check out the Mountain Madness facebook page for regular updates on the expedition.