Mount Vinson

Antarctica's Highest Peak

Imagine yourself on the summit of Mount Vinson 16,050 ft (4892 m), the highest peak in Antarctica and one of the coveted Seven Summits. Majestic, snow-covered peaks stand guard over vast glaciers below and in the distance, snow meets sky along a noticeably curved horizon. This is a moment to savor. All of the challenges you faced to get here only highlight the vast beauty before you and the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving the extraordinary.

Duration
12 Days
Activity Level
Price
$41,500
Upcoming Departures
Nov. 26, 2016
Dec. 07, 2016
Dec. 18, 2016
Dec. 29, 2016
Jan. 09, 2017

Overview

Imagine yourself on the summit of Mount Vinson 16,050 ft (4892 m), the highest peak in Antarctica and one of the coveted Seven Summits. Majestic, snow-covered peaks stand guard over vast glaciers below and in the distance, snow meets sky along a noticeably curved horizon. This is a moment to savor. All of the challenges you faced to get here only highlight the vast beauty before you and the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving the extraordinary.

Mount Vinson lies in the aptly named Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, deep in the interior of Antarctica. It was first summited on December 18, 1966 and for many years did not see a second ascent due to the challenges of accessing its remote location. In 1985, we pioneered logistics to support a private expedition to Mount Vinson and 30+ years later, we continue to guide climbers to the top of the bottom of the world!

You’ll ascend the Branscomb Shoulder Route which has become the “standard route”, climbing gentle glaciers, 40° snow covered slopes, an exposed high plateau, and spectacular summit ridge. The rate of ascent and daily climbing plan set by your experienced mountain guide will be geared toward the safety and success of your climb. To climb Mount Vinson is to challenge yourself on a mountain like no other in one of the most remote regions on Earth.


Weather

The interior of Antarctica has a cold, dry, windy climate. Average mid-season temperatures at our base camp range from 10F to 25F (-12C to -4C ). On a sunny windless day it can feel quite warm but, when the wind blows, you will be glad of warm layers and a wind jacket. Temperatures can drop as low as -22F (-30C) in early November.

Mount Vinson climbers should prepare for extreme temperatures -40F (-40C) and severe storms.


Activity Level

Extremely Strenuous

Extremely strenuous trips include skiing and climbing expeditions in the most remote corners of Antarctica, where physiological altitude may exceed 11,000 feet (3350m) for many days in a row, and temperatures may drop below (–40°F / –40°C), with severe wind chill and storms. You will be active for 8-12 hours a day carrying or hauling heavy loads for many days in a row. You must have the physical ability to cover a minimum daily distance and the mental stamina to continue in extreme conditions when you are physically tired. Technical skill, a high level of strength and aerobic fitness, and commitment to a dedicated pre-trip training program are required.


Inclusions

What's Included
  • Airport transfers in Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Round trip flight to Antarctica from Punta Arenas
  • Round trip flight to Vinson Base Camp from Union Glacier
  • Meals and tented accommodation in Antarctica
  • Group camping and climbing equipment
  • Mountain Guide
  • Celebration dinner and Certificate of Achievement
  • Checked luggage up to 55 lb (25 kg)
What's Not Included
  • Insurance coverage—personal, medical,evacuation, or otherwise
  • Commercial flights to and from Punta Arenas
  • Airport transfers outside of Punta Arenas
  • Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
  • Additional flights within Antarctica
  • Personal equipment and clothing
  • Expenses incurred due to delays
  • Luggage over 55 lb (25 kg)
  • Satellite phone charges
Arrival Day: Punta Arenas, Chile

Pre-Departure Day: Luggage Pick-Up & Briefing

Day 1: Fly to Antarctica

Day 2-3: Vinson Base Camp

Day 4-5: Base Camp to Low Camp

Day 6: Low Camp to High Camp

Day 7-8: High Camp to Summit

Day 9: Descent to Base Camp

Day 10-11: Return to Union Glacier

Day 12: Return to Chile

Flexible Departure Day: Fly Home

*Subject to change based on weather and flight conditions.

Skills and Experience

Although not technically difficult, Mount Vinson is a serious mountain due to its elevation, cold and remoteness. For our standard Mount Vinson Experience, we only accept participants whose mountaineering resumes indicate that they are capable of reaching the summit of Vinson under normal conditions. We look for experience on other high, cold mountains like Denali or Mount Logan. However, we also take into account winter alpine climbing, ice-climbing, ski-touring and expedition experience gained in other areas. There are no hard and fast rules and we look at each prospective participant on a case-by-case basis.

For those whose experience doesn’t quite meet our criteria, or who need to refresh their skills, we recommend training with an ALE guide in the months leading up to the Antarctic season. This training can be arranged in a variety of mountain areas from the European Alps to the Cascades and can last from a weekend to a week. The idea is to round off an existing skill-set by providing specific training in a few key areas.

For novice mountaineers, we offer Prep Vinson which begins with a training course at Union Glacier, before moving on to Mount Vinson. This approach gives the greatest chance of reaching Vinson’s summit. This option isn’t for everyone, as it takes a lot of fitness training, gear preparation and discussion with our mountain operations staff. Contact us for more information.


Trip Code VINS1
To Antarctica Nov 26 2016
From Antarctica Dec 07 2016
Duration 12 Days
Cost $41,500
Availability Limited Space Left
Trip Code VINS2
To Antarctica Dec 07 2016
From Antarctica Dec 18 2016
Duration 12 Days
Cost $41,500
Availability Limited Space Left
Trip Code VINS3
To Antarctica Dec 18 2016
From Antarctica Dec 29 2016
Duration 12 Days
Cost $41,500
Availability Limited Space Left
Trip Code VINS4
To Antarctica Dec 29 2016
From Antarctica Jan 09 2017
Duration 12 Days
Cost $41,500
Availability Waiting List
Trip Code VINS5
To Antarctica Jan 09 2017
From Antarctica Jan 20 2017
Duration 12 Days
Cost $41,500
Availability Waiting List
Pricing Note

We reserve the right to revise our prices in the event of significant changes in the price of aviation kerosene and aircraft charter rates.

Mount Vinson Maps

Vinson Map Detail

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Mount Vinson Add-ons

Prep Vinson

$4,000 - $7,000
Details

Ski Last Degree Add-On

$41,450
Details

South Pole Flight Add-On

$28,600
Details

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Our Camps

Union Glacier Camp

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Vinson Base Camp

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Field Camps

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