Mount Vinson is located at 78 degrees 35 minutes south, 85 degrees 25 minutes west, in the Sentinel Range of Antarctica’s Ellsworth Mountains. Vinson Massif’s summit is the highest in Antarctica, and just getting to this isolated mountain is a logistical feat.
- Gear List
- Book Your Trip
Mount-Vinson Guided Trip
Best Time: Dec – Jan
We contract ALE (Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions) to fly us from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Antarctic continent in their Russian Illysian Jet airplane. We land on a natural ice runway where ALE maintains a camp and logistics station. From here we transfer to smaller Canadian made Twin Otters, which take us 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 22 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 make it not one 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.
- ALPINE CLIMBING HARNESS: Your harness must be adjustable and fit over all of you clothing layers. Harness must be modern with a belay loop and gear loops.
- ASCENDER (1): You can choose right or left, make sure it’s easy to operate.
- LOCKING CARABINERS (2): These need to be large sized to fit over knots on fixed lines.
- NON-LOCKING CARABINERS (2): Just something to hold your gear. Modern and light is nice.
- 10 FT. OF 6MM PERLON CORD: This will be used to make your tethers.
- 120CM LENGTH SEWN RUNNER: This will be used for person anchor and rappelling rig.
- SUPER 8 RAPPEL DEVICE: Due to the thick diameter fixed ropes, a 8 style device is necessary.
- CLIMBING HELMET: A good fitting, lightweight helmet with clips for headlamp.
- LIGHT CLIMBING BOOTS: Technical climbing boots, waterproof is nice.
- 2-3 PAIR SYNTHETIC SOCKS: New wool synthetic blends are my preferred.
- CAMP SHOES: Any comfortable approach or running shoe works.
- LEATHER RAPPEL GLOVES: Leather is important, but a leather mechanics/work glove is fine.
- LIGHTWEIGHT SYNTHETIC GLOVES: Wool or synthetic and snug fit.
- MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES OR MITTENS: Waterproof with leather palms.
- HEADLAMP: Bright (300 lumens or more recommended) light and rechargeable.
- LIGHT WEIGHT SYNTHETIC BEANIE: Quick drying and fits well under climbing helmet.
- BUFF NECK GAITER: This is a very versatile piece of gear for face and head.
- SUNGLASSES: A good pair of sunglasses, preferably with CHUMS.
- SUN HAT: Whatever style you prefer
- SOFT SHELL JACKET: Lightweight breathable and comfortable fit.
- CLIMBING PANT: Well fitting soft shell and non-insulated.
- LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN JACKET W/ HOOD: This is a waterproof hardshell. Simple and light is right.
- LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN PANT: Full length side zips recommended. Light and simple.
- 2 BASE LAYER TOP: I like at least one of these to be a sun hoodie. Lightweight non-cotton.
- 2 BASE LAYER BOTTOMS: Lightweight non-cotton.
- MID LAYER TOP: Midweight insulating layer.
- PUFFY JACKET: Lightweight, hooded and synthetic.
- BACKPACK 30 LITER: Simple and lightweight.
- 20 DEGREE F SLEEPING BAG: Note that down is not really appropriate for this environment.
- INFLATABLE SLEEPING PAD:: Full length and insulated recommended. Make sure it holds air.
- HYDRATION SYSTEM and 1 WATER BOTTLE: The Hydration system works well on the climb, the bottle is for extra capacity and for camp and tent use.
- Sunscreen and Lip screen: New and at least 70 SPF
- Toiletry Bag: Tooth brush, tooth paste, toilet paper, hand sanitizer.
- Small Personal First Aid Kit: Keep it simple and small.
- Malaria medicine: Malaria meds are highly recommended.
- Umbrella: This might seem strange, but we highly recommend.
- Large Duffel Bag (1): Porters will carry this bag.
- Small Duffel Bag (1): This will be used to store travel clothing in Timika.
- Camera Gear: Keep this simple.
- Bali is a City on the beach so bring what you think appropriate for Pre and Post trip play in Bali.