Elevation (above sea level)
Cost (per person)
Attempting February 2018
Mount Vinson (4892m / 16,045ft) is the highest peak in Antarctica, situated in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. The Ellsworth Mountains are around 300km long and run roughly NNW SSE.
The higher northern section is the Sentinel Range, whereas the lower southern section – demarcated by the Minnesota Glacier – is known as the Heritage Range. Mount Vinson itself is approximately 1285m north of the South Pole. Mount Vinson was named for US Senator Carl G. Vinson of Georgia, who was a strong supporter of US activity in Antarctica during the mid-20th Century. In fact the name ‘Vinson’ was already being proposed for the highest mountain in Antarctica even before explorers had found the mountain! Mount Vinson vs. Vinson Massif? – For many years the correct name for Antarctica’s highest mountain was VinsonMassif, due to its large bulk and numerous summits.
There was no such thing as ‘Mount Vinson’, despite the increasingly common usage of this name, mostly by commercial expedition operators. In 2006, after several recent climbing and GPS mapping expeditions to the Sentinel Range, it was suggested to the Antarctic Place Names Committee of the USGS that the name ‘Mount Vinson’ be added to the database to specifically denote the highest summit of the Vinson Massif. This was accepted and ‘Mount Vinson’ officially came into being.
However you call it, Vinson is a big, cold mountain way out in the middle of nowhere near the bottom of the world. Though not technically hard to climb, it is very cold, very windy, and just high enough for you to get hit by the altitude.