Mitch called in to report on the team’s activity. They flew from Union Glacier to Vinson Base Camp on December 17. After spending just a couple of hours at the bustling Union Glacier camp, they boarded a ski-equipped Twin Otter and flew the short flight to the Branscomb Glacier and the site of Vinson Base Camp. On the 18th, they fortified their Base Camp and spent part of the day reviewing glacier travel skills.
Winds were quite high on the 19th, so they loaded up much of their extra food, fuel and supplies and “made a carry” about two thirds of the way up to the site of their first planned camp on the mountain. This is a common practice in climbing big mountains, where you need to move a veritable mountain of food uphill. The process is called “double carrying,” and it has the added benefit of introducing climbers to higher altitudes at a more gradual rate than merely moving up to the next camp.
Everyone did great on their carry and they are all ready and eager to move camp when the weather permits.