Mount Vinson is the highest mountain of Antarctica with an elevation of 16,066 feet (4,897 meters). It is located on the southern part of the main ridge of the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. It is also known as Vinson Massif. It is more than 750 miles from the South Pole, making it the most remote of the Seven Summits. It was also the last discovered, last climbed, and last named of the Seven Summits.
Climate on Mount Vinson
The climate on the Vinson is generally controlled by the polar ice cap’s high pressure system, mostly create stable conditions, but as in any polar climate, high winds and snowfall are possible. Yet the annual snowfall on Vinson is low, high winds are more, which can cause accumulation on the base camps. During the summer season, i.e. from November to January, there are 24 hours of sunlight and during these months the average temperature is -30°C (-20°F), the intense sun will melt snow on dark objects. Wind coupled with cold air temperatures, forming the greatest threat to climbers.
How to climb Mount Vinson
It is not a difficult peak to climb, being more a snow trudge than a technical climb, but the combination of its remoteness, heavy winds, and heavy winds make the climbing tough. factor in the cost of travelling to the area and an ascent of Mount Vinson is almost financially impossible for climbers. Most climbers spend over $30,000 or more for climbing it because of its summit remoteness.
How to reach Mount Vinson
The nearest airport to Mount Vinson is Punta Arenas.The only reasonable way to go to Vinson is by booking passage on ALE/ANI Adventure Network International’s wheeled Hercules aircraft. It operates from Punta Arenas in the far south of Chile, the Magallanes region to the blue-ice runway at Patriot Hills within a six hour time. Punta is well serviced by regular commercial flights from Santiago.
From Punta Arenas, ANI operate an Ilyushin- 76 aircraft that reach their camp at Union Glacier, in the Southern Ellsworth Mountains. Landing on the icy runway are a scary highlight for Vinson climbers since breakes cannot be used to stop the plane. ANI also guides climbers on the mountain as they have strict criteria for taking independent groups to the mountain to avoid costly and dangerous rescues. The ANI camp has impressive dinning, medical and preparation facilities. Climbers erect and sleep in their own tents but eat in the ANI luxury dining tent.