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Mount Vinson Climb

The coolest and remotest of the world's top 7 summits, Mount Vinson lies at the very bottom of the world


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Antarctica's highest peak is located 745 miles (1,200 km) north of the South Pole. Its prominence of 16,066 ft (4,897 m) makes it one of the world's Seven Summits, the most remote one, found in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, it is not easy to conquer. Mt. Vinson was the last of the Seven Summits to be discovered and climbed. The first ascent dates back to 1966.

The Ellsworth Mountains, and the Sentinel Range, in particular, boast an array of high peaks, and for a long while, they have been known as the Vinson Massif. It took its name after Carl Vinson of Georgia, who used to be a U.S. chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and encouraged the funding of Antarctica's exploration. The highest peak received its official name of Mount Vinson only in 2006.

Since the first ascent, the mountain has been conquered by a moderate number of climbers. Although technically the hike is not too complicated, it's still cold and windy, and the climb takes around 11 days. Besides, the very remoteness makes the adventure quite costly, about $30,000 for the whole trip.

The easiest way to get to the destination is from Chile. First, you take a flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas, and there you are to entrust yourself to the staff of Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions. They deliver you to the mountains of Antarctica. You'll need your own tents to spend the night, but catering is provided by ALE. The climbing season falls on the Antarctic summer—December and February. At that time, the air temperature rises from -30 to -20°C and the sun shines day and night.

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