An expedition to Vinson Peak is often called the “Key to 7 Summits”. The mountain itself does not present serious technical problems, but it is very difficult to even reach it. Mount Vinson is very remote and therefore any expedition is very expensive. The rewards are great: climbing the highest summit of Antarctica is an incredible experience in itself and for many the final step to reaching their 7 summits goal.
A trip to Vinson Massif is ...
Hotel booking in Punta Arenas Briefing before departure to Antarctica Flights PA – Union Glacier (UG) and back by Ilyushin-76 plane Flight Union Glacier - BC Vinson - Union Glacier Flight Union Glacier - BC Sydley - Union Glacier Food and accommodation in Antarctica Public equipment for climbing and base camp Guide from 7 Summits Club to climb in Antarctica Transportation of 25 kg to Antarctica Top climb medal Team jacket (Polartec&Windbloc) with 7 summits Club logo. T-shirt with 7 summits Club logo
Price does not include
Chilean multiple entry visa (when we leave for Antarctica, you are going through immigration and officially leaving Chile and will, therefore, need another visa to re-enter after the climb.) International flights to Punta Arenas, Chile (IATA code: PUQ). Accommodation and meals in Punta Arenas (we will reserve any hotel you like, but you are responsible for the costs). Personal camping and climbing clothing and equipment. Extra expenses in Punta Arenas due to flight delays before or after the expedition. Extra expenses due to an early return from Antarctica for whichever reason. Excess weight, over 25kg (which includes hand luggage!); excess weight is currently charged at USD $ 77 per kilo (!) Medical and evacuation insurance covering climbing to 5000m (with at least 300,000USD in coverage)
Santiago, Chile - Punta Arenas - Union Glacier - Vinson Massif Base Camp – Summit - Vinson Massif BC – Union Glacier – Sidley BC - Summit - Sidley BC - Union Glacier - Punta Arenas - Santiago, Chile
An expedition to Vinson Peak is often called the “Key to the 7 Summits”. The mountain itself does not present serious technical problems, but it is very difficult to even reach it. Mount Vinson is very remote and therefore any expedition is very expensive. The rewards is great: climbing the highest summit of Antarctica is an incredible experience in itself and for many the final step to reaching their 7 summits goal.
A trip to Vinson Massif is exceptionally interesting, beautiful and prestigious. So far very few people have done it and for most, it is the highlight of their "7 summits quest".
Our program starts in Punta Arenas (Chile). From there, a special Ilyushin-76 aircraft takes us to the Union Glacier camp in Antarctica and lands on the ice (with wheels).
From the Union Glacier camp, a small ski-equipped plane brings us to Vinson Massif Base Camp (BC), where we pitch our tents. From here we start the ascent of Mount Vinson, using another 2 intermediate camps before attempting to reach the summit of Mount Vinson, the highest point of Antarctica.
Antarctica is an extremely cold place, even in summer, but as compensation, we will have sunlight all day and night, so 24-hours daylight! You will not need head torches and can save on batteries.
We recommend that you arrive in Punta Arenas (Chile) at least 3 days before the official start of the expedition, so you will be ready for a quick departure to Antarctica. Due to the very unstable weather in the area (we fly over the infamous Drake Passage), our flights cannot be definitely planned in advance; the date and flight time is determined by the weather. Sometimes we leave early, but often there are delays as well. The waiting should not be too long (1-3 days), but rare delays of 10 days have 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 and the highest peak of Antarctica is Mount Vinson - 16,066 ft or 4,897 m.
Note that the itinerary below is just a guideline. We will adapt it as needed depending on weather conditions, acclimatisation of the team members etc. The flights could be combined on the same day if needed, more time could be spent in some camps or alternatively, the expedition can be much shorter if all goes well and you could be back in Chile ahead of schedule.
Mount Sidley (4181 m) – the highest point of the Mary Bird Land, in very rarely visited area. It is officially recognized as the highest volcano of Antarctica, one of the “Seven volcanos of the World”. Mt.Sidley - a large mountain, with a huge caldera, which forms a wall height of 1200 meters, the opposite slopes of the mountains are flat and could easily be reached on skis. A layer of ice in the area reaches is a three-kilometer thick. There is no actual volcanic activity in the region, according to scientists last eruption occurred about 4.7 million years ago.
The flight times and dates are not fixed and are dependent on the combined weather in Antarctica, the Drake Passage and in Southern Patagonia. Normally the delay is less than 3 days on either side of the expedition, but rare delays of 10 days have occurred in the past, though the changing of main camp position from Patriot Hills to Union Glacier has limited delays a lot.
