Come with the IFMGA-certified guides of Mountain Madness to the most southerly of the Seven Summits and climb the Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica, on an expedition from Punta Arenas into the unique wilderness of a seldom seen environment.
Rise to the highest point of Antarctica (16,050 feet) and conquer one of the most elusive Seven Summits! This guided mountaineering program into one of the most intriguing and rewarding locations on Earth gives you the rare chance to practice your climbing and expedition skills while exploring parts of the world that are rarely seen!
Antarctica is steeped in mystery. Located at the southernmost reaches of the planet, it is a continent covered in ice. It is considered the world’s coldest desert – even though it consistently boasts sub-zero temperatures, even in the six-month daylight period, it receives very little snow. It is notably mountainous, reaching its high point on Vinson of the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains.
This is where you come in! With careful planning and our experienced and qualified guiding team, you will see the isolated beauty of this remarkable continent on a safe, satisfying, and memorably fun journey to the top of Antarctica!
Beginning with a quick stop in Punta Arenas, Chile, to cover gear check and last minute preparations, you will head onto the incredible southern continent. You will set up a number of camps on and near glaciers, putting your mettle to the test in severe conditions. The weather is best during December and January, but you can still expect volatile conditions during constant daylight. Please note that this trip can only be done in the dates listed below.
We will be in the midst of Antarctica’s expansive beauty. There is generally less than 18 inches of snow during austral summer, so the temperature and strong winds are our biggest challenges. Our final push to the summit includes rewarding mixed climbing, with unforgettable vistas of icy wilderness and mountains. You will even have the chance to see the incredible Tierra del Fuego as you fly in and out of Punta Arenas.
There are opportunities for a bit of technical climbing, but the most important aspects of your experience will be roped glacier travel and cold weather camping. High mountain experience is also recommended. It is considered comparable to the West Buttress of Denali, but its isolation and extreme weather make it a serious undertaking that warrants your utmost respect.
Appropriate planning, both physical and mental, is vital for your success and enjoyment. You should be physically fit and mentally prepared for the sustained excursion. You should also carefully plan travel accommodations as the itinerary to and from Antarctica is always subject to change.
Book this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica NOW and relish a Vinson expedition from Punta Arenas to scale the tallest mountain on this gorgeous and isolated continent!
- Guiding fee
Airfare from Punta Arenas to Union Glacier and to Base Camp
Welcome dinner in Punta Arenas
All meals while in Antarctica
All team climbing gear, tents, cooking gear and sleds
All expedition support staff
Price does not include:
Chili entry visa and airport fees
Meals and lodging while in Punta Arenas
Personal climbing gear and clothing
Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, room service, extra hotel nights, extra meals, etc.)
Travel insurance with trip cancellation, medical and evacuation policy
All expenses associated with non-scheduled departure
Alcoholic and bottled beverages
Additional costs incurred due to circumstances beyond the control of Mountain Madness
We will get into Punta Arenas, Chile.
Make final preparations, including equipment check with MM guides. 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.
Elevation: 7,000 ft / 2134 m. 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 Union Glacier to base camp will be on a Twin Otter. Once at base camp we organize our camp and prepare for our ascent.
Elevation: 9,600 ft / 2920 m. Our first day on the trail, we leave supplies at a major bend in the glacier, at 9,600 feet / 2920 meters. Return to base camp.
Elevation: 9,600 ft / 2920 m. We set-up camp and begin preparations for moving up the mountain when the team is ready and weather conditions are good.
Elevation: 12,400 ft / 3780 m. From camp we move up the steep headwall that rises above camp utilizing fixed lines. Moderate slopes lead to the broad col between Vinson and Mount Shinn where we drop a load of gear at 12,400 feet / 3780 meters and then return to Camp 1. 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.
Elevation: 16,077 ft / 4898 m. 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 or a rest is needed.
Return to base camp. Fly to Union Glacier. Reserve day.
Weather permitting, return to Punta Arenas.
Depart Punta Arenas and fly home. Days 18 – 21 are reserve days.
We have a cuisine of local and regional fare that is at times supplemented with items brought from the US. Please let us know if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions. A cook will ensure we have pleasant meals and dining times throughout our journey in Antarctica. We recommend working with a full-service travel agency to coordinate last-minute flights from Antarctica and commercial flights you book from Punta Arenas and Chile. It is necessary to have a flexible time frame for travel – take this into account when planning your itinerary. You will be unable to change your ticket and reservations while in Antarctica, so you may run the risk of severe financial penalties and the loss of your ticket. LAN Chile is the only major airline that flies to Punta Arenas, and booking through them can ease some of the difficulties (they are the only airline to have an office in Punta Arenas). Please do not hesitate to contact us with more information – properly planning, booking, and timing your flights is very important. An equipment list will be sent to you upon booking, but you should be aware of conditional dangers in Antarctica such as dehydration, sunburn, snowblindness, frostbite, and altitude sickness.
