Mount Vinson wrap-up: Amputees on Vinson

Posted: Jan 09, 2013 06:24 pm EST

(Newsdesk) Teams from the Vinson 4 rotation have summitted and are back at Union Glacier or are busy with Last Degree (110km) ski expeditions to the South Pole.

The V4 climbers reported good weather during the climb, and clear skies and cold temperatures on the summit. This rotation had more than 40 climbers on the mountain and the Vinson 5 rotation that is scheduled to fly in from Punta Arenas, Chile, on January 10th, will also be a big group.

News from teams

Mountain Trip had only one client on this rotation, who summited with guide Sebastian Kundhardt. During the previous rotation they had 9 clients who summited on December 24th with Jacob Schmitz and Sebastian.

Dave Hahn and his RMI team summited during the Vinson 3 rotation on December 25th. Dave holds the record for the person who has who has bagged the most ascents on Vinson. According to RMI's website 29. [Ed note: could be that this season's climbs have not been added yet].

South African outfitter Adventure Dynamics (ADI) with Sean Disney as guide, Laucha Giritti, assistent-guide and 9 climbers, have summited on January 5th. Among them two fathers and sons, and one of the sons, Jayson Funnell, became the youngest South African to summit Vinson, Sean reported.

Another team mate, Peter van der Meer, became the the first amputee to summit Mt Vinson, according to ADI. He has a prosthetic foot, having lost the foot from below the knee in an accident some years ago, reported Sean. 5 climbers will ski the LDSP.

Alpine Ascents (AA) has Garrett Madison and Vern Tejas as their guides for their first Vinson team this season. Garrett reported a 100% summit on January 5th. "We had a total of two Alpine Ascents guides and eleven Alpine Ascents climbers reach the summit and just had beautiful weather yesterday, so it was a great climb. We’re happy to be down off the mountain and looking forward to concluding the expedition."

Adventure Network (ANI) also had several teams on the V4 rotation.

Vinson 5

ALE had their logistics briefing with the climbers and last degree skiers in Punta Arenas this morning. Next flight to Antarctica is scheduled for January 10th (weather permitting).

Adventure Consultants' third Vinson team for the season has arrived in Punta Arenas. This team of 4 Australians will be lead by Lydia Bradey from New Zealand.

Lydia writes in an update from Punta, "Once you leave Chile and land in Antarctica you need to be completely independent. In traveling to the Frozen Continent success can depend upon the proverbial horseshoe nail; ie one has to be prepared and not forget the salt, spare socks, the GPS, the dish washing bowl, and chocolate biscuits. A rope, crampons, a warm sleeping bag, a LARGE pack, a pee bottle and most definitely, some good footwork skills, the ability to be personally organized and probably a touch of cold tolerance are also items needed for the ascent. Do not leave without your sense of humor!"

The next Alpine Ascents Vinson team is also in Punta Arenas.

Also on the Vinson 5 rotation will be a group of 7 Colombians. Their leader is Juan Pablo Ruis. One of the team members, Nelson Cardona lost his lower right leg in a car accident six years ago. He has also climbed Everest. The rest of the team is, Jose Francisco Arata, Marcelo Arbelaez, Carlos Alberto Gomez, Sergio Vargas and Juan Pablo Montejo.

Video below: Nelson Cardona: "The first Colombian to attempt a disabled ascent of Mount Vinson in Antarctica invites you to detach yourselves from the things that keep you from progressing. As part of the expedition, Nelson will carry messages that Colombians should let go and let go of things that hold them back and prevents them from achieving our dreams."

Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America:
To ALE/ANI base camp, Union Glacier
(79° 45'S, 083° 14'W).

Vinson Base Camp (VBC) is located on the Branscomb Glacier 95 miles (151km) from Adventure Network/ANI's main camp, Union Glacier. The geographic location is 78º32'S, 086º00'W at an elevation of 6900ft (2100m) above sea level. The flight from Union Glacier to VBC with a Twin Otter takes about 30 minutes across the Sentinel Range in the Ellsworth Mountains.

Low Camp is located at 2750m / 9000ft. The ascent from VBC to LC is 650m / 2150ft, takes 4-6 hours over a distance of 9 km / 5.5 miles.

High Camp is located at 3700m / 12,400ft: A 1020m / 3350ft ascent from Low Camp, 6-8 hours, 3km / 1.8 miles, 1200m fixed ropes, up to 45° slopes.

Summit at 4892m / 16,160ft (feels like 5500m): 1120m / 3670ft ascent from High Camp, 14km / 8.75 miles return.

[Vinson data courtesy of Adventure Network International (ANI)]

Expeditions/adventures/projects with RSS feeds can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom App for iPhone and on Android as well as at ExplorersWeb.

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ALE Twin Otter at Vinson Base Camp on the skiway sloping down the Branscomb Glacier.
courtesy Mountain Trip, SOURCE
Vinson Base Camp with the summit visible in the middle of the mountain range.
Image by Sean Disney over Contact5 courtesy Adventure Dynamics, SOURCE
Fixed ropes, looking down on the route to Low Camp.
Image by Sean Disney courtesy Adventure Dynamics, SOURCE
More fixed ropes.
Image by Sean Disney courtesy Adventure Dynamics, SOURCE
Mount Shinn in the background.
courtesy Adventure Consultants over Contact5, SOURCE
Summit ridge.
Image by Sean Disney over Contact5 courtesy Adventure Dynamics, SOURCE

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