Any delay will not stop the expedition, but they might start and end later than planned. You should be flexible and should not have vital appointments until at least 2 weeks after the scheduled end of the Vinson Expedition. If you run out of time and cannot join your delayed flight to Antarctica, you will lose your payment and spot and there will be no refund or alternative place on a future climb. On the other hand, if the weather cooperates and the climbers are doing well, then we might be back in Chile several days ahead of schedule. So, in any case, make sure you have flexible international flights that allow re-scheduling.
Tips guidelines (important information!)
You entrust your life, health, your time and money to the guides. And the guides take this responsibility for you and for the success of the whole trip. They are doing this 24 hours per day. 10-20 USD per day is expected as the normal amount of tips for the Guides and the staff of the program. If you liked everything about the trip, please don't forget to thank them. You can give the tips directly to the Main Guide and he will distribute it among the staff; additionally, you can thank specific staff members.
Necessary travel papers (documents)
Passport with 6 months validity after the return flight.
Filled in special forms for visiting Antarctica (we will assist).
Chilean multiple entry visa if needed for your nationality.
By air and by land
The price includes all flights in Antarctica.
Return flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica
Luggage allowance for these flights (hand + checked luggage) is 25 kg, excess luggage is $77/kg
Group equipment is divided equally among the members to carry during the ascent.
We can reserve any hotel in Punta Arenas for you, from 2 to 4 stars, or you can do it online yourself.
In Antarctica we stay in strong double tents, 2-3 members per tent.
We buy all the necessary food in Punta Arenas and the guides cook in the mess tent in BC and in their tents on the route. The guide coordinates and assists.
White gas (4 liters per person) is provided for use in BC and in the higher camps.
One guide per 3-5 clients.
Health and medical insurance
The group will have a first-aid kit.
Each member must have medical insurance that covers altitude (5000m), 'dangerous sports' and evacuation with a coverage of at least 300,000 USD.
Antarctic summer: when it is sunny the temperature inside a tent is from 0°C to +15°C. Snow storms are frequent; then the temperature can quickly drop to -35°C. Near the summit it can be -40 degrees Celsius/Fahrenheit.
Hotel in Punta Arenas USD $100-150 per day
Meals in Punta Arenas USD $50-100 per day
Luggage over 25 kg (including hand luggage) – 70 USD per kg
At Union Glacier Camp you can buy airtime on shared satellite phones or you can bring your own. The guide will have a satellite phone for emergency only, but you can use it against a per-minute fee.
Possibility of renting personal equipment
Please let us know well in advance if you need to rent any gear. The shops in Punta Arenas have limited choice and stock.
Group equipment for BC (provided by 7 Summits Club)
• Mess tent
• Shared tents in higher camps (2-3 members per tent).
• Cooking utensils (gas-stoves, pots and pans).
• Satellite phone ($5 per minute).
• First-aid kit.
• Solar battery charger.
Group climbing equipment for the higher camps (provided by 7 Summits Club)
• Shared tents in higher camps (2-3 members per tent).
• Cooking utensils (gas-stoves, pots and pans).
• snow shovels
• rope (50 m)
Personal equipment for BC (not included in the price)
• Sleeping bag (rated -40 degrees C/F)
• Sleeping mattress.
• Personal items for washing (wet wipes etc)
• Personal notebook (if needed)
• Crampons for shoes with stiff soles (like the G12 model)
• Backpack (50-60 litres)
• Alpine climbing harness
• 6mm cord for prussic knots
• Screwgate carabiners - 4
• Adjustable ski poles
• Thermos flask
• Descender (rappel device)
• Ice-axe (non-technical)
• Personal plate/bowl and eating utensils for high camps
Clothes and footwear
• Trekking shoes
• Cold-weather climbing boots (Millet “Everest” recommended)
• Down jacket + down trousers (or down suit)
• Gore-Tex jacket with a large hood
• Gore-Tex trousers
• Polartec Windblock jacket and trousers.
• 2 fleece Jacket “Polartec - 100”.
• Warm underwear - 2 sets
• Polartec gloves – 2 pairs
• Thinsulate gloves
• Thinsulate mittens - 2 pairs
• Warm woollen socks - 4-5 pairs
• Warm hat
• Polartec Windblock face mask
• UV glasses
• Ski goggles (UV400)
1) We have the biggest record of orginizing many commertial technical and altitude expeditions.
2) Our guides are highly experience with guide work on many serious climbs all over the world.
3) We offer the best accommodation and food conditions. Your personal needs any special kinds of food will be considered.
4) You can contact your personal advisor in the gear issue for free consultation. Plus free delivery of your personal rented gear to base camp.
5) We offer the scheme of discounts for loyal clients.