Friday: Ascending

We woke up this morning to -30 degrees. The condensation in the tent resulted in small snow storms everytime you moved. The sun came out from around the mountain at 11 am and immediately the thermal energy hit the dark clothing we are wearing and the temperature rose. We broke camp at 2:30 and headed up the Branscombe glacier. We got in to this camp (New Camp 1, just shy of Old Camp 2), set up camp, and dinner is now on.

As you walk the heat from the bowl effect and thermal energy is overwhelming – so much so that for the most part we walked in long sleeved long underwear. When you stop it is a whole different ballgame. And when the sun goes down well then watch out.

Dale is doing great. His oxygen saturation is 97%, his heart rate around 100 – or normal for a heart transplant recipient. I must say I find him completely inspiring – he took his own gear, one of the 3 food bags, as well as Yanick’s XS in order to have a boom in camp. His fitness is remarkable, let alone for a transplant patient. I am in awe.

We will likely do a carry to the camp at the top of the headwall – it is only 4 km but 800m elevation gained, hence very steep. The mountain certainly has traffic on it – groups such as Mountain Madness, Mountain Team, ANI etc.. It makes for a very festive time at dinner at breakfast.

Thanks as always for the comments. I read them at bedtime through the tents to the team and they are always appreciated!

PS Kyle: Starbucks is a coffee company who make my favorite triple vente non-fat latte – something I would truly enjoy about now. 

52 Replies to “Friday: Ascending”

  1. wow

    Those are some amazing pics! thanks for posting so regularly it gives me a chance to procrastinate, something I do quite well at. Good to hear that your all doing well- and the cold hasn’t got to you yet. Oh, with regards to your coffee Heather, I’d like to say I won’t have starbucks with you… but I can’t make those kinds of promises
    xo joce

  2. Ross Sea…. WOW !!

    Well, well…about time they name a great sea after our favorite cardiologist (LOL,LOL): “Ross Sea” eh ??…always knew you had it in
    you !!
    Best Wishes from Jackie Lamothe and Dieter Doktor.

  3. Thinking warm thoughts!

    Hi Dr.Ross and Dale,
    I am so proud of both of you. You are inspirational to all of us heart transplant patients! I’m looking forward to all the pictures upon your return.
    Continued success, “Thumper”

  4. dale and mountain people

    Hey dale..someone else impressed with your mountain fitness level. Remember the blizzard of ’69 on Kamiskotia Mountain and you had to carry Patti Champagne off the mountain. Guess the degree of difficulty and alas the equipment was a bit different. Gortex was not even invented and the maps i had copied on the ditto machine were a purple blur. I am really enjoying your trip from my rocking chair and the warmth of my fireplace. I hope you are sharing some of our “narrow escapes from the jaws of the devil” with your fellow climbers. stay cozy…love fitz

  5. Good Night..Good Morning!

    The weather sounds like typical Newfoundland weather…-15 to 7 degrees in two days…or as we say here in Newfoundland…four seasons in one day. I am sure glad you are not climbing Mount Slaughter. Sarah was talking tonight how Auntie Pat is in the opposite end of the world from Santa in the South Pole. Oh and you had to have seen Jonathan at his concert when he almost wiped out the two kids on each side of him with enthusiam as he sang at the Christmas concert. Well Tish around the pond all the houses are a glow with Christmas lights up. I am already missing you and Christmas is not even here yet. Sorry little emotional but you know how I get. It must be so peaceful for you all where you are. Enjoy every moment and god bless on your journey.
    PS Someone hug my sister for me.

  6. Onwards and upwards

    Pat and team – this picture puts the majesty of the mountains in perspective. Kyle is standing beside me clapping and yelling “Yeah they got to go”! Thanks for answering the Starbucks question for him. Maybe we’ll get off our little mountain one day and take him into town to fill in the missing pieces of his education. Keep safe and warm. Love Debi

  7. Dr. Patricia Murphy

    Tish, Mom sends lots of encouragement. She said that she expects you are glad that there are no snakes or creepy crawly creatures in those temperatures. She is thinking about you everyday and remembering you in her prayers.
    Lots of love,

  8. Ian’sTrekkies

    Ian and all, The map of the climb is great. Now we can truly follow your footsteps. Glad to hear that, despite snowy wake-up calls INSIDE the tents, the weather is good. That sleeping bag you demo’d should be coming in very handy. We will toast your team at the farm this weekend…as always with warm thoughts. H,G,M and EM

  9. Ian’sTrekkies omt (one more thing)

    Ian, Gary had some questions: What is your elevation? How far is it between each Camp? We are very impressed with Dale’s fitness. Is everyone else holding up as well? And finally, certain Heather fans are also asking how she thinks a sax might sound in that clear clean air?

