Sunday’s climb: High Camp

What a day!

We moved to high camp.  It was a long and arduous day; 8 hours – please enjoy the blog as I carried it all in my pack!  Dave, Ian, Dale and I were on one rope, Barry, Pat and Yanick on the other.  Half way up a massive crevasse calved off the mountain – you could hear it, see it, but most disturbingly you could feel it.  It was quite a ways away so we were never in any real danger.

It is cold – oh my it is cold.  It’s about -30 to -35 now, and the sun will disappear shortly resulting in it being about -40 to -50. We are well geared but it is still remarkably cold!  Hence no cook tent, we cook in the vestibule.

Pat and I are in one tent, Barry, Ian and Yanick are in another, and finally Dave and Dale are in the last tent.  One thing you can be sure of – there is no way we are getting up at night to use the outdoor potty.

Tomorrow the plan is to try for the summit – everyone feeling well and weather permitting.

45 Replies to “Sunday’s climb: High Camp”

  1. 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 best, and wishing each of you DEEP moments of SERENITY and BLISS throughout your summit push.
    Remember to look up – Barry’s favourite guiding expression is “Up-Up-Up”!
    Margaret Imai-Compton, Toronto

  2. Big day tomorrow

    Hi Dave,

    We’ll be thinking of you tomorrow as you go for the summit. It’s satisfying, even from this end, to know it’s all finally within reach for you and the team. Meanwhile, the skiing and skating are fabulous here, parties are in full swing in Canmore, and Taylor’s Christmas list is getting longer every day. We miss you and know you’re missing home, but we also know how important this is to you. Be safe! Keep warm! Call soon!
    love, Carole and Taylor

  3. thinking of you all

    Back from 5 days in the mountains and excited to read your last blog.

    We’ve got our fingers crossed and thinking of you sumitting today.

    Best wishes,

    David and Maria

  4. Congratulations

    You guys are such an inspiration! It is hard to believe that after all that waiting and all that training ,you are there on that mountain. Heather, what you say about Dale is so spot on. You sound like a dream team. It must have been some senation when the crevasse opened. So pleased that the earth moved for you all! It’d be a bit of a damp squid, if you don’t have moments like that. Thank you for the reports. It is great following your progress.

    Best to all
    Jim and Peter (London)

  5. dal & kindred climbers

    thanks so much for carrying the blog and taking the time when you must be sapped and cold to report really brings us “armchair climbers” to the mountain. Quote from austin age 6 “does dale know the other pole is where it’s at this time of year”? Indeed, godspeed to the “top of the bottom”!!happy fitz

  6. Amazing

    Good morning – such a Christmas gift you have given us – since your departure, the National Post has taken secondary place in the morning reading. How excited you must be to be nearing the summit – do hope the fish and brewis cooked by Pat doesn’t bog you down, but it will keep you warm. Travel safely! Linda Goldsack

  7. final ascent

    Ian and fellow climbers:

    You are amazing! We are all so proud of you! Give everyone a lick for us.

    Hershey and Drop

  8. Heather
    Thanks for carrying all the technical stuff that allows us be stay with you. I still can’t figure out how you are typing in that weather.ah maybe you have voice recognition.anyway thank you so much. The pictures are so beautiful and you can feel the cold. Thanks Dale for the call last night.Climbing for 8 hours in that weather and altitude is a very tall order. Take good care. I’m so grateful that Dale is there being part of this incredible adventure.

  9. go for the gold

    Well done Heath!
    I won’t even mention the weather here cause it is certainly not winter weather and hence it would only be fair if we were in a deep freeze while you were in a deep freeze but… the case. It sounds like the preparations have done you guys remarkably well. Today I will be hoping for clear sky’s and an easy climb! Good luck


  10. Ian’s Trekkies

    Ian and all,
    Congratulations on reaching high camp and appreciate the effort in bringing blog equipment along! Good luck reaching the summit. Warmest, H,G M n EM

  11. Hope you also carried the Highland Single Malt with blog!

    I really cannot imagine how exhilirating , and how exhausting climbing for over 7 hours feels??? Ropes, mega elevation , crevasses, -900 degrees (might as well be), YIKES! Thanks for carrying the 6,000 lbs, plus the blog, and I am amazed in the short time that you all have arrived to Vinson that you are already going to try and summit! You all really do ROCK!!! Happy to hear everyone is well, especially Dale. Wondering what his heart rate is at that elevation and if it varies much?
    Just wondering… do you have any songs running through your mind… as you climb.. the song “What comes up must come down” comes to mind , remember that??
    Sending warm Toronto love and support!

  12. Hoping today is your day!

    Love the pics….. you can (almost) feel the cold and hear the crunching in the snow when you look at them.

    Keeping our fingers and toes crossed…..having only positive thoughts…..and praying that today is your day! Wishing you all a very safe and successful day! Keep warm. Be safe. Stay sane. edl

  13. Greetings from Thunder Bay

    Hello Dale,

    We have been reading the daily blog and marveling at the great pictures of your adventure! What and incredible experience on an amazing landscape. The whole community is proud of your efforts and are looking forward to your safe return with the many stories you must tucking away and waiting to tell. When you return, how about leading a winter climb up the Chimney? I’m sure that would a piece of cake for you right now! Good luck and we are all pulling for you!

