Vinson Massif, summary. Around 140 climbers summited Vinson during the 2005-2006 season, with only four climbers unsuccessful. There were no new routes reported on the mountain, though at least one team climbed Mount Shinn (4,661m) by the normal route, and one pair climbed Pico Jaca. The weather was slightly worse than usual, with one particularly bad storm on and just after December 10. However in the case of some Vinson climbers the effect was exacerbated by their inexperience and poor judgment, an increasing problem on the mountain as the number of visitors rises. On a more positive note, Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE) has been proactive in dealing with potential waste problems arising from the greater number of climbers. In recent years all teams have carried out their human waste, but now they are given special bags to deal with fecal waste in a better manner. They are also encouraged to put urine only in specific areas and to use a pee bottle (rather than the ground), if possible, when between camp sites. However, enforcement of these measures on the mountain is necessarily largely up to the guides, and the standard of guiding on the mountain varies considerably.
Damien Gildea, Australia, AAC