Mt. Vinson, located 600 miles from the South Pole and 1,200 miles from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, is the highest peak on the continent. Vinson is part of the Ellsworth Mountains, which rise majestically from the Ronne Ice Shelf. Departure point of Punta Arenas to the five-hour flight to a continent with no permanent inhabitants, and to the Union Glacier Camp
With 5.5 million square miles of solid ice, the mass of this continent — twice the size of Australia — creates a remote wilderness unrivaled on the planet. While the size of the continent expands and contracts with seasons, the topography remains stunning with natural sculptures finely crafted by the barrage of wind, snow and cold.
The climate on Vinson is generally controlled by the polar ice cap’s high-pressure system, creating predominantly stable conditions. But, as in any polar climate, high winds and snowfall are possible. Though the annual snowfall on Vinson is low, high winds can cause Base Camp accumulations of up to 18 inches in a year. During the summer season (November through January), there are 24 hours of sunlight. While the average temperature during these months is minus 20 degrees F, the intense sun will melt snow on dark objects.