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Mount-Vinson Guided Ski Expedition

For those looking to Ski Mt. Vinson, it's definitely possible.  We have skied right off the summit!  Conditions can definitely be rough, you are probably not going to ski powder, but a trip like this is not about the skiing, its about the adventure.  Very few people have skied from the summit... if this intrigues you, get in touch.  Todd Passey is without a doubt the most experienced guide for this type of adventure in Antarctica.

Mount-Vinson Guided Trip

Best Time: Dec – Jan
*Contact Us for Custom Dates

We contract ALE (Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions) to fly us from Punta Arenas, Chile to Antarctica, now in an Icelandic Air 757. We land on a blue ice runway near Union Glacier where ALE maintains a camp and logistics station. From Union Glacier we transfer to smaller Canadian-made Twin Otters, which take us on a 1-hour scenic flight to the Mt. Vinson base camp. On any trip to Antarctica, one must remember that weather is the ultimate decider, Delays on each leg of this journey are the norm. A perfect trip, Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas is 10 days, but expect on average two weeks with delays.

We climb during the months of December and January, Antarctica’s summer. During this time of year, we benefit from 24 hours of sunlight and many high pressure systems. Temps can range between 20 degrees F and -40 degrees F. When the sun is out, and the winds are calm it’s a very comfortable place, but it can also be a desperately cold unforgiving environment when the weather changes. The climbing up Mt. Vinson’s normal route is not technically difficult, but the cold dry air and southerly latitude are not to be taken lightly.

Of all the expeditions I have led around the world, guiding in Antarctica is possibly the most personally rewarding. Antarctica is an extremely beautiful, and unique mountain environment of mind-blowing scenery and extreme conditions. Mt. Vinson’s remoteness adds an adventure aspect that is rare, even in mountain climbing.


Day 1: Fly To Antartica

Date : January 10, 2024

Fly from Punt Arenas Chile to Union Glacier Antarctica

This flight from Punta Arenas Chile to Union Glacier Antarctica take appoximately 4 hours. At the Blue Ice Runway we will be greeted by large transport vehicles that take us 3 mi to Union Glacier Camp.

Day 2

Date : January 11, 2024

Fly to Vinson Base Camp

From Union Glacier Camp we will board Twin Otter airplanes for an incredibly scenic flight to Vinson Base Camp. VBC sits on the West side of Mount Vinson at approx. 7000 ft in elevation.

Day 3

Date : January 12, 2024

Vinson Base Camp to Low Camp

VBC to Low Camp is approx 5.5 miles with a vertical gain of just over 2000 feet. This day takes between 4 and 6 hours. We will pull sleds up a gently rising glacier with some crevassing.

Day 4

Date : January 13, 2024

Low Camp to High Camp Carry

We will carry food and fuel up to the top of the fixed lines. This makes our loads more manageable on move day, and helps us acclimatize. The fixed ropes climb about 3500 feet of elevation gain on a maximum slope angle of 45 degrees. There are some rocky sections, but the slope consists mostly of snow and ice.

Day 5

Date : January 14, 2024

Move to High Camp

We pack everything up and move to High Camp. This day takes between 6 and 8 hours. At the top of the fixed lines we will pick up our cache from the day before and carry everything to High Camp.

Day 6

Date : January 15, 2024

Rest Day in High Camp

The move to High Camp is a big effort, and with the Camp at 12,500 feet, we will be psyched for a rest day. We will prepare for summit day.

Day 7

Date : January 16, 2024

Summit Day

Summit Day consists of 3700 feet of vertical gain over 4.25 miles. This 8 1/2 mile round trip will take between 8 and 12 hours. The ascent begins with a gradually rising glacier up a broad valley. As we reach the top of the valley the slopes steepen to around 40 degrees where we gain the summit ridge. The summit is at the end of this exposed and scenic Ridge. Summit 16,160 feet.

Day 8

Date : January 17, 2024

Descent to VBC

We will descend all the way from High Camp to Vinson Base Camp. This effort will usually take 4 to 5 hours.

Day 9

Date : January 18, 2024

Fly from VBC to Union

Day 10-11

Date : January 20, 2024

Weather Contingency days

Antarctica is a harsh environment with difficult logistics. These are extra days planned into our itinerary for the uncontrollable.

