Reached the summit of Mount Vinson

We reached the summit of Mount Vinson at 6:35 pm January 9. We left camp in marginal conditions hoping the wind would slow and we would climb above the clouds. Both happened for us and we had a spectacular summit day. It is quite a long way from camp to the summit, a 14 km round trip ( uphill both ways it seemed) with a 1200m elevation gain. We made the round trip in 8.5 hours with 45 minutes on the summit. It was a beautiful view with Antarctica peaks all around us. There was little wind and the temperature was around -28c so pretty good for Vinson. After lots of summit photos we began the long trek back to camp. We did not get back to camp until after 9pm so after a quick snack and a drink we went to bed. It was nice to have a quiet night without the freight train noise of the 70kmh wind rocking the tent all night long. This morning we woke to blue sky and a light wind. We packed up camp and made the 8 hour trip back to base camp. Descending the head wall was hard with and left our legs trembling. Once at low camp we piled out gear into sleds making the downhill slog back to base camp a little more tolerable. As we left low camp we were in beautiful blue sky and as we descended towards base camp we were enveloped in fog. We are now waiting with about 60 other climbers to fly back to Union Glacier but there have been no flights for 8 days due to bad weather.