Update from Susan
Hello from Scott!!
We had a very pleasant surprise today when the phone rang and it was Scott calling from Mt. Vinson base camp. It was so great to hear his voice. He is disappointed and frustrated that he has not been able to get his blog emails to send from the satellite phone. It worked once but it has not worked since. Ryan is using the same phone but since he is posting his blogs directly to his website it is a different system and he has been able to get it to work. That is why we have been posting Ryan’s blogs on the Summit Training website and there have been none from Scott.
Scott said the climb up Vinson was tough. It was also made more difficult because they compressed their climbing schedule by half. They originally had scheduled 8 days to climb and they somehow made it in 4!! They needed to do this to make up for the days they lost due to the delay getting to Antarctica from Chile because of bad weather. They had long, hard climbing days. Scott said his legs are quite sore from the effort. Fortunately the weather has been great for them. Summit day the skies were blue but it was quite cold. -30 c on the summit and Scott figured with wind chill it was about -45c. When they pulled up onto the summit Scott, Ryan and Ron pulled out their cameras and took a couple of photos and then all 3 of their cameras froze! Scott has never had that happen on any mountain before. Needless to say don’t expect to see any amazing summit photos.
Now back in base camp they have changed their plans for the rest of the trip. They were supposed to ski from Vinson base camp back to Union Glacier. This is a 150km trip that they expected would take 7 or 8 days. Unfortunately Scott and Ron found that the mountaineering boots they were wearing to climb were not comfortable for skiing. Scott had checked that his warmest mountaineering boots (that he used on Everest) fit into his back country ski bindings and worked well but he had never skied long distances with this combination of equipment. They skied on Vinson from base camp to low camp and skied down a fair bit of the mountain but Scott said when the pulled into base camp he would not have been able to go another 10 minutes without developing major blisters on his feet. It would not be feasible to think about skiing for the next 8 days all day with these boots on. They are warm and comfortable for climbing but not skiing. So the plan was to fly back to Union Glacier on Sunday. Once there they will do some hiking, climbing and skiing around the Union Glacier area. It is not possible to catch an earlier flight home as there are no commercial flights to hop on. ALE controls all the flights and they are booked and scheduled well in advance. The only reason you fly at a different time than scheduled is weather. Although disappointed the ski portion of their adventure didn’t work out he is very much looking forward to exploring Antarctica in other ways. He is also hopeful that once back at Union Glacier he may be able to get his blogs out via email.
Scott wanted me to tell everyone who is following along with his adventure that he is very appreciative and thankful for all your support and interest.
Summit life. Susan out!
Posted by: Summit Training Team
Created on: Mon 28 November 2011 03:11
Last modified: Thu 22 December 2011 10:58
This article was posted in Everest Blog
, Vinson Blog