Day 12

Fly back to Punta Arena's Chile

  • Airport Transfer
  • 2 night hotel prior to the trip and 1 night following
  • Icelandic Air flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to Union Glacier, Antarctica
  • Twin Otter flight from Union Glacier to Vinson Base Camp
  • All meals in Antarctica
  • All Group gear
  • IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • Liability insurance
  • Permits and fees
  • Group gear

  • Airfare to and from Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Visa fees,
  • Food and drinks in Punta Arenas,
  • Extra nights in hotels,
  • Single room supplements,
  • Expenses incurred in rescue or early departure *Trip and Rescue insurance
  • Sat phone charges

Mt Vinson Gear list 2023

Technical Gear


Ski Poles: Three section collapsible poles are preferred, snow baskets necessary.

Ice Axe: We recommend a modern mountaineering ice axe that is size appropriate.

Crampons: Crampons need to have a good fit with your boots.  Horizontal front points and anti-balling plates.

Alpine Climbing Harness: We recommend a modern alpine harness featuring gear loops and a belay loop.

Mechanical Ascender: This is used for ascending the fixed lines.  We recommend.

Belay Device: Basic tube-style device that can accept a variety of rope diameters.

4 Locking Carabiners: Large pear shaped auto lockers are preferred.

6 Standard Carabiners: Light and modern wire gate are preferred.

30 feet of cord: 6mm. If you have rescue prussik’s or a few slings they can be used in place of some of this cord.  Bring a minimum of 15 feet.



Mountain Boots: Warm, high altitude mountaineering boots sized up at least 1/2 size from street shoes.

Camp Boots: Warm winter boots.  You will wear these on flights, in Union and Base Camp.

Down Booties: The warmer the better.

Socks: 4-5 pair medium weight wool or synthetic socks.



2 Pair Liner gloves: Should be thin enough glove to fit inside expedition glove or mitt.

Mid-Weight Insulated Glove: A well fitting glove with with light insulation, good dexterity and leather palm.

Expedition Gloves: Well insulated, water resistant glove with leather palm.

Insulated Mitten: We like the warmth to weight ratio of a good mitten



Sun Hat: Whatever style sun hat you prefer for providing shade.  Its nice if it fits under your helmet.

Beanie: A mid to lightweight beanie.

Facemask: good face covering is a must.  Something that covers your whole face when wearing goggles.

Buff: This lightweight neck gaiter is very useful and versatile.

Sun Glasses: CAT 3-4 full coverage sunglasses.

Goggles: We really like goggles with changeable lenses for use in bright and low light.

UPPER BODY _____________________________________________________________________________

Hardshell Jacket: This jacket should have a hood, be lightweight and fully waterproof.

Soft Shell Jacket: This is your “Go” jacket, a wind and water resistant layer that adds a bit of insulation. You’ll wear this jacket all the time. I like something mid weight for the Blanc.

Light Weight Puffy: A lightly insulated synthetic puffy.

Down Parka: A light construction 800 fill down Jacket w/ hood.

Base Layers: A light and mid weight base layer. One of each gives the most options.

Synthetic Hoody: Any non cotton layer will do, We like these for approaches and as an added layer.

LOWER BODY ______________________________________________________________________________ Hard Shell: You are likely to want more than one pair of pants, We recommend a light option and a more waterproof option.

Bottom Base Layer: You will want at least two pair of bottoms.

Insulated pants: These insulated pants for added warmth.



Climbing Pack:  70-100 liter climbing backpack, simple light weight climbing specific Backpacks are important.

Cache Bag: 35 Liter waterproof bag for Caching personal gear

Large Sled Duffel: This bag will be used on your sled for personal and group gear

Sleeping Bag: -20c or warmer Degree sleeping bag

Sleeping Pad: We recommend an insulated blow up pad And

Sleeping pad: A closed cell foam pad adds insulation and security.

Pee Bottle: Wide mouth and at least a liter.

Water bottle and Thermos. Both a water bottle and a hydration system are recommended.

Cup spoon and bowl: Mug for hot drinks, bowl for meals and utensil to eat with 3

Personal Electronics: Camera, headphones, phone, external battery, small solar panel etc.

  • Dec – Jan
  • *Custom dates available
  • Estimated Price $50,000/person*
  • Price is per trip / person
  • The major cost involved with this trip is for the logistics which are provided by ALE
  • Plus, we aim to customize aspects of the trip to meet your goals and objectis
  • Also, trip insurance is highly recommended.
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