Vinson, summit register removed. On January 1, 2005 I removed the summit register book from the aluminum cylinder in which it had been housed for decades. The book was full, no longer useable, and I felt it would be too tempting a prize for a thief, given some recent similar problems in Antarctica. I photographed all the pages and passed the book to ALE in Punta Arenas, where it was placed in safekeeping. Subsequent correspondence with Nick Clinch, who led the first ascent in 1966, and John Evans, who summited first with Barry Corbet, indicates that the museum of the American Alpine Club is the best resting place for the book. Given that it was often hidden by snow, or that conditions dictated against stopping to write in it, the book is far from an accurate register of Vinson summiteers, but it is certainly a valuable and historic artifact that needs to be well preserved. A replacement register is being organized and will include a photocopy of the original first and second pages, showing the first signatories from December 1966.
Damien Gildea, Australia, AAC