  10. Megladon sightings?

    Hey Dave!
    It’s high time a guide got a message read out from the tent some evening. I love that image! So here it is…the boys were wondering if there are any pre-historic shark teeth to be found on that thar mountain? It went something like this..”Oh Mommy, don’t you know that Megladons were everywhere at one time!” Hmmm? Yes, of course. Must admit I was surprised you even found them in Banff, Dave!? So for Calum esp… keep an eye out won’t you? 🙂 We’re having great fun peeking in reading about your expedition everyday.. The newest pictures coming out are truly spectacular! Can finally see what the attraction is all about. “Wow” does say it all sometimes! Thanks to Mother nature we are getting to see it in all it’s sunlit glory. Must be breath taking to actually be there. Lucky bunch! Anyway, enjoy the journey. We’ll be watching the progress. All the best for now…. Karen, Calum and Stuart.

  11. way to go Dale

    Great images of the size of the mountain. Tomorrow will bring new challenges. Glad the team is holding together so well. The changes in the temperature are amazing. Good to talk to you tonight sound great. Thanks Ian for the use of your phone card.Continue to take such good care of each other. Peg

  12. coming back down

    I’m working nights with some time to think about one of the coolest biggest longest tobogan runs on the planet. Remember to lean into the turn.

  13. It’s all just so aaahh inspiring. I read it daily think of ways to test my own limits. Hey Pat the CVICU christmas party was last night, lots of fun. We were all toasting you and the team. Stay well.
    Love Suzanne

  14. pretty amazing!

    Its great to follow your progress. Keep the great photos coming! Pictures really do speak volumes. Good luck with your climb. Be safe. Stay sane.edl

  15. Hi Team. Happy to hear that all is going well for you guys !!! The temp. here for Sunday is 11c. Unbelievable isn’t? Almost looks like we going to have GREEN CHRISTMAS.Kept up the good work we all are rooting for guys.
    God Bless Everyone of you Guys
    Best of Wishes
    Brian & Susan

  16. Dale continues to amaze and inspire every one of us that know him
    What a terrific thing you are all doing for the cause
    To-days pictures were breath-taking

  17. OMG!!!

    Here in TO sipping a venti bold ( the Yonge and St.Clair Starbucks is serving Yukon this morning) reading and viewing real time (almost) pics of you all in the snowy wilds of Antarctica- what a dramatic contrast!!!

    Glad you on on the way up. Stay safe and keep those notes/pics/ and maps coming.

    Bill, Dona, Perry, and Claire Schultz

    PS- Ian 2 kid questions:

    Perry wants to know about the GPS system
    Claire is curious as to know how one puts on lip gloss in the very clod weather ( she does not expect you answer but figures you could pass the question to the appropriate person)

    Go figure!!!

  18. Hi Heather!!
    I am so excited for you !!! You are probably experiencing one of the greatest times of yous life!
    I will be waiting for you here, drinking my triple tall non fat latte at Starbucks 😉
    The pics are amazing but I think the coolest ones are to come…
    Good luck and have FUN!!!! CARPE DIEM!!!



  19. To the top of the world

    Hi to Dale and group
    I am awed with the pictures and the stories. It is so much fun watching your progress from my computer in Kam. Everyone I speak with is doing the same. Have an enjoyable and safe trek and -oh-I am trying to find my rosary beads!

  20. Dale & Fellow Climbers!

    We are sitting in damp, grey 10 degree plus temperatures here in Toronto dreaming of your White Christmas. Keep the pictures & updates coming, at least we can have a virtual White Christams thanks to you! Stay warm & safe.
    Bill, Sue, Sara & Sean XO

  21. Awesome!!

    Dear Heather and Team!

