The Vinson Massif is the highest peak in Antarctica. It is on of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world. I fell in love with Antarctica back in 1999 when I lead the first ski and snowboard descent of the last frontier. Isolated and starkly beautiful, the icy continent of Antarctica is beyond description and offers an adventure of a lifetime for team members.
Ice Axe starts the expedition in Punta Arenas, Chile which is situated in Southern Chile. Our Illyussian 76 aircraft flies over Tierra Del Fuego, past the Antarctic circle and onto Patriot Hills Base Camp. From there we board a ski-equipped Twin 20 Otter for our 1 hour (120 mile) flight to Vinson Base Camp at 7000 ft. From Base Camp we load up sleds and head up the Branscomb Glacier to Ice Axe Camp 1(10,100ft).
We use 2-3 camps on Vinson and from high camp (12,500ft) the final climb consists of moderate snow and skinning. In technical terms our climb is considered moderate, but cold temperatures (minus 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit are not uncommon) and strong winds often increase the challenge. However the austral summer provides auspicious conditions, with usually less than 18 inches of snow and the 24 hours of daylight, success on the climb is often attainable. Weather delays are common in Antarctica so we need to allow ample time for a successful expedition.T his climb is suitable for those with some ski mountaineering experience, specifically roped glacier travel. High altitude experience is recommended but not required. Cold weather camping skills are essential for this expedition. We cannot stress the importance of proper training prior to the trip. This climb has been compared to the West Buttress of Denali but colder and more isolated making it overall a serious objective for ski mountaineers.
20 days for Expedition
Price: Contact our office.
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