American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Antarctica, Ellsworth Mountains, Mt. Vinson Area, Various Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1998

Mt. Vinson Area, Various Ascents. On January 3, Viki Groselj, Stane Klemenc, Rafko Vodisek (Slovenia) and Stipe Bozic, Josko Bojic (Croatia) arrived in the Patriot Hills Base Camp. On the same day, we took a one-hour flight to Base Camp at the foot of Mount Vinson (4897m). On January 4, Bozic, Klemenc, Vodisek and I started up the 2000-meter west face of Mount Vinson at 3 p.m. On January 5, at 3 a.m., after a 12-hour ascent, we climbed to the edge of the face. Seven hours later, at 10 a.m., we reached the summit. The climb (45-55°, 2500m) took us 19 hours. (This route was climbed by Jay Smith and Joe Bentley in 1993.-Ed.)

Mount Vinson is the last of the seven summits to be conquered by Slovenes, by Croats, and by Bozic and myself. My ski descent from the summit to Base Camp took four hours. The relief was 2900 meters, at an angle of 30-40°; one third of the slope was 45-50°. Bozic, Klemenc and Vodisek completed their descent in eight hours.

On January 7, Bozic and I took three hours to make first ascents of two unnamed, ca.2850- meter summits above Base Camp; we descended from both on skis to Base Camp and named them Slovenia and Croatia.

On January 8, Bozic, Klemenc, Vodisek and I made an ascent of a ca.2650-meter summit above Base Camp and named it Matija. (This peak is referred to as Ski Hill by the local guides and pilots and has been ascended previously.-Ed.) After traversing the mountain, the party descended on skis. We then continued, crossing the glacier a few kilometers southward. The four of us climbed another unconquered and unnamed 2250-meter summit. Bozic and I descended on skis. Bozic returned to Base Camp while Klemenc, Vodisek and I proceeded to climb a third unnamed mountain, making a traverse of the mountain and a ski descent from the summit.

On January 9-10, we had unfavorable weather conditions. The next day Klemenc and I made a first ascent of another unnamed summit above Base Camp in three hours and a ski descent from this ca.2900-meter summit back to Base Camp. Another span of bad weather hit us from January 12-14. On the 15th, we flew from Base Camp at the foot of Mount Vinson to Patriot Hills Base Camp. Bozic, Klemenc, Vodisek and I crossed the 400-meter south face (50-55°) by three different routes and climbed to the east summit of the Patriot Mountain Chain, which is 1210 meters high, then followed a ski descent to Base Camp on the east slope (40°). On January 16, Bozic, Klemenc and I climbed the 1200-meter west summit of the Patriot Mountain Chain, crossing its south face (50-55°). I made another ski descent along the ridge between the south face and the east face (45-50°). On January 18, we flew from Patriot Hills Base Camp to Punta Arenas.

Viki Groselj, Slovenian Alpine Club

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