    Thanks so much for your amazing notes and pics! It looks like you will have a very WHITE Christmas, including in your own tent!

    We are currently at 55F in Des Moines, a little weird for December.

    Be safe, and enjoy every moment of your life altering adventure!

    Miss You! Love, Carole and Dave xoxo

  22. Wishing you the best

    Hi Heather,

    Eric Goldszmidt here, one of Pat’s partners at Mt. Sinai. Your blog has me on pins and needles. Cannot imagine what you are seeing. I only realized today that I could leave comments so wanted to wish you all a safe climb. Give my best to Pat. By the way, is BHD for “Big Hairy Dick”?


  23. way to go!

    The ‘wow’ factor keeps reoccurring. The pics, maps and stories make me feel part of the expedition…stay safe. Thinking of you all often.
    with love, Rosanne PS. Dale,I’ll be the first one out on the lookout next more wimps in this family!

  24. trek

    dale and group
    we are following your trip daily. i get butterflies every time i open the site anticipating your progress
    take care
    marilyn & george(from the arizona desert)

  25. Hey there,
    we’d love to hear the plan for the next few days and about Barry & Dave too! Please send Barry my love! Catherine

  26. Heather and Team

    I sit here amazed at the photos and the updates. Just like a great book- the blog is hard to put down and I await the next installment. The entire family has been asking (not a tech savvy family I am afraid)of you and the team’s progress. Keep your spirits up and enjoy the journey! LizP. P.S. Perhaps Dale will share his training program?! (I could use all the help I can get!)

  27. Just to say hi

    Keeping up with the diary enteries and good to hear you are all well. Heather as always we are so proud of you. Love you loads. Elaine (sis) John & Russell xxxxxxxxx

  28. wow

    Congrats to you guys. This is an amazing achievement for anyone, let alone someone who had a heart transplant. good luck to all of you and Merry Christmas

  29. What an incredible journey!

    Dale and team: the scenery looks so amazing, I would love to be there with you all. Following you in spirit every step of the way. Keep well and safe – John O’Neill

  30. My daughters and I just got home from the movie, Happy Feet and I was telling them a doctor from my hospital was in Antarctica right now. We have just looked up your site and are going to follow your progress. Good luck and take care!
    Let us know if you learn any dance steps from some cool penguins!
    Stephanie Bedford RN (MSICU), Emily and Hillary

  31. Hi Pat,
    You guys are there, I cant believe it. When I think of what you are accomplishing I am truly in awe. The pictures are breathtaking but I must say you all look very small next to that big white mountain!! -30 degrees? Never mind putting on lip-gloss (I’d find a way) I cant imagine doing a lot of other things out there at -30!
    Take care and climb safe. Cant wait for the next update.


  32. ho ho

    IAN–I just made cheese biscuits–but I will make some for your return–hope the food is ok but I suspect a little different than the usual!!! Tell Dale that we went to the mess and hall for the TO firemen and we were veery impressed by their culinary skills as well as the quick change into their gear–all very useful now!!!
    Look forward to more photos–MSL

  33. just WOW

    I can’t get over the pictures.I tell myself I should be with you up there, then shake my head and think “there’s no hay for the horses” so I can’t go.So glad to hear you are holding up so well, and we really hope you are enjoying your time up there. Don’t do anyting dumb cause I already booked time in June for us and I expect many campfire stories. Lots of love and good luck. Your more cuddly cousin, Tom

  34. Hi Dale and Team

    Thanks for the maps and great photos…who is running ahead to get the great photos of the team? The topo map is excellent to allow us to get a feel for the terrain. It is good to hear there is sun so you can dress down while hiking…stay dry.
    You are making good progress. Looking forward to the next update.
    The temperature in Thunder Bay has been hovering around 0C, we had rain last week:(:(
    Stay safe…Al and Mary Ellen


    Judging by these photo’s, ALL GOOD THINGS ARE WORTH WAITING FOR!!!
    Between the light and the in-tent snow storms I hope you guys are all getting some sleep…..
    Take good care up there (or should I say down there??),
    Heather, Thanks so much for the great updates,
    Teresa and Sandi

  36. Time to wax poetic

    Dale: I am beyond envious – especially as there is limited snow here and plus temperatures. I want to share a quote from Sigurd Olson as he puts in words so well the feeling of remoteness…”If we can somehow retain places where we can sense the mystery of the unknown, our lives will be richer”. Enjoy! MER

  37. Fingers and toes

    Heather (affectionately known as P_____)I told you I waouldn’t blog it!
    Congrats on your journey thus far. I can see you still have all your fingers still, since you can still type. Good luck on the rest of your travels and hope you clear the headwall safely. See you soon.


