From High Camp the route climbs a gentle snow slope up into a basin below the summit of Mt Vinson.
|Summit of Mt Vinson . High Camp on flat spot on ridge in right of photo (photo by C. Smith)|
The climbing was easy snow walking, but extremely cold in places where there was any wind. With temperatures below -20 I had to have full coverage of any exposed skin to prevent frostbite. I found it difficult to keep my face covered without water vapor from my breath seeping up into my goggles and fogging them up.
The other issue I had was my camera kept freezing up. I put it in an inside pocket to keep it warm. But I could only get of one or two shots each time it took it out before it would freeze again. Replacing the battery with one that I had placed in my glove allowed me to take additional photos. But my fingers became dangerously cold whenever I had to take my gloves off to replace the battery.
From the summit ridge we were rewarded with spectacular views of the entire Ellsworth Range to the south.