    John and Debbie Sims

  14. You Are All Heroes!

    Awesome! What a team! It is fantastic to follow your journey. Thank you Heather for sharing it all with the blog. I can only imagine what you are going through, having lived in Alaska where it can be bitter, where you are is another matter. Dale you are a strong man and we are proud of you and happy for you and what you are accomplishing. Go man go! I bet it is sure colder than Dr. Daly’s biopsy room. Have a successful climb, a safe journey and take care. Billy and Betty

  15. You da man dad!!

    You guys are crusin’ now. It looks beautiful there. Dad, wave in one of the pictures so I know which one is you.

  16. hi Heather

    Hi Heather, just found your website – it is GREAT!!!! I hope you reach the summit today, I will check daily. Meanwhile it is 6 degrees celius here in green Nova Scotia and I am hoping for snow for Santa. Maybe you can arrange to send some of it here.

    Merry Christmas
    cathy kells

  17. Heather and Team

    Hey Heather: You know we all enjoy the blog (it is a morning, afternoon and evening ritual)so thanks for continuing to carry all the stuff with you! Glad to hear that all are doing well..Best wishes to the team for a successful summit today…enjoy the journey. Be safe. LizP – P.S. Just love the pics!

  18. Dale and Team

    Awesome picture…Thunder Bay is almost looking at a green Christmas…Dale take in all the smow you can because we sure don’t have that much here…we are reading and praying for the team’s safety…thank you for these updates…Gary Cooper


    Hi Dave and gang,
    I, too, was worried when no word for two days—thank you so much, Heather, for your blog. It is so unbelievable to be able to follow your progress. It is the first time we, Dave’s family, have been able to actually follow one of his adventures step by step. It does make it more anxiety-producing, given his chosen profession! I am so thrilled that you are about to summit and reach your goal. I am very proud of you, Dave, and of everyone you are with. You are all incredibly inspiring. Enjoy the summit!!!!
    Love Lyn

  20. What an adventure!

    Ian, was just told of your adventure by Helen and Gary and am fascinated by what I’ve read so far. Look forward to keeping up with the trek.
    Best to all
    Paul & Carol McFarlane

  21. Bravo!

    Hi there,
    My name is Jennifer. I live in the Canadian Arctic in Igloolik, NU. Bev Carlisle passed on your website knowing I’d be interested in following your adventure. I was her daughter, Kim’s teacher a couple of years ago.

    You and I are almost on opposite poles of the earth! And here we are in cyberspace!

    This summer I did a back-packing trip on Baffin Island and found it very challenging. I remember thinking it would be so much harder if it was winter, so I muscled on. So to see you doing it in such cold temperatures….WOW!

    I applaud the efforts of your team and look forward to continued updates – they are a regular visit on my daily blog reading.


  22. Shipper

    Dale……awesome…awesome…awesome… all in your troop…all the best in your attempt today.
    GOOD LUCK!!!!!

    B Matson

  23. Thank you!

    Hi Tish and a very special hello to Heather and to the rest of the team,
    Having this blog to guide us supporters along too is truly amazing. Heather thank you very much for taking the blog with you we all really appreciate the contacts and updates. I hope the summit is everything and more that you all have dreamed of. I love you Tish. Stay strong and warm everyone. God Bless….Mom is wearing off on me.
    Eileen, Mark, Jonathan and Sarah


    You never know who’s listening!!! I was working out this morning at my gym, and updating pals on your adventure . A woman interrupts and says are you talking about Heather Ross and Pat Murphy?…. well she works at TGH Cardiology… Karen Nelson is her name. I promised her I would say hi to you Heather and to you Pat. I informed her that Pat had attained a personal best! She was thrilled. People pulling for all of you everywhere!
    Heather , posse says hi and good luck , Danise Phillips, Cathy Hyde, Colleen Campbell, Marilyn Linton , Dee Dee Dowling, Mary Falcone, Elaine Randall.

  25. Congratulations

    Hi Pat and Friends
    Hope all is going well. We are all very proud and amazed at what you are doing. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Be safe and hope to see you soon.
    Ted, Angie, Peter and Luke Galka

  26. Way to go!

    Ian and team!

    You are an inspiration to the next generation and future generations to come. I have been following your journey with accelerating excitement, as you “rise to the top” once again. What’s next?

    Good luck on reaching the summit and be safe!


  27. go shipper go!

    as usual we are following your adventure with the most interest humanly possible. you will be happy to know that darren smallwood
    , doug wright, joe grz., carol and i went for a run this a.m. and discussed your progress over a couple of pops and a sauna afterwards. (probably shouldn’t have mentioned the sauna!) darren and carol tackled mountain rd. in -15c with a bit of a wind. seems kind of moot now that i type it. good luck and God’s speed brother, looking forward to your return and sharing a pop and some stories.