  38. Dale and fellow adventures

    Hey Dale,
    All the brothers here are watching with great joy at the challenges you all are overcoming. I think stories of human triumph are always an inspiration to so many and should be made into a movie. Can I play Dale?… Be safe and you can tell the stories at Thompson Is. when we are there with the brothers on June 04/07. Doc Fun

  39. DALE!,

    So far so good. Keep up the good work! We’re all watching the trip from here and enjoying! Glad it’s not freezing!
    Mom O!

  40. Heather Dale and Team

    So glad to see that everything is going well. The pictures are amazing. Donna and I are fighting to see who can get to the computer first to keep up with the trek. Dale, all as we can say is you are amazing. Heather we know you are. Keep up the good work and stay safe. You are always in our prayers for a safe trip. Keep the info coming.

  41. climb that mountain

    anxiously awaiting your next communication.enjoyed maps and pictures. this is more exciting than my tourist flight in 1996 to everest via nepal airways from katmandu. i am no typist please excuse.wish you gods speed and safety.

    laurie thunder bay

  42. safe and sound and tired

    For all of you cyber stalkers I just got a call from
    Dale and they had a big couple of days but everyone is fine although tired. Don’t know if they are trying to race against the clock to be back for Christmas, however everyone is fine and just about to eat supper at 10 pm but they still have the sun,which will disappear within the next hour.

  43. ho ho

    IAN-one of your other charities should have the moniker test your limits–NBS!!!I was at the Nutcracker today and Alexa was dancing -a wonderful experience!! Garth Drabinsky’s granddaughter is Maria but not today–too bad!!
    Hope you did all your last minute Xmas shopping in P.A.!!!
    Jennifer, my niece, just left for Uganda today for a locum–her beau’s aunt is Nancy McKee–maybe your new comrades know her at Mt. Sinai?
    So I bid you adieu and ascend with attitude==MSL

  44. Dale

    Wow, it sounds so amazing up there! Dale, I think the training we did on the Stawamus Chief has really helped you in Antarctica! Thinking of you all, enjoy each minute and keep sending photos! Feliz Navidad,
    Love Laura and Bryce

    1. Hi Heather

      What an education I am getting and the town of Knowlton as I keep everyone informed. Pictures are fantastic. Keep the info coming as much as you can. Biff

  45. Pat et al – safe sound tired

    hi Pat and all.. PHEW! thanks to “Peg” re update was wondering if I should be calling Tom or Donald as to what was up..presume this means you are over headwall and looks from map you have another huge beautiful glacier valley to journey up and then the summit..good there was some hard work and not all sunbathing and sauntering and flaunting your fit bodies in your underwear!..going to make the summiting all that sweeter!xxoo mary ellen

  46. unbelievable

    Hey Heather,

    As I limped back home after my run ended in an embarrassing fall on flat ground !?!–I knew you would appreciate the story–I am glad that your balance is better than mine. Stay healthy.


  47. The Best in the World!

    Greetings! I heard Dale and Dr. Heather interviewed on CBC radio, as well as reading about your mission in the papers. You are all an inspiration! As a mountaineer, I am very envious that you are climbing a stunning part of our planet, and I am also envious that you are being guided by the best in the world! Barry Blanchard and Dave Stark of Yamnuska are simply superb and they will surely get you to wherever you are going.

    Please send them my warmest and most affectionate wishes, and wishing you all deep moments of serenity and bliss. Remember to look up – Barry’s favourite guiding expression is “Up-Up-Up”!
    Margaret Imai-Compton, Toronto

Comments are closed.