Located deep within the frozen Antarctic continent in the Ellsworth Mountains, Vinson was the last of the Seven Summits to be discovered and climbed, in 1957. The normal route to the summit is a technically moderate climb with a few steep 40° sections. However, Vinson should not be underestimated, as the combination of isolation and potentially extreme conditions, means you need considerable mountaineering experience to take part. As an overall experience, climbing Vinson can be likened to the top 3,000m of a major 8,000m Himalayan peak, with the cold and commitment, but without the altitude.
The expedition begins with a flight in a Russian jet-powered Ilyushin-76 from Punta Arenas in Chile, to a blue ice runway at Union Glacier. From Union Glacier you take a Twin Otter aircraft to base camp on the Branscomb Glacier, to the south of the Ellsworth Mountains. From base camp you follow the glacier easily to a headwall two hours from Camp 1. Steeper climbing through this leads to high camp on a col between Vinson and Mount Shinn, a prominent mountain to the north. Summit day is long, climbing fixed lines above the col to reach the summit pyramid of Vinson, which can be traverses from right to left.
Vinson can be combined with The South Pole - The Last Degree. Following the ascent of Vinson, you return to Union Glacier before being flown to 89° south. This 100Km ski journey normally takes between 6 - 9 days. Please contact us for a quote.
Join us on Vinson
- Departures to Vinson in late November - January
- 3 days set aside for a summit attempt in case of bad weather
- Flights arranged from the UK if required
- Advice from Jagged Globe staff who have climbed the mountain
- Benefit from our ATOL protection
Although comparatively modest in terms of altitude and technical difficulty, Vinson offers a major challenge due to the harshness of its climate and its extremely remote location. Climbers wishing to join the expedition and have a good chance of success must be able to:
- Demonstrate good mountaineering skills with no less than 20 previous Alpine, or winter mountaineering days
- Be well organised and self-reliant
- Show previous expedition experience
- Carry a 20Kg pack and pull a 25Kg sled at the same time
- Perform self-rescue from a crevasse and participate actively in a crevasse rescue