100% Success for ALE Vinson Climbers
2013 marks another season with 100% success for ALE climbers on Antarctica’s highest peak. 34 ALE guests traveled to Mount Vinson over five departures, from mid-November through late January. All reached the summit, together with a total of 12 ALE guides and rangers, many of whom made multiple ascents. Congratulations to everyone, especially to those who completed their Seven Summits challenge, by climbing Mount Vinson with ALE this season.
Weather conditions were generally good throughout the 10 week climbing season, although there were some periods of strong, high altitude winds. Accurate weather forecasts, from ALE’s meteorologists, enabled the climbers to reach the summit during periods of stable weather.
Four guests on our November 23 (V1) departure made a speedy Vinson ascent, then flew to 89S to Ski the Last Degree to the South Pole, achieving both Antarctica’s highest summit and furthest south.
A videographer accompanied our December 17 (V3) expedition, from base camp to the summit, capturing the challenges and highlights of a Vinson expedition. Many thanks to our guests for sharing their experiences on-camera. It looked like a great trip!
Our V3 guests noted the impressive experience of their guiding team: four guides with 42 Everest ascents among them; and one guide who is just one summit shy of climbing the Seven Summits, seven times.
Good ski conditions prevailed, particularly at lower elevations, with more soft snow than usual in the Ellsworth Mountains. The V3 team enjoyed several ‘bonus days’ of skiing at base camp, after their Vinson ascent.
The DC3/Basler BT-67 collected 18 climbers and guides at Vinson Base Camp’s alternate runway at the end of our V3 departure. An Antarctic first.
ALE guides and climbers on our December 29 (V4) departure made the season’s only ascent of Mount Shinn.
Chinese climber Jin Wang, with ALE guides, made an impressive 48hr ascent of Mount Vinson at the end of the season.
Why choose ALE as your Vinson Guide?
- Choice of 5 departures, from mid-November through late January
- Some of the world’s most experienced high altitude and Antarctic guides
- Low guiding ratios
- Comfortable Base Camp, with the atmosphere of a small alpine hut
- Pre-placed mountain tents and cook shelter at Low Camp and High Camp
- Optional one-to-one guiding and/pr pre-expedition training (for an additional fee)
Submitted by: David Hamilton, Mountain Guide and Vinson Base Camp Manager.