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Watkins Mountains First Winter Ascents of Cone and Dome Expedition (leader: Paul Walker)
27th February 2010
The group left Constable Point airport at 15.00 and arrived on the glacier at 16.30. It's snowing lightly and very cold. Set up camp and settled in.
28th February 2010
Currently at 2420m altitude waiting for the cloud to break before moving to advanced base camp.
1st March 2010
Snowing heavily today complete white out conditions so not going anywhere yet!
2nd March 2010
Light snow this morning but the weather's starting to break this afternoon! Hoping to move to advanced base camp tomorrow.
4th March 2010
Finally moved camp to day. Incredibly hard day the snow was so deep it was like pulling the pulks through sand! Unfortunately not managed to set up camp quite as high as we would've liked due to the difficult conditions. Tomorrow will be a sorting out camp day and hoping to make an attempt on Cone on Saturday.
5th March 2010
Gale force winds all last night and today with blizzard and white out conditions. Everyone is fine and well holed up in tents. The group have dug a snow cave just in case the tents get whipped away!
6th March 2010
Winds have started to ease off now and skies are clear. Looking promising for Cone tomorrow.
7th March 2010
Made an attempt on Cone today unfortunately had to turn back 180m from the summit The day had just taken too long and to push on would've meant losing the light. Only just made it back to camp as it it got too dark. Amazing Northern Lights both last night and tonight!
8th March 2010
White out again today. Everyone is resting and drying kit in their tents. All the down suits were iced up yesterday it was so cold!
9th March 2010
Still in white out today, weather becoming calmer by evening but still limited visibility. Will be making another attempt on Cone tomorrow if the weather clears up.
10th March 2010
Set out at 07.40 this morning for Cone, beautiful blue sky day but windy. As we reached the ridge it became clear we weren't going to be able to go any further. Snow was snow deep we were practically swimming in it, gale force winds and massive avalanche risk. Didn't get back to camp till after 22.00 well after dark.
11th March 2010
Made our way back to base camp at the Twin Otter landing point today ready for collection. Weather is much milder but slightly overcast.