Vinson Day 5: Carry to High Camp
Today is our carry day to High Camp. Since we have lots of gear, fuel and food, it’s a big heavy load to transport from Low Camp to High Camp. The climb is over 1000 vertical meters (3,300 feet) and very steep that requires the use of fixed lines. We can’t use the sleds like we did from Base Camp to Low Camp so in order to balance the weight, we will move everything in two trips.
Carrying a load to High Camp.
When we got up this morning, the sun was still behind the mountain and you could totally experience the antarctic frigid air. It was -5°F/-21°C inside my tent and a chill of -33°F/-36°C outside. We quickly downed a warm breakfast of oatmeal and cereal and hit the trail to the start of the fixed lines. By then the sun was shining on us and the temperature increased by 15 degrees making for a beautiful day.
Climbing up the fixed lines.
The fixed lines are needed because of the steepness of the mountain, 800 vertical meters (half a mile) of 45 degree incline. With heavy backpacks weighing anywhere from 45 lbs to 55 lbs (20-25 Kg) we moved up very nicely while enjoying the spectacular views along the way.
At the top of the fixed lines on the way to High Camp.
Once we reached the top of the lines, we ventured for a 1.5 hours trek to High Camp where we cached our load in the ice, hung out for a good 20 minutes and headed back down.
Craig York, Tom Boyer, Joe Ashkar & Garrett Madison pose for a photo on the way to High Camp on Mt. Vinson.
We zoomed down the fixed lines pretty fast using a combination of self repelling, Sherpa and Denali arm wraps.
Spectacular Antarctic Scenery.
We returned to low camp by 10 PM making for a 9.5 hours round trip. We downed a much deserved big dinner of soup, chicken, mashed potatoes, and Christmas bread all cooked in heavy butter. Tomorrow we plan on moving to High Camp.
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