Tag: High Camp

The team is now safely down to Vinson base camp and Conrad Anker reports on the day in this expedition dispatch:

Greetings sports fans!  This is Conrad calling from Vinson base camp.  It’s the 8th of January 2020.  What a way to start this fresh, new decade.  We’re all back here after a wonderful and adventurious and trying expedition to the summit of Antarctica, Vinson Massif.

 

We had bad weather and a couple clear windows and today we started out at about 6am in a blizzard and we had to pack up camp, and head down to Low Camp, and then all the way back to Vinson base camp.  The team was really excited for everything that went on.

 

What we have now at Vinson base camp is probably about 45 climbers that are all backlogged hoping to get out on a flight tomorrow.  But it’s been foggy and no flights here for the last week to get to Union Glacier, all be it with weather in the mountains.  But our team was happy to have spent six nights at High Camp inside a small tent that turned into a Top Raman sauna everytime we cooked.

 

Taking our changes on less then optimal weather and getting shut down and then coming back to wake up on a beatiful crystal clear day and getting the summit.  So that’s what you come to expeditons for is to challange yourself, to make new friends, to be in scene places, and maybe have a laugh along the way.

 

For all of us here a big shout out especialliy to Roxy – yup that’s her – for her Seven Summits success and everyone else on the team.  So wishing you all the best.  Take care and stay tuned.  Bye

 

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Today the Vinson team bided their time at High Camp waiting for the weather to clear.  Conrad Anker provides a recap of the day and the plan for tomorrow in this sat phone dispatch:

Greetings folks, this is Conrad Anker from Vinson High Camp.  It’s the 7th of January, 2020.

 

Well, the weather gods, we like them, we honor them, we respect them. After our 15-hour window of good weather where we had the majority of our team make the summit, it came in fast and furious. It was blowing wet snow coming in off the Amundsen Sea. So, we did the right thing, which was to hibernate, sit in our tents, and not go down the ropes, seeing as it was, we could barely see across camp.

 

It’s about 9 o’clock in the evening here local and it’s calm and clear.  Well, it’s clear – it’s still blowing. But relatively calm after these last few days of a steady 20 knots to 25 knots of wind coming from the east. So, it’s looking good.

 

The team is out breaking their tents out of the snow that has kind of cemented them in and getting them ready. We are going to wake up early tomorrow and get down to advanced camp, the Low Camp and then from there head to Vinson base camp.  And, weather permitting, we’ll catch our Twin Otter flights to Union Glacier.

 

And for the team of V4, we’ve had a wonderful time, we’ve made new friends, we’ve experienced the highs and lows that Antarctica has to offer. Pretty much the consensus over our humble fare this evening as we had dinner was that the trying and challenging trips are the ones that leave a lasting memory. So, we’re coming home with lots of memories and we’re thankful to all of you out there in the far reaches of the world that tune in and listen to us.

 

So, this is Garrett and Conrad signing off.  Be well.  Talk to you tomorrow.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering December 2019 Team #1)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

We encourage you to listen to the audio of Conrad Anker’s entertaining sat phone dispatch about today’s activities high on Antarctica’s Mount Vinson:

Greetings folks, it’s the 6th of January 2020 and this is your intrepid journalist/mountaineering Conrad Anker calling from Vinson High Camp.

 

Well, if you listened to yesterday’s dispatch, you kinda got the news that we got hammered by some fierce winds, turned around at the rescue cache, came back to camp with our tails between our legs.  We were humbled – properly.  And the weather forecast was calling for today, the 6th, to be even more fierce and even more big stormy weather with a low coming in from the Amundsen Sea.

 

But then strange things happen in the mountains.  At 6am it was calm, the sound of our tents flapping was replaced with silence.  We poked out – it was a bluebird day.  Nary a gust of wind or anything like that.  We squeaked around camp and Garrett and I look at each other with ear-to-ear smiles and we said, “Let’s go!”

 

The weather forecast, well, never trust electronics, go with your mountaineer sense.  Both Garrett and I felt that we had 12 hours of good weather and that’s what we had.  So our team coalesced and we headed up and we all made it to the summit.  Especially proud of Roxy on the culmination of her Seven Summits.

 

Now we’re here back at camp.  The 12-hour window closed back up and we’re sitting on the anvil as the hammer descends upon us.  But tomorrow we slide down the fixed ropes and ski back to Vinson base content knowing that we set out to do what we came to do, which was climb Vinson.  We’ll keep you posted as more news happens.

 

Thanks for listening in.  Take care!

(photo: Madison Mountaineering 2019 Team #1 summit on 12/27/2019)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Today the Vinson team made a go at it.  Conrad Anker provides all the details in his sat phone call from High Camp this evening:

Greetings folks, this is Conrad with an update from the Vinson expedition 2020.  Well, it’s the 5th of January.  We’re here at High Camp. We didn’t summit.

 

What gives?  Well, there’s this massive storm coming off the Amundsen Sea – moist, wet air. There’s a lotta catch as that windy howls across flats of Antarctica and then hits the Sentinel Mountains.  In the apex of that is the Ellsworth Range.  So, there we were 11am, we got the radio call with winds of 15 knots, which is kinda good.  But at the same time, as luck would have it, there’s a break in the sky and it’s sunny and it’s calm and so we get motivated and we’re like, we’re gonna strike while the iron is hot and head up there and summit.

 

So, we get out and we get all of our kit ready and we head into the gale.  We get 3/4 of the way there to the final ridge with the wind blowing 40 knots.  And at that point, it was painfully obvious the summit was not in the cards. It was better off that we came down safe and sound. Which is where we are.

