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Antarctica, Tyree, Shinn and the Vinson Massif

Tyree, Shinn and the Vinson Massif. Mugs Stump made an impressive solo first ascent of the 8000-foot-high west face of Mount Tyree. He feels that it is “perhaps the hardest route yet accomplished by man.” This was the second ascent of Tyree. On the same day, New Zealander Rob Hall repeated the Chouinard route on Mount Shinn, adding a direct line to the summit, solo, in eleven hours. Mugs Stump, Ed Stump and New Zealanders Hall and Paul Fitzgerald also repeated the standard route on Vinson in December. Their group was independent of mine. Officially they were in Antarctica to carry out geological research. Mugs Stump returned to Antarctica in January 1990 and guided several clients up the normal route on Vinson. I went to Antarctica with Canadian Rob Mitchell, German Klaus Wengen, American Ken Kammler and Netherlander Peter Kinchen. On December 9, we all ascended an unnamed mountain of about 12,000 feet at the head of the valley north of the standard Base Camp. On December 14, Wengen, Kammler and I climbed to the summit of Vinson by a variant of the normal route. We avoided the icefall below the col between Vinson and Shinn by following the very prominent first ridge to the north. Future parties should consider this slightly more difficult but much safer alternative. Unfortunately, Kinchin developed frostbite in his right foot and all further climbing objectives had to be abandoned. I have now climbed to the highest point of all seven continents. If Carstenz Pyramid counts as the highest point in Australasia, I am now the only American to have done so.

Geoffrey Tabin, M.D.