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Climbing Mount Vinson (4,898m), Expedition from Punta Arenas, Chile to the highest peak in Antarctica

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.

Duration21 days
Offer periodJan, Dec
Skill LevelIntermediate
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripGroup

Highlights

  • Reach the top of an elusive peak of the Seven Summits.

  • Enjoy the thrill of mountaineering in challenging and exotic terrain.

  • Learn valuable insight and techniques from certified guides and experts.

  • Join an exclusive group of climbers who have taken on Antarctica.

Description

Rise to the highest point of Antarctica (16,077 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!

Disclaimer

The itinerary is subject to change, and extra days are built into the trip to accommodate adverse weather, unsuitable conditions, and other unforeseen obstacles and hazards. Flights to, from, and on Antarctica are often delayed and modified. Please allow for extra time at the end of the trip.

More info

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.

Meeting point

We generally meet in Punta Arenas, Chile. Contact us upon booking to confirm our meeting location.

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Photos


Itinerary

Day 1 to 2: Arrival

We will get into Punta Arenas, Chile.

Day 3: Orientation

Our final day in Chile includes an equipment check and exploration of the city. We will finalize our plans and get a good night sleep before the adventure.

Day 4 to 5: Fly to Antarctica

We will fly four and a half hours to Union Glacier before continuing to Branscomb Glacier and base camp. Upon arrival, we will begin preparations for the ascent. Camp is at 7,000 feet.

Day 6: Camp I

Our plan is to establish Camp I at a bend in the glacier, roughly 9,600 feet in altitude. If necessary, we can camp near a steep head wall at 10,000 feet.

Day 7: Moving Up

Depending on our progress, we can move to the headwall or proceed to carry gear to the high camp at 12,400 feet.

Day 8: Climbing the Head Wall

Battling the thinning atmosphere, we will climb the headwall and reach the col between Vinson and Mt. Shinn where our high camp is located (12,400 feet).

Day 9 to 13: Summit Day

After a three hour and 3,600-foot climb, we will reach our tantalizing summit. Take in the views of the Ellsworth and Antarctica’s immense beauty.

Day 14 to 15: Base Camp

The following days are for carefully returning to our base camp.

Day 16: Punta Arenas

Once we have acceptable weather, we will return to Chile and Punta Arenas.

Day 17 to 21: Return Home

With extra days built into the itinerary, you will be able to fly home as necessary.


About the guide

guide profile img

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.


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Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 44846 each

Group of 2

USD 44846 each

Group of 3

USD 44846 each

Group of 4

USD 44846 each

Group of 5

USD 44846 each

Group of 6

USD 44846 each

Group of 7

USD 44846 each

Group of 8

USD 44846 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

Price details

• This is the price to join one of our group programs. The price includes the guiding fee, airfare from Punta Arenas to Union Glacier and to Base Camp, all meals in Antarctica, welcome dinner, and group equipment (tents, ropes, cooking gear, and sleds). The price does NOT include flights to and from Punta Arenas, food and lodging in Punta Arenas, personal equipment, rescue / evacuation insurance, trip insurance, laundry, phone calls, personal items, fees and costs beyond our control, and anything not explicitly mentioned as “included.” Insurance is required for this trip.


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