 

There’s always a reminder that there are old climbers and bold climbers, but there are no old, bold climbers.  So, we’re a bunch of old climbers.  Happy for the experience, the camaraderie, the friendship, the time spent at the stove, the joy of sawing snow blocks, and the wonders of freeze-dried meals.

 

So, thanks for tuning in.  We’re going to go into hibernation mode here for the next couple of days and see what this storm delivers.  Who knows, maybe we’ll go up again.  But at the very least, we are having fun and that’s why we came to Antarctica – to have fun. And if getting blown by a snowstorm is your type of fun then you’re just like us.

 

So, take care, have fun, and thanks for listening in. This is Conrad signing off.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Co-guide, Conrad Anker, reports in from Mount Vinson that it’s another windy day at High Camp.  The team is hunkering down and waiting for a break in the weather for the summit attempt:

Greetings folks! Conrad here from VInson High Camp. It’s the 4th of January 2020.  And guess what? It’s our second full day of storm.

 

Looks like we have a low pressure that is coming off the Amundsen Sea. It’s blowing in from the Northeast. We have winds of a steady 20 knots and it’s about minus 20 celsius, so pretty cold!

 

But our team is psyched. We’re ready. We had a good time out building snow walls for our tents, cutting blocks and visiting with the other team members here – basically biding our time. Because we know if it wasn’t for a storm every now and then, it would be easy and it wouldn’t be mountaineering and we came here for adventure! We came here for Antarctica. I guess we’re getting served up what we came for.

 

Thanks for listening in. Talk to you soon. Take care. Conrad signing off.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Today the Vinson team took a windy rest day at High Camp.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides the details via satellite phone:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition team #2 with co-guide Conrad Anker.

 

We are up at High Camp taking a rest day today. It’s become windy up here at High Camp. It’s been blowing a steady 20 knots today, which is probably too windy for us to climb in and also blowing some spindrift snow. So today we spent the day fortifying our tents, building snow walls around them to protect them from the wind and spindrift. And just enjoying the rest day in camp, had a few good meals, got to tell some stories, and looking forward to some good weather in the future.

 

Hopefully tomorrow or the next day. Although it looks like it might be a couple more days before this wind event passes and calm conditions return to the upper slopes of Mount Vinson. But in the meantime everyone’s doing great, we are in good spirits, having fun, and we’ll check-in tomorrow.  Thanks!

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

After a long day of making the move (+2,500 ft) from Mount Vinson Low Camp up the fixed lines to High Camp, guest guide Conrad Anker, phones in via satellite today’s expedition recap:

Greetings folks, this is Conrad from Vinson High Camp. It’s the 2nd of January 2020. What a great way to welcome in the new year. Our team set out from Low Camp, climbed up the shoulder on the fixed ropes for a little bit, and then some really beautiful terrian and yeah things are great and we have good weather, everyone’s healthy and we’re very thankful for the opportunity to be here with friends. And yeah we’re happy! That’s a good thing. Take care.

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Our Mount Vinson team #1 is now back at Union Glacier camp and getting ready to return to South America tomorrow.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, calls in from camp with a recap of the busy day:

Hello. This is Garrett calling for the Mount Vinson expedition team #1. Today is Saturday, December 28th and myself, Bartek, Aga and Motoki have all return back to Union Glacier camp from Mount Vinson.

 

We had a wonderful day. We woke up this morning at Mount Vinson High Camp after our successful summit yesterday. We descended from High Camp all the way down the fixed ropes past Low Camp and down to Vinson base camp. And then a couple of hours later we were met by a Twin Otter aircraft where we boarded and flew back to Union Glacier camp. It was a very scenic flight, great views all around.

 

We had a nice dinner here at Union Glacier camp, and a shower and the climbers are looking forward to the flight out on the Ilyushin 76 jet tomorrow from the Blue Ice Runway back to Punta Arenas. Hopefully, the weather is good and our three climbers will be flying back to Chile and our next group of Mount Vinson climbers, along with guest guide Conrad Anker, will be flying into Union Glacier camp and heading to Mount Vinson.

 

All’s well here in Antarctica.  We will check-in again soon!  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Great news from Antarctica where 100% of our first team reached the summit of the continent’s highest peak, Mount Vinson!  Here’s Garrett’s report from High Camp:

Hello, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition team #1. Today’s December 27th and we reached the summit of Mount Vinson today, the highest peak in Antarctica! The team did great.

 

We left at about 9:30 AM from High Camp after a quick breakfast and climbed all day, had some windy conditions and a bit of a cold on the way up, and then the weather got a little bit nicer and we got up to the summit ridge.  Got up to the summit, had it all to ourselves for a bit, took some photos and then made our way back down to High Camp.

 

We got back to High Camp around 6:00 PM and just finished up some dinner.  So, heading to bed early tonight and looking forward to heading down to Vinson base camp tomorrow and onward back to Union Glacier camp.

 

So it’s been a great climb here on Mount Vinson with the first team, very successful.  We were lucky with good weather and good route conditions and great climbers.

 

We’ll check-in soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Garrett Madison’s overused Vinson summit pic from the Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

The Vinson team had a nice, relaxing rest day at High Camp (3536m/11,600ft) today making their preparations for their summit attempt tomorrow.  Garrett Madison, expedition leader, provided the update via sat phone:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition team #1.  Today is December 26th also Boxing Day for Candians and we had a wonderful rest day here at Vinson base camp, sorry!, High Camp, Vinson High Camp(!).

 

We are getting ready to go for the summit tomorrow.  The weather looks good, we had a good day, just finished a big dinner, and heading to bed soon.

 

Our plan is to wake up around 7:30-8:00am tomorrow and head out of camp around 9:00am.  Hopefully we’ll get to the top of Vinson in the afternoon and back down in the evening time.  People are feeling great, good weather, and we are excited for the summit climb tomorrow!

 

We’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

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