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Antarctica, Vinson Massif, New Route

Vinson Massif, New Routes. My wife Jo and I have just returned from the Vinson Massif, where we completed two new routes on Vinson from the west. The first route was made from Camp on the normal route. In a four-day climb up and down, we took a line up the right-hand icefall due west of the summit. The second route took a direct line up a thin couloir in the center of the steep 6200-foot wall left of the icefalls. I climbed the route solo in 6 hours 50 minutes and descended the northwest ridge in an hour and a half to just below Camp II on the normal route. I didn’t go to the true summit since I had been there a few days before. (WI3, 5.9.) [Written February 1, 1994.]

Jay Smith