Climb Vinson, the Highest Peak in Antarctica, with International Mountain Guides
This is the trip of a lifetime. Our goal is the highest peak on the Antarctic continent. Vinson Massif (16,067') requires a solid mountaineering background and a true spirit of adventure. Technical difficulties are not great, but the extremes of the Antarctic environment require team members to have reasonable crampon, rope travel and ice ax experience. Prior time spent cold weather camping and carrying loads is also required to join our Vinson Massif expedition.
As equipment for this expedition is extremely important, one full day will be spent in Punta Arenas doing equipment checks prior to our flight to the Ice.
We have been conducting trips to Vinson since 1988. Very few guide services have that length of Antarctic experience.
For Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success...
—Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Ad
Vinson Massif Expedition Highlights
We fly to Punta Arenas, Chile where the trip begins. From here, we fly in a chartered Russian jet to the Patriot Hills at 80 degrees S. Latitude. We contract with Adventure Network International for this flight and all our logistics in Antarctica. We then fly in a ski-equipped twin-engine Otter to the base of Vinson Massif at 79 degrees S. Latitude. Vinson Base Camp is located approximately 660 miles from the South Pole. The pilots are Antarctic experts. The trip will take a minimum of 20 days (weather permitting) and will be open to only six experienced climbers.
Two camps will be required above base camp. We establish each of these camps by making a carry to the new camp prior to moving up. The climbing will consist of extensive cramponing on moderately steep slopes. The ability to camp and take care of yourself in extreme conditions is very important. Temperatures can range to minus 40°. Think of Vinson as a short Mt. McKinley climb.
Antarctica is an amazing place. It's as close as you will ever get to another planet without leaving this one. Vinson is one of the most unique of the Seven Summits adventures. We hope you will seriously consider joining us on a trip to The Ice.
Day Itinerary Day 01 Depart from the United States. Day 02 Arrive in Santiago and connect with flights to Punta Arenas, Chile. Night spent at our hotel in Punta Arenas. Day 03 Final equipment checks and preparations. Night spent in Punta Arenas. Day 04 Flight to Patriot Hill, Antarctica. Approx. 6 hours. Transfer as soon as weather permits to Vinson Base Camp in a twin engine Otter. Camp at Vinson Base. (7,000 ft.) Day 05 Carry to Camp 1. (9,500 ft.) We cache gear here and descend to Vinson Base for the night. Day 06 Probable rest day. Day 07 Move to Camp 1 and set up camp there. Day 08 Carry to Camp 2 at the col between Vinson and Mt. Shinn. (12,500 ft.) This is the location of our high camp and we leave a cache here and then descend to Camp 1. Day 09 Probable rest day. Day 10 Move to Camp 2 and set up our high camp. Day 11 Weather and health permitting, we will make a summit bid. We will return to Camp 2 for the night. Day 12 Pack up all gear and descend to Vinson Base Camp. This takes the bulk of the day. We camp here at base camp for the night. Day 13 Return flight to the Patriot Hills and connect with the transport plane for our return flight to Punta Arenas. Night spent at the hotel. Day 14 Fly from Punta Arenas to Santiago and connect with flights to the United States. Day 15 Arrive home. Day 16 – 20 These are contingency days that will be available to us for weather delays, additional acclimatization days or simply days for more climbing. The schedule gives us a fairly good cushion to deal with any unexpected delays or occurrences.
Totally fun and fulfilling climb of Mt Vinson with IMG, summiting early January 2014. Greg Vernovage and Aaron Mainer guided us perfectly. Very safe, totally beautiful, really fun teammates. I just do not have enough good things to say about this expedition. It is cold down there... really cold... but all the systems are in place to deal with it. If you can afford Vinson, this is an option to consider very carefully. Summit day video here: https://youtu.be/3ZNNncOoh8Q