Vinson Base Camp is officially “Open” and the first guests have arrived. ALE staff flew into the base camp recently to prepare for the arrival of the first climbers of the season. The camp, located at 7020 ft (2140 m) on the Branscomb Glacier, has been unoccupied since the end of last January when everything was packed away for the winter. After a short flight over the stunning Heritage Range, our team of guides quickly got to work unpacking equipment, setting up HF and Iridium communications, organizing climbing equipment and supplies, and building what has been called the most scenic bathroom in the Southern Hemisphere!
Over the next few days, our Rangers will ascend the mountain to install and check the fixed lines and emergency caches, and set-up the VHF repeater on the shoulder of Branscomb Ridge. This is a key piece of safety kit that helps to provide good radio communications over the mountain route.
We’re looking forward to a great season and expect to introduce to the mountain a total of about 150 climbers during the summer.