Antarctica/Mt Vinson Update January 12 & 13

55January 12
Another big day for the True Patriot Love team! We reached Camp one today at around 7:00 pm and it was a really amazing trip! Our morning started early at base camp with the usual morning events, coffee, breakfast, some banter about the day to come… We had to make a decision at around 11 if we would go for the camp 1 or not, due to questions around what the weather would do, with possible strong winds up around the corner!

The team had been packing all morning in the event we decided to go, and they did a great job at packing down the tents and were ready to head out right on time! We are sure glad we left since it turned out to be a really good day to move, with marginal winds and warm temperatures created by the overcast condition which traps warmth.

It took the team just under 7 hours to reach camp one. We promptly got to all the busy work of setting up 16 tents, and once again a gang of soldiers headed up by Meagan got one of the cooking areas dug out. It turned into a late night just with the volume of water and food to make. We have a couple sore bodies for sure and just a few folks feeling a bit worked but we plan to take a rest day tomorrow and enjoy some down time and photos! Some of the guides will likely do a carry up to high camp to get some gear moving up and help with the following days carry.

January 13 

The general perception to most people is to think of snow when they think of Antarctica. But the reality is that it is the driest continent looking at the amount of precipitation per year. Well it is sure snowing more than usual for us up on Mt. Vinson! Today was slated to be a rest day either way so it is ok for our schedule, but it could make our next step a little different.

We will need to do a carry of food and fuel which also helps us acclimatize, by going to high camp, hopefully tomorrow. With several inches of powdered snow on the slope, we will take care to manage that movement. We are at the hands of the weather right now and will use today to get ourselves rested and ready when we need to move.

People are doing well! Spirits are high and even a few folks who were worn out from yesterday, are out doing some snow wall work to keep active. The whole team is working together, soldiers and civilians, on camp projects and we have seen a lot of great conversations that are helping with team bonding and mentoring.

As for the guide staff, we are hanging in there and joke that as soon as we finish up with breakfast, we start to make the lunch, it takes a lot to make water, food, and hot drinks all day for 26 climbers! The camp stoves have been cranking almost nonstop to make things happen!  We will be reviewing with our pods of climbers today their fixed rope climbing gear and then start in on dinner!

Written By: Ryan Waters Mountain Professionals