We generally meet in Punta Arenas, Chile. Contact us upon booking to confirm our meeting location.
Other gear: Carrying Gear Sleeping Gear Climbing Gear
For over 35 years, Mountain Madness has been bringing profound outdoor experiences to trekkers and mountaineers across the globe. We have built a strong foundation of skills and expertise, fueling our passion to impart our wisdom onto other like-minded explorers. Cultivating an enthusiasm for the
outdoors while helping you enjoy the journey and achieve your goals is a dream come true.
Our mission is to provide the best experience possible and to instill a passion for adventure. We value cultural exchange, take pride in facing physical and mental challenges head on, and strive to development wilderness skills that encourage self-discovery without compromising our environment.
Climbing, trekking, and skiing worldwide allows Mountain Madness to guide internationally. Our success and determination have given us worldwide acclaim and reignited our hunger – from Rainier and Baker to Kilimanjaro and Everest, no adventure is too big or too small.
Our guides have extensive training and are AMGA and/or IFMGA-certified guides. We enjoy assisting in all aspects of your trip, from the first conversation to the last goodbye. The collection of activities are endless, with alpinists, trekkers, explorers, mountaineers, and ski tourers on our team. To assist first time explorers and grizzled veterans in finding hidden, everyday wonder is our pleasure.
Sept 14, 2022
I’m extremely happy with the ease with which I could book via your site reliable and experienced guide. Thank you so very much, and I’ve started to recommend your site to my friends. Dimitris is not only an awesome guide, but a wonderful person who was always looking out to give me the best experience I can have when he found out how much I love climbing! He is the Best!
Sept 6, 2022
I am very pleased with Explore-Share! This was my first international climb, and the communication and response time were great. Herbie is a very skilled guide and very efficient. The entire booking process & payment was smooth. I will definitely use Explore-Share again. Thank you.
Aug 23, 2022
I was looking for a local guide for a hike I was planning and came across Explore-Share. They seemed to have good reviews and so decided to give them a try. The experience was very positive and completely happy with their service. I will be using them again for next trip.
Aug 17, 2022
Easy to set up and find the perfect trip. Informative site that is easy to use. Guides are all great to work with and communicate all arrangements needed. As simple as can be!
July 16th, 2022
Thank you explore-share for a wonderful via feratta experience. We have been wanting to learn for a long time but don't have the facilities in Scotland. The guide Mitja was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, answering all my many questions and providing advice. On the day head to take another group but he quickly arranged another guide Borut, who was brilliant. We had a fantastic morning learning via ferrata at Hvadnik in the gorge. It gave us the confidence to later hire our own equipment and go out in Mojstrana. Altogether a five star + experience. Thank you.
July 20, 2022
Hello! I have been thoroughly impressed by the service and assistance that explore-share have provided the past couple years in helping to plan my trip to the High Tatras in Poland. I really appreciated the flexibility that they provided in allowing me to rearrange my trip twice owing to covid. They were responsive and communicative throughout. This trip was part of my Stag weekend celebrations and explore-share connected me with an outstanding guide in the form of Marcel - he was an excellent recommendation and we really enjoyed our guided hike in the High Tatras with him. Marcel was an outstanding professional, placed a high focus on preparing well and staying safe, and was also a great guy! Highly recommend. Many thanks and best wishes - Richard
May 8, 2022
Our first time with Explore-Share. An absolutely fantastic experience from start to finish. Extremely good value, very well organised with attention to detail. We travel widely and this has by far been the best of experiences. Well done to all concerned. We are already looking at booking another trip!
April 14, 2022
Great service by explore share. Our guide, Fred, gave us a fantastic day. Totally wild adventure that would be impossible on our own. I’m really impressed. Thank you very much.
March 9, 2022
I can’t recommend this enough. Great service, great price and the on the ground team was top notch. Top marks all round.
March 4, 2022
Everything went very well! Above our expectations! Thanks Explore-Share and Thanks Kiliholidays! Great support from all you! Thanks for the hard work and excellent level of commitment.
Feb 2, 2022
Excellent job making your platform available to all mountain lovers. Our guide Gabrielle was an excellent companion
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