- Experience the rush of flying in a Russian cargo plane and landing on an ice runway.
- Be part of the amazing community of climbers, skiers, researchers, and adventures that pass through Union Glacier camp.
- Peer out over the seemingly never-ending sea of ice from high camp.
- Visit the unique and hospitable city of Punta Arenas at the southern tip of South America.
- Take in the view of the mighty and breath-taking Ellsworth range from the summit of the tallest peak in Antarctica.
- Tour the American science base at the South Pole as you finish your ski south.
Antarctica is truly the last frontier. This continent, a mass of rock and ice covering 5,405,400 square miles (14 million sq km) of area, including the South Pole, is larger than Europe. Antarctica has no government, no permanent population, is not ruled by any one country, and is the only continent without an indigenous population. The landmass is controlled under the Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959 and in force as of 1962. Antarctica is a desert that mainly consists of ice. It also has the distinction of being the highest continent, as defined by overall average height of the surface, due to the thick ice layer covering all land except for the tallest mountain ranges. It, of course, is the coldest continent on Earth. We begin our expedition in the small Chilean city of Punta Arenas where we do final gear checks before flying to Antarctica. Here we will transfer to a smaller plane for the flight to base camp before ascending the peak. Our route consists of low angle glacier walking down low with some moderately steep fixed rope and ridge walking up high. Overall the climbing is incredibly enjoyable, albeit cold, and very “do-able.” Climbing the Seven Summits is committed to providing the highest quality Vinson expedition. You can be assured that it will be both challenging and fun, a true once in a lifetime. Rest assured that our professional priorities are first and foremost “Safety” and “Success” which we achieve by outfitting our teams with the best logistics and the most capable, qualified and seasoned guides in the world. Mike is pleased to boast a 100% expedition success rate on Vinson of the expeditions he has led. Who you choose as the leader of your Vinson expedition will be one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Sound leadership is the difference between a great expedition and a miserable experience. Vinson is a potentially dangerous mountain and climbing at such extreme temperatures is very serious. This expedition will be organized and led by Mike Hamill, Owner of Climbing the Seven Summits. Mike has personally guided nearly 20 Vinson expeditions, 10 Mt. Everest expeditions, 23 X 8,000m expeditions, has 6 Everest summits, currently holds the record for most non-Sherpa summits of Cho Oyu, and has written the guide book to “Climbing the Seven Summits,” making him one of the most experienced guides on the mountain. Well over 100 summits have been notched on Vinson under Mike’s direct leadership. Climbing the Seven Summits expeditions are meticulously organized with the best logistics. We feel that our guides are an incredibly important to our success. CTSS employs only world-class leaders who are known for their focus on client care and experience. Vinson is a serious undertaking meant for climbers with prior experience in the cold and some climbing skills. Guides will work with clients throughout the expedition to provide logistics, guidance, and information to best ensure the clients summit success.
A Note from Expedition Leader Mike Hamill
Welcome to “Climbing the Seven Summits” Vinson Massif Expedition! When people ask me what my favourite climb of the Seven Summits, I say hands-down Vinson. From flying to the “ice” in a Russian cargo plane to looking out over the sea of ice, it is like no other experience on earth. I personally lead all of our Vinson expeditions and have been climbing this mountain for over 16 years and promise to draw on decades of first hand guiding experience to offer you the highest chance of success at an exceptional value. Best regards, Mike Hamill Owner and Lead Guide, Climbing the Seven Summits