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Mount Vinson wrap-up: First summits

Posted: Dec 09, 2010 08:55 pm EST

(By Correne Coetzer) High winds kept the Vinson teams on Antarctica tent bounded, some for up to six days. Team Latitude from Norway was the first to summit this season. Though the wind was much less the summit temperature was reported as minus 30 degrees Celsius. ALEs DC-3 keeps shuttling more climbers to Vinson.

Latitude Expeditions

Two hours before the summit attempt yesterday Christian Eide shot over news to ExplorersWeb using Contact 5 email, Finally summit weather on Mt Vinson, leaving High Camp in about two hours. Two ALE teams are also going for the summit.

The Norwegians summited on December 8 in sunshine and not much wind after spending several days in their tent in high winds and -30°C. Christian reported, all in all they spent 5 days at High Camp in wind, storms, extreme cold and poor visibility, waiting for good weather.

He said it took them 6 hours to reach the top at 4897m from High Camp. Although the sun was shining with a slight breeze, it was -30°C at the summit.

The team went back to High Camp and planned to go down to Base Camp today. From there they will take the plane back to ALEs base camp, Union Glacier. Thereafter Christian will lead some of the team on a Last Degree ski expedition to the South Pole.

Adventure Consultants

The team sat out the weather at BC before they towed their sleds up to C1 on December 7. They reported, We had a massive day, towing our sleds up from base camp to here. It was sunny, with occasional cloudy patches and a pleasant -25°C.

The team arrived at C1 at 7pm and took until midnight to build camp including cutting snow blocks with a timber saw to build wind protection walls. Guide Mark Sedon added, The team is learning how to use wag bags, to do your toilet business into, so that we can carry it down and off the mountain, leaving almost nothing behind.

Yesterday they carried 5 days of food and fuel most of the way up the fixed ropes, about 700m. We had tired and stiff bodies from yesterday's sled pulling, but soon loosened up and we really enjoyed the climbing, reported Mark.

Berg Adventures International

Wally Berg, leader, together with Pachi, John, Flat Stanley and Kate Gellert reached the summit on December 8, reported home team member Leila to Explorersweb. On their website they reported that the team departed High Camp for the summit at 5:00 am mountain time. The climb generally takes 12 grueling hours. At 4:06 pm Mountain Time the home team received a phone call from Wally and a cheering summit team.

The team sat out the weather at High Camp for six days and reported extremely cold weather. They reported that the DC-3 shuttled more climbers to Vinson and 49 climbers were working on the mountain below them.

Alan Arnette

The team made it to High Camp yesterday and planned to start their summit climb mid-morning today, December 9. If all goes well, Alan reported also it should take about 12 hours round trip.

Alpine Ascents

The team moved from Half Camp to Low Camp yesterday. They were looking forward to a rest day today before a big carry up the fixed lines to High Camp, they reported on a voice dispatch.

International mountain Guides (IMG)

IMG was sitting out the weather at C1 for a week. Phil Ershler reported, We also have the ability to see up to the location of High Camp so we can watch the winds blowing the plumes off the ridge giving us a good indication of when to move up.

Yesterday the team moved up from C1 to High Camp and planned to summit today. Their home team reported, The plan today [December 9] was to wake up with the sun, fire up the stoves for a hot drink then hit the trail on what Phil estimates to be a 12hr summit day (roundtrip back to High Camp).

Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa:
To ALCI/TAC base camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo
(70° 4637S, 011° 4926E).
Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America:
To ALE/ANI base camp, Union Glacier
(79° 45'S, 083° 14'W).

1 knot = 1.852 km/h
1 nautical mile (nm) = 1.852 km
1 nm = 1.151 miles


Team Latitude Tommy, Marit and Trond with guide Christian Eide
Christian Eide Contact 5 site
International Mountain Guides (IMG) with guides Phil Ershler, Greg Vernovage and Mike Hamill
Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE/ANI)
7 Summits Club with Alex Abramov
Adventure Consultants led by Mark Sedon from New Zealand (Dec 1 17) and Victor Saunders from the UK (Dec 27 Jan 11)
Alan Arnette
Alpine Ascents
Michael Forsyth blog
Berg Adventures International

Other links:

CONTACT 5 expedition technology

Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE/ANI)
The Antarctic Company (TAC/ALCI)

#Mountaineering #Polar

Team Latitudes Trond Eilertsen a few steps from the top of Mount Vinson (click to enlarge)
courtesy Latitude Expeditions (live over Contact 5), SOURCE
Alan Arnette: Route High Camp to Summit - Vinson not visible (click to enlarge)
courtesy Alan Arnette, SOURCE
Adventure Consultants climbing the fixed ropes (click to enlarge)
courtesy Adventure Consultants (live over Contact 5), SOURCE
Mark Sedon and the Adventure Consultants team moving to from BC to C1 pulling sledges (click to enlarge)
courtesy Adventure Consultants (live over Contact 5), SOURCE
IMG: The weather in Antarctica is like nowhere else (click to enlarge)
Image by Mike Schiller courtesy IMG, SOURCE