An adventure at worlds’ end. In one of the coldest, most remote and at the same time most impressive regions, only few have ever ventured to.
Mount Vinson, with its 4892m, is considered the highest peak of its continent, the Antarctica. But its difficulty is not credited to its altitude, but to the extreme conditions that reign at this peak of the Seven Summits. Its location in the arctic ice of the Sentinel range lies only 1200 km from the most southern point of our earth. Also the mountaineering history of this Summit shows its resistance to be conquered: After its first ascent in 1966, lots of expeditions failed due to its remote location and the rough environment, which made the Mt. Vinson a difficult challenge for mountaineers.
Even today, with our modern and improved equipment and support from our experienced UIAGM mountain guides, Mt. Vinson remains what it always was – a challenge for man and equipment alike. Temperatures under -30°C, heavy storms and peculiarities of the standard route called “Branscomb Shoulder”, like ice climbing, steep snow faces with up to 45° inclinations and an exposed high plateau demand knowledge, fitness and mental strength from those who dare to climb this mountain.
But those who prevail will get rewarded with the pride and knowledge to be amongst the few mountaineers who conquered this special summit. But also the incomparable scenery with its wide glaciers, ice-covered peaks and snow as far as the eye can see will leave a long lasting impression and memory of this remote but incredibly important region of our planet.
- Highest peak of the Antarctica
- Spectacular scenery and landscape
- 12 days on arctic ice
- Support from exclusive UIAGM mountain guides
The following schedule is planned:
Day -2: Arrival at Punta Arenas Airport, Chile (at least 2 days before the departure to the Antarctica, to make up for possible delays). Transfer to the individually booked accommodation.
Day -1: Pick up of the luggage (max. 25 kg) for the Antarctica, last organizational steps, get-together with the other group members and briefing about the upcoming procedures.
Day 1: 4,5 h flight to the Antarctica, landing at the ice-runway of the Union Glacier, first steps on arctic ice followed by transport to the Main Camp. If the weather conditions are favourable, flight in the ski plane to Mt. Vinson Base Camp. Otherwise we will stay in the Camp at Union Glacier and take the flight on the next day.
Days 2-3: Acclimatization days at Vinson Base Camp at the Branscomb Glacier with short acclimatization hikes, preparation for the ascent, packing of luggage, equipment, food and oil. The upcoming ascent will take place on the standard route (Branscom Shoulder) and will take 5-9 days depending on the weather situation.
Days 4-5: The time has come. The group is starting from Vinson Base Camp to “Low Camp” at 2.750 m. Usually, the luggage will be transported with backpacks and sleighs. After 4-6 hours, arrival at the Camp which is equipped with big communal tents and sleeping tents. At the next day we do a little excursion to the view point and a little training at the starting point of the fixed ropes.
Day 6: Ascent under good weather conditions to the High Camp at 3.773 m. The climbing takes 4-5 h (+ appr. 1,5 h trekking to the camp) and is supported by fixed ropes at the steepest slopes with an inclination of up to 45°. All luggage will be carried in the backpacks. The High Camp itself is furnished a little more modest than the spacious Base Camp. The mountain guides will cook simple menus which can be consumed in the tent or in good weather conditions directly at the glacier.
Days 7-8: Depending on the weather forecast, there will be another acclimatization day at the High Camp. After that we will start the summit attempt. 1.119 m to the summit wait to be conquered. The route leads through the Vinson Summit Valley, over a steep and icy but short slope and the spectacular rocky ridge to the top. Here, the Antarctica lies at our feet: the mountains Mt. Garnder, Tyree, Epperly and Shinn dominate the scenery, surrounded by more impressive Summits in the white landscape. After a short photo-stop we will begin with the descent and arrive at the High Camp after approximately 9-12 hours.
Day 9: Today we begin our descent on the Branscom Glacier to the Base Camp. Usually, this section can be done within one day. After our arrival at the Camp, we will celebrate our victory with a hearty joint dinner.
Days 10-11: The weather is determines when we can return to the Camp at Union Glacier. Normally there should be 1-2 days left to explore the picturesque glacier – with the amenities of a hot shower afterwards.
Day 12: If the conditions allow it, today is our departure day to Chile, followed by transfer to the individually booked hotels and the end of our expedition.
Flight home: We recommend you to book your return flight for a week after we returned from the Antarctica so we have a buffer for possible delays, which are common with expeditions to the Antarctica. In case you should have any extra time in Punta Arenas, the Team will gladly provide you with information about excursions and sightseeing in the area. At departure day: transfer to the airport and individual flight home.