  28. Good Luck!

    Good day, climbers! I’m a good friend of Ian’s, living in Napa Valley, CA. I just discovered that you are making daily blog entries… and have spent the morning catching up on the expedition so far.
    If you’d all commit to spend the next few months there as a group… and agree to work spit shifts… I think I can get Starbucks to open a Mt. Vinson location….

    Good luck on reaching the summit! We’re all rooting for you here northern California!

    Jim White

  29. Message from Jonathan

    Auntie Pat,
    Just wondering if you will be riding a slide on the way down. (I guess that seems the simple way to a seven year old kid!)

  30. Bruce Rodgers

    What an amazing journey for all of you…and for such an amazing cause. Dr. Ross, please give a moment of thought to my Dad when you reach that summit! I’m sure he is waiting up there for all of you and is just so proud to know that you are climbing a mountain to help others in the future. We had our Rodgers Christmas celebration this past weekend and wore the climb sweatshirts Sandy got for all of us…good luck, you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Take care of each other!

  31. DearPat,

    We are in the new Apple store on 5th Ave. This would be Tom’s idea of heaven. Wish you much luck and safety. Following you on the web every day. Hope you have made it to the summit today. Looking forward to having you home. Love you,

    Helen and Donald.

  32. Rock,Rock, On Hip Hip Hurrah

    Man I mentioned to you a couple days ago HAVE FUN..Bull-SH…this is real torture. No one in the world except climbers, what it is climbing over 10,000 feet elevation without oxygen……What and amazing accomplishment…Some people, certain people look at this as a fantastic high..I hope the hell you don’t attempt mount everest next. The group around here have a hard time coping with the idea of two or three days without a blog message …Congrats….congrats….to all the team members because hopefully when you read this, damn it, damn it…you will have come off the summit safely…… On a positive note hopefully going down will be much easier?????? Nelson and Therese

  33. Hello from Barrie

    Dale – Greetings & Congrats from Aunt Eileen (Mom). She is very excited and very proud of you. You are an inspiration. Chase your dreams. Stephen & Janis Bishop

  34. Go Dale Go

    Tomorrow is the big day Shipper,I know you can do with your great team with you. Amazing looking scenery. Look forward to lots of pictures and stories when you”re back in T.Bay. Chris

  35. Go Team Go

    Pat and Team
    By the time you read this you will hopefully be at camp – back from a successful summit climb. I had trouble concentrating on anything today just thinking about all of you and the amazing climax to this journey. We are looking forward to the next instalment and hearing of your success. I am not sure how you will find the words to describe how it felt to touch the sky. Kyle had the same question as Jonathan – are they going to slide back down? What a ride that would be. All our love, Debi, Henry and Kyle

  36. So proud to know you Pat and Heather and also so proud of all of you and your accomplishments, what a journey you are completing, its awsome, I look forward to your blogs every day and eagerly report everyone of them to the OR Staff that I am working with…Won’t go into detail about how wonderfully warm the weather is here while you are all so cold but we are all enjoying it…I dont know what else to say I am so in awe of all of you…be safe and enjoy the rest of the climb..

  37. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

    I remember when we went to Alberta was -28, but thats a sheer infraction to this.Hey maybe barry can cuddle upto to Ian and keep him warm at night! :O).

    Heart Tx-2-28-05

  38. Simply Amazing

    The pictuers are out of this world and so is the entire team for taking on this great challenge. A special hello to Mr. Delaney from everyone at the office and best of luck tomorrow on your charge to the Summit.

  39. The excitement never ends!

    Hey Dave! Have to admit,this live action adventure has been better than any serial drama on air at the moment. That lapse in news from Heather this weekend had us all pinned to the screen waiting with baited breath. not just those in Thunderbay, but a whole bunch of us all over North America us seemed to let out a huge communal breath of relief to see you back on and safe this morning…Cold and tired yes, but safe. And surprise!..ready to summit no less! The excitement never ends. Bless you for tugging the extra load around Heather. So..while we were waiting… got to read all those other comments coming in to the site and I’m getting a real feel and sense of all the family and friends you are all surrounded by. What about a “testyourlimits” ‘routing party’ get together for a post climb recap in TO when this is all over? Could it be possible? Seems like this adventure has brought lots of people together in one common goal at such a special time of the year.. Anyway, hope it was a great day everyone! Now bring them back safe and sound D. ….K and the boys in TO.

  40. Dale (You ROCK & ROLL )

    Now tell me this….you are 200 m away from the Summit ???? don ‘t you have anothe 4 hrs walk to the High Camp….how did you get back down ….to HIGH Camp….CARRY the LADIES on your BACK ….THE FIREMEN that you are….Ha Ha Ha just kidding ….YOU ARE THE MAN—AMAZING,AMAXING,AMAXINGGGGGGGGG SAYING THIS WITH TEARS, TEARS’ flowing down my facing ……Nelson in the comfort of my warm house…….SUPER TEAM WORK GUYS….thats what its all about now get all your ASS…… HOME SAFE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Congratulations to you Dale and to all your team. We are thrilled by your progress and proud that you have reached such lofty heights. We look forward to seeing you at Silver Islet and hearing about your adventure. Ron and Jane Ann Clarkson

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