Mt. Vinson Print This Page

An expedition to Vinson Peak is often called the “Key to Seven Summits”.

No, the mountain itself does not present serious technical problems, but it is very difficult in terms of getting to it. For that there are two weighty reasons: its utter remoteness and the high price of any expedition there. So, a trip to Vinson Massif is exceptionally interesting and prestigious. So few people have done it!

Our program starts in Punta Arenas (Chile). From there an IL-76 aircraft takes us to Patriot Hills in Antarctica. It is an airstrip belonging to Chile and rented by Americans for their tourist flights. From here a small plane brings us to Vinson Massif Base Camp (BC), where we pitch our tents. From here, having fixed Camp 2 and 3, we start for the summit. 
Antarctica is an extremely cold place, even in summer (mild winter rather), but as a compensation we will have the sun all 24 hours, will not need head torches and can save on batteries. We suggest you should arrive in Punta Arenas at least 3 days before the official start of the expedition. Due to the very unstable weather in that area our out-flight cannot be definitely fixed well in advance: the date has to be adjusted to the weather’s whims. The waiting should not be too long (1-3 days), but, alas, a 10 days’ one has been recorded.

Description of the region: The Vinson Massif is a part of the Sentinel Range (Ellsworth Mountains), lying in the west of Antarctica and overlooking the Ronne Ice Shelf. Discovered in 1935 by the American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth, it is the highest massif on the continent (Mt. Vinson - 16,066 ft or 4,897 m) 

Day 1-2 : Fly to Punta Arenas, Chile. Hotel night on day two.
Day 3 : Make final preparations, including equipment check and orientation with ALE, for the flight to Union Glacier. We will also have time to explore the interesting port city of Punta Arenas. Hotel overnight.
Day 4-5 : Weather permitting, we make the 4.5 hour flight to Union Glacier and continue to base camp located on the Branscomb Glacier. The flight from Patriot Hills to base camp will be on a Twin Otter. Once at base camp we organize our camp and prepare for our ascent.
Day 6 : Move to Camp 1. Depending on how the team is feeling on our first day on the trail, we will camp at a major bend in the glacier, at 9,600 feet (2920 meters) or at a camp around the corner from a moderately steep headwall at 10,000 feet (3048 meters).
Day 7 : Based on the progress from Day 6, we will either proceed to the camp at 10,000 feet (3048 meters) or carry loads to high camp at 12,400 feet (3780 meters).
Day 8 : From camp we move up the steep headwall that rises above camp. Moderate slopes lead to the broad col between Vinson and Mount Shinn where we establish high camp at 12,400 feet (3780 meters). Due to the thinning of the atmosphere at Polar Regions, the elevation here will feel higher and may result in some mountain sickness among team members. 
Day 9-13 ( Summit Day ) : From high camp we traverse about 3 miles and gain about 3,600 feet (1100 meters) on our way to the summit. From the summit we are greeted with outstanding views of the Ellsworth Range, the Ronne Ice Shelf and the vast horizons of the icy continent. We spend the night again at high camp. There are four reserve days built into the itinerary in the event of bad weather. 
Day 14-15 : Return to base camp. Fly to Union Glacier. Reserve day.
Day 16 :  Weather permitting, return to Punta Arenas.
Day 17 :  Retrun Home


      Price includes,

  • Meeting and seeing off in Punta Arenas (PA) 
  • Booking hotel in Punta Arenas 
  • briefing before departure to Antarctica 
  • Flights PA – Patriot Hills (PH) – Vinson Massif - BC – PH – PA 
  • Food and lodging in Antarctica 
  • Group equipment for the climb 
  • Climbing guide and supporting staff, doctor for the whole trip 
  • Luggage allowance (25 kg on all flights in Antarctica) 
  • Jacket 
  • Two T-shirts  
  • Chilean multi visa 
  • Flight to Punta Arenas 
  • Accommodation in Punta Arenas
  • Personal camping and climbing equipment   
  • Extra expenses in Punta Arenas entailed by flight delays 
  • Overweight (over 25kg) 
  • Insurance covering climbing to 5000m (no less than 150 000USD of coverage) 


Group equipment for BC (provided by 14 Peak)
  • Mess tent 
  • Tents in higher camps (2-3 members to a tent) 
  • Cooking utensils (gas-stoves, pots and pans) 
  • Satellite phone ($5 per 1 minute)
  • First-aid kit 
  • Solar battery charger
Group climbing equipment (provided by 14Peak) 
  • Gas-stoves 
  • Kitchen utensils 
  • Snow shovels 
  • Tents for high camps 
  • rope (50 m) 
  • walkie-talkies
Personal equipment for BC (not included in the price) 
  • sleeping bag (good for -40 º C) 
  • sleeping mat 2 pax 
  • gas-stove 
  • personal items for washing 
  • personal notebook (if needed) 
Climbing equipment 
  • Crampons (G12 model recommended) 
  • backpack (50-60 liters) 
  • Harness 
  • 6mm cord for prussic knots 
  • screwgate carabiners - 4 
  • collapsible ski poles 
  • thermos 
  • descender (rappel device) 
  • ice-axe 
  • camera 
  • video camera and accessories 
  • accumulators (batteries) 
  • personal eating utensils for high camps

Clothes and footwear 

  • trekking shoes 
  • climbing boots
  • down jacket + down trousers (or down overalls)



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