Vinson 2018.12 Dispatches

Our third and final Mount Vinson expedition for 2019 got going in style today moving all the way from Union Glacier to Mount Vinson Low Camp as reported by expedition leader, Garrett Madison:

Hello this Garrett calling in for Mount Vinson expedition number three:  Garrett Madison and Jim Lumberg in collaboration with PolarExplorers!  Today we left Union Glacier camp and flew via Twin Otter aircraft to Mount Vinson base camp at 7,800 ft.  We rigged our sleds and backpacks and started climbing up to Low Camp.  It took us about five and half hours to get to Low Camp.  We arrived, pitched our tents, fired up our stoves, started melting snow for water, and cooked a great dinner.  Now we’re getting ready for bed.

 

Tomorrow our plan is to climb up the fixed ropes to High Camp, gaining just over 3,000 ft.  Then we will settle into High Camp around 12,400 ft. and see what the weather brings.  We are both doing well here!  It’s a beautiful day ln Mount Vinson – sunny / no wind.  We are the only ones here in camp, so we have the mountain to ourselves!  It’s really special to be here.

 

We will check it soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Vinson 2019 team two from earlier this week)

Our Vinson expedition team had a big day today as reported by expedition leader, Garrett Madison:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition team number two.

 

Today is Friday, January 11th and we have reached Union Glacier camp!  We had a great day descending from our high camp on Mount Vinson all the way down to Vinson base camp.  And then we were picked up by a Twin Otter aircraft and flown back to Union Glacier camp where we all are now tucked into our tents and looking forward to a good night’s rest.

 

The team will be here at Union Glacier camp for a few days until the scheduled flight back to Punta Arenas on the Ilyushin-76 aircraft on January 14th.  So all’s well here, everybody’s doing great.  We had a wonderful summit day, again yesterday.  Everyone made it to the top and down safe and we had wonderful views of Antarctica from the highest point on the continent.

 

Thank so much for following along.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

100% summit success reported by expedition leader Garrett Madison:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition team two.  Today, January 10th, our entire team made it up to the summit of Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica.  We got to the top around 4:00 PM today – myself, Conan Bliss, Shawn, Fon, Linda, and Paul.  We had a great day, nice views from the top, a little breezy up there, but not too bad.  Everyone made it safe back down to High Camp.  We had a good dinner here at High Camp:  some salmon and some potatoes and noodles.

 

Our plan is to head down to Vinson Base Camp tomorrow, on the 11th of January.  And then, from there, hopefully soon after to Union Glacier Camp.  Everyone is doing great, we had a wonderful summit day, very thankful for the good weather and that everyone made it to the top and back down safely.  We will check-in soon.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives – reusing last’s year’s summit pose — we will post photo’s when the team is back in Chile)

As the team readies for their summit attempt, team member Linda gets the honors and provides today’s dispatch from High Camp on Mount Vinson:

Hello, this is Linda calling in from the Madison Mountaineering Vinson team two.  We had a wonderful day here at High Camp, resting, enjoying the scenery, and getting ready for our summit attempt tomorrow.  The weather looks beautiful!  We just had our summit talk and a good dinner and we are getting ready to settle in.  We are going to get up early and hopefully head to the summit tomorrow!!

 

Sending our love to friends and family!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Our Vinson team two is now at High Camp!  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, has this exciting update:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition team number two:  Conan, Garrett, Shawn, Fon, Linda, and Paul!  Today is the eighth of January and we are up at High Camp.  We had a great day climbing from Low Camp up the steep fixed ropes to High Camp at just over 12,400 feet on Mount Vinson.  Beatiful weather today, clear skies, sunny, very calm, just a slight breeze to keep us cool on the way up so that we didn’t overheat.

 

Tomorrow we’re probably going to take a rest day.  We are going to sleep in and get up and see what the weather is doing.  But most likely we’ll be resting here before looking at our summit attempt in the next few days.

 

Everyone is doing great here on Mount Vinson and we will check in again soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

Today, team member Shawn provides the update from Mount Vinson!

Hi this is Shawn calling in from the Vinson two team.  We are at Low Camp and just finished our haul up to High Camp.  Linda, Paul, Shawn, Fon, Garrett and Conan are all feeling healthy, happy, stable, strong and very enthused for our move tomorrow to High Camp.  The weather has been fantastic!  We hope it stays!  The food has been out-of-this-world!!  Thank you to Fon and cordon bleu.  So we want to send our love to our family and friends at home.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Garret Madison, expedition leader, reports the exciting progress of our Mount Vinson expedition teams in Antarctica:

Hi, this is Garrett checking in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition number three.  Jimmy, Fon and myself were planning to leave Union Glacier today and head to Vinson Base Camp, but Jimmy is still at the South Pole and had decided to head directly back to the U.S. as soon as he can because of the flight delay.  Myself and Fon have gone to Vinson Base Camp and are going to try to catch up with Conan, Linda, Shawn and Paul in the next couple of days.  All’s good here on Mount Vinson!

 

A very big congratulations to Jimmy for skiing to the South Pole and reaching 90° South!  (We wish him a) safe trip back to North America and his familiy in Texas.

 

We look forward to some great weather here on Mount Vinson!  We will check in soon.  Thanks!

 

Guide Conan Bliss’ team two (Shawn, Paul, Linda) transmission from Low Camp was, unfortunately garbled.  This happens from time to time with satellite phones.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

Guide Conan Bliss reports in for Vinson Team Two:

Hey good evening!  This is Conan calling in for Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson Team #2.  We are again at Vinson Base Camp.  Today we had a really good carry; caching food, fuel and extra equipment high on the upper Branscomb Glacier getting ready for our move tomorrow to Low Camp.

Stay tuned!  Talk to you tomorrow!!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Lead Guide Conan Bliss provides this team two initial status report from Vinson Base Camp:

Hello this is Conan calling in for Vinson Madison Mountaineering (team) two!  We arrived safely at Vinson Base Camp and had a great pasta and salmon dinner.  Everybody is healthy and happy and the weather is splendid!   Tomorrow we are planning to do a carry half-way to camp one and then returning to base camp.  We will check in with you tomorrow.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

Our expedition leader, Garrett Madison phoned in this report from Union Glacier Camp:

Hi this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Vinson program with the Japanese group.  Today we flew back to from Vinson Base Camp to Union Glacier Camp in the morning.  The Ilyushin jet arrived and our Japanese team was able to successfully depart Union Glacier Camp and arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile.  So we had a wonderful expedition, very successful and safe and all is well!

 

Our second Vinson team has arrived:  (Guide) Conan with (climbers) Shawn, Linda, and Paul and they are currently at Vinson Base Camp.  They are setting up their camp and getting ready to make their first climb up the mountain tomorrow.  Myself and (climbers) Fon and Jimmy will be starting Mount Vinson in a couple days time.  Jimmy is completing his Ski-The-Last-Degree program to the South Pole and once finished, we will all head to Vinson Base Camp and start climbing, which we’re very much looking forward to.

 

We are all enjoying our time here in Antarctica and wishing everyone back home well.  Thanks very much!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

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