SEVEN SUMMITS

Vinson Massif

Tackle the coldest
climb on the planet.

Vinson Massif
Expedition

At 4,897m above sea level, Mount Vinson is one of the lowest of the Seven Summits, but it’s up there with Everest as one of the most challenging. The highest mountain in Antarctica never gets much snow, but is battered year-round by brutally strong polar winds. In an environment where summer temperatures hover at around minus 30, the added wind chill is some of the most severe on earth. In such an extreme environment, efficient operations and decisive leadership can make all the difference. That’s where Elite Exped comes in.

Country

Antarctica

Duration

18 days

grade

Strenuous 4E

Max Altitude

4892 m
16050 ft

Daily activity

Approx
4 - 7 hrs

Season

Summer

Dates Available

Enquire for dates

Starting from

GBP £36,000

Aimed at climbers who’ve made ascents of significant peaks further north, or have operational experience at polar latitudes. You must have mastered basic mountaineering skills and have a very high level of fitness.

Largest mountain massif in Antarctica

Elite Exped’s operational experience in the world’s most extreme environments is hard to match. Our leaders, Nimsdai, Mingma David, and Mingma Tenzi famously led the first team ever to climb K2, aka ‘the Savage Mountain’, in winter, in January 2021. Nimsdai summited all of the world’s 8,000m peaks in record time in 2019, and Mingma David became the youngest to reach all 14 that same year. Perhaps more importantly, when working together, the pair have a 100 percent safety record. Not a single member of any of their teams has lost so much as a fingertip to frostbite. 

Our record makes us uniquely qualified to help you tackle the highest mountains on all seven continents. The Vinson Massif might not present much in the way of technical difficulty, especially to experienced climbers, but its remoteness, and the sheer cold, make it a hugely challenging mountain to climb. In conditions such as these, moving quickly and making decisive choices as a guide can make a huge difference to achieving a successful outcome.

Elite Exped’s Vinson Massif expedition takes 18 days from arrival in Punta Arenas, Chile, which includes days allowed for weather contingencies, meticulous checks of your equipment, and preparation. Regardless of where we operate, the Elite Exped team adopts a similar approach to expedition planning and logistics.

We oversee every aspect of the expedition, making sure that nothing is left to chance. Our guaranteed 1:1 guide to client ratio, with four guides constantly on standby if needed, ensures that we can respond rapidly in rescue situations. Our guiding team is made up not just of record-breaking mountaineers, but experts who are qualified in high altitude rescue and recovery techniques. We have evacuation plans and helicopters in place for emergencies, and contingency plans for every eventuality.

If the Seven Summits is your goal, Vinson Massif is a significant obstacle - but it’s one that we can help you conquer. 

From our clients
Jeff Evans
Mera 2017

You can trust them with the safety and satisfaction of clients. Elite was nothing less than a 10/10 in every aspect of how they executed the expedition.

Steve Davis
Manaslu 2019

Manaslu was my first 8,000er and first time with Elite. They exceeded my expectations at every level and stage.  I would have no hesitation in booking with them again! Highly recommended!!!

Amy McCulloch
Aconcagua 2018

I often felt they went above and beyond to ensure we had a successful expedition. Excellent judgments throughout the expedition led us to reach the summit safely in extreme conditions. Highly recommend!

This tried and tested itinerary is informed by decades of mountaineering experience. As with all adventurous activities of this type however, circumstances may arise where Elite Exped is forced to make alterations, possibly at short notice. While making every effort to adhere to this published schedule, we kindly ask for your patience if the weather, or other naturally occurring circumstances, intervene.

Your daily schedule

  • Day 01

    Arrival in Punta Arenas

  • Day 02

    Buying food and equipment if needed

  • Day 03

    Briefing in the office, sorting out packing and weighing the equipment

  • Day 04

    Flight to Union glacier by Ilyushin-76 plane

  • Day 05

    Flight from Union glacier to Vinson Massif basecamp

  • Day 06

    Acclimatisation day. Preparation for the ascent

  • Day 07

    8 hours of walk to Camp 2 with backpack and sled

  • Day 08

    6 hours acclimatisaion climb to Camp 3 and return to Camp 2

  • Day 09

    Acclimatisation Day

  • Day 10

    6 hours climb to Camp 3

  • Day 11

    Summit Day

  • Day 12

    Extra day in case bad weather

  • Day 13

    Descent to BC

  • Day 14

    Flight from BC to Union Glacier

  • Day 15

    Flight from Union Glacier to Punta Arenas

  • Day 16 -17

    Reserve day in case of delayed flight from Antartica

  • Day 18

    Flight Home

Training

Developing your skills to achieve a new possible

Our tailored approach to training will help you improve as a climber, developing the mental and physical skills you need to achieve your dreams. Learn more

Fast - Track

Plenty of passion, not much time?

We understand the challenges of balancing a busy professional career with a love of mountaineering. Building on Nims record-breaking techniques, our unique Fast-Track expeditions allow you to climb more in less time. View fast-track expeditions

Above + Beyond + Adventure

Practical info

Frequently asked questions

The following frequently asked questions may help answer any queries you have about Elite Exped, what this expedition involves, and what is required. If your question isn’t answered here please check our dedicated FAQ support page, otherwise don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What accommodation is included?

All accommodation is included from the initial meeting point through to the end of the expedition, as listed on the itinerary. We always choose the highest quality hotels, even when traveling through more remote areas with less established infrastructures.

Our base camp accommodation is also of the highest quality and comfort and can be completely tailored to the demands of global lifestyles. We can discuss options and your needs during the booking phase.

What equipment is provided?
Will the expedition cost include travel?

Why choose
Elite Exped?

Unparalleled
leadership

Nimsdai Purja and Mingma David Sherpa’s mountaineering world records speak for themselves, but our founders are more than just supremely-talented climbers. While some choose to direct operations from a back office, Nimsdai and Mingma David lead from the front. Their experience of every aspect of guiding and climbing - from fixing ropes, to organising logistics - is unparalleled. It’s no surprise that when they’ve worked together they have a perfect, 100 percent success rate when it comes to summiting 8,000m peaks.

Safety through
self-sufficiency

If it’s controllable we control it, this is key to attain and maintain our industry leading strategy for success and safety. We maximise our options, agility and responsiveness by running totally self-sufficient expeditions, not relying on any other teams on the mountain to achieve our objectives. We are capable of setting up our own fixed lines (with a proven track record on all 8,000m peaks) and have backups to cover all scenarios, from secondary oxygen supplies through to the ability and experience to operate our own rescue missions if the situation arises.

A unique
perspective

With his Nepalese roots, and UK residency, our co-founder Nimsdai Purja brings a unique perspective of the world of mountaineering, and an unparalleled ability to bridge the gap between Western and Himalayan climbing cultures. We can assemble trusted teams and networks anywhere in the world, but our founders’ roots are a particular advantage when it comes to summiting the world’s very highest peaks. An intimate knowledge of how things work on the ground ensures that everything runs smoothly when you’re 8,000m above sea-level.

Your adventure
Ready to take on
the challenge?
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