High Camp on Mt. Vinson!

Whew!  Saturday’s climb was not difficult but was VERY LONG!  7.5 hours of climbing – 5 hours of which was on fixed lines at a 45% angle.  But we successfully reached High Camp and are now preparing for our summit attempt.  Sunday has been a rest day and we are planning to start our summit climb tomorrow – Monday.

I got very cold for the first time yesterday and was really shivering the last 45 minutes of the climb.  When we stopped at High Camp I had to huddle in my sleeping bag for a few hours and warm up!  But we had a great dinner in our tent and are now all snug and cozy in our down bags.

Today has been crystal clear without a cloud in the sky.  It is so beautiful here.  The silence is striking (I guess we have a constant hum of noise around us everyday).  But here there are absolutely no sounds whatsoever most of the time.  We had a nice visit with some climbers from Spain who were descending from a successful summit.  There is such a fantastic mix of people from all over the world doing all kinds of interesting things here in Antarctica!

So… our plan is to summit tomorrow (Monday) and come back down to High Camp to spend the night.  On Tuesday we will descend all the way to Base Camp, skipping Camp 2.  We do have sleds to pick up on our way down, and will hopefully be able to get all the way to Base Camp with all our gear by Tuesday night.

Wish us luck and clear weather tomorrow!  Mt. Vinson will mark number 5 of the Seven Summits – leaving me only Australia and Mt. Everest to complete my mission.  As cold as it is, there is no where on earth I would rather be at this moment.

Climb On!


4 Responses to “High Camp on Mt. Vinson!”

  1. 1 Sheryl January 7, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I’m glad you warmed up, you should have listened to me~
    Just curious as to what constitutes a “great dinner” in a tent in Antarctica?
    What is the date for Australia, I know you mentioned September, but when?? I’m checking out airfare!
    Be in touch when you can…UGOGIRL!
    Sheryl 🙂

  2. 2 Shawn Ames January 7, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Go Wendy,

    Can’t wait to see you and hear about your triumphant experience!


  3. 3 Linda C January 8, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Hey Wendy,

    You only got cold at the end???? Amazing! It sounds like a truly incredible wonder. I will think twice before I complain about the cold in MA again! 🙂 I am thinking of you and wish you the best. You are the strongest woman I have ever met in so many ways. A hearty lunch on me when you are back in town. Love, Linda

  4. 4 Cathy Sullivan January 8, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Wendy, I have been following your blogs and informing all of your friends at the MAC. Sorry you did not have a chance to summit today but I am glad you decided to be safe and not taking any chances or risks. You have all of my support and I have been thinking of you. We will have to get together with the girls when you return. Be safe.

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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.


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