(10:10 pm via satellite phone from Mount Vinson)
On the evening of December 20th, 2010, we arrived at High Camp (elev. approx. 13,000 ft). The winds were blowing steady at about 30-35 mph, blowing snow and very cold. It continued all night shaking our two small tents even though they were partially protected by a wall of snow blocks. Our site is a small flattish area shrouded by steep snowy mountainsides with occasional rock ridges. Other peaks tower over us.
The conditions did not change all day Tuesday, December 21st. We were limited to our area of movement. Exposed skin will freeze after about 10 seconds in the wind which must create temperatures of about 40 below zero celcius or farenheit (the same). Going to the bathroom outside behind a small block wall is a real treat. Thank heavens for pee bottles, eye shades, and warm clothes.
On Wednesday, December 22nd we received a weather report that the winds would increase to 50-60 mph and temperatures would drop. Our tents could get blown away if it got much stronger and the conditions were expected to worsen for at least two more days. We elected to go down to Low Camp where conditions were safer where we now are. We just cut out some snow blocks and built a wall around us for wind protection. Hopefully in a few days we head back up. Pray for favourable weather.