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Vinson unguided

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Vinson unguided

Postby nyker » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:13 am

Has anyone gone to Antarctica to climb Vinson unguided?

What would be the best sources to get some beta to get updates on conditions and trip planning?

Looks like a great trip, but the ~$40k price tag is a *bit* of a deterrent!

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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:11 am

I’ve never looked into beyond reading about other people's trips. But might the biggest issue be getting there? It’s not like there’s anything else in the area. Could hiring transportation yourself turn out to be even more expensive?
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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby MuchosPixels » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:14 am

I do not think its a good idea. Just getting you, your gear and supplies to Antarctica is gonna cost many thousands of dollars. Then you need to take a flight to base camp. So even after you get to Chile you need to charter 2 flights. That is expensive unless you can split the cost amongst several climbers.

I am sure that after one goes fully guided and the weather was nice one can think oh man this is easy but what if something goes wrong. With the guide company some of the risk is absorbed by them. It's like insurance.

best info I found is here:

http://www.alanarnette.com/7summits/vinsonfaq.php

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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby climbing_rob » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:30 am

Advice on climbing Vinson, or any other big mountain guided vs. unguided is beyond the scope of what any of us should say, not knowing your skill level or experience or overall climbing philosophies, IMHO. When (if?) I finally get down there, I will not be using a guide.

My pal and I looked into Vinson cost maybe 3-4 years ago, and the "guiding" cost paled compared to the basic cost of getting to base camp. I think the transportation alone was around 22-23K, and the "guiding" cost was only 3-5 above that. I'm sure things have changed (gone up!). Good luck in your research, I'll be following along and I hold out hope for #6 myself.

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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby nyker » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks guys, Fair enough. I knew flights would be one of the more expensive things to organize, but didn't realize they'd be that expensive.
I've always wanted to go down there, but didn't want to only do one of the cruises and wanted to spend more time on the land to hike and climb.

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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby jbchalk » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:37 pm

The only realistically feasible method of getting to Union Glacier and then Vinson Base Vamp is thru ANI (Antartica Network International). They are the only carrier to the Vinson area. All other guide companies use ANI's planes and support on the continent. Keep in mind this mountain and the Ellsworth Mtns are WAY inland. Getting to the coast would do no good. ANI is the only means of going unguided to Vinson from my research and understanding. However you have to be pre-qualified and approved by the ANI folks to do so an must have a team of 3 or more. ANI's guided cost is $39,900 this coming season and the unguided cost is around $2,500 less. I have been in touch with ANI for while now as we are planning to go this December, likely unguided. Great folks but the cost is what it is. The two flights themselves (to Union Glacier from SA and then to Vinson BC from Union Glacier) total to an amount of about $30,000.

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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby pvnisher » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:21 pm

I suppose you could always get a job on a cruise ship as a waiter, then jump overboard (or steal a liferaft) and get to shore. Then ski inland, dragging the raft as your gear sled.
Climb Vinson, snag everybody's surplus food and fuel, then repeat journey in reverse to coast.
Now comes the hard bit: getting back to South America. You might need to live aboard a large calved iceberg for a while before being rescued.

Then write it up, sell the story for some cash, and live comfortably for the rest of your life whilst going on speaking junkets to talk about global warming.

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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby Scott P » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:18 pm

I've always wanted to go down there, but didn't want to only do one of the cruises and wanted to spend more time on the land to hike and climb.


Have you looked into cruises that do climbing? Only the small cruise ships that do that kind of stuff actually land on the continent anyway.

As mentioned, Vinson really isn't that much cheaper to go unguided.
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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby nyker » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:32 am

Scott P wrote:
I've always wanted to go down there, but didn't want to only do one of the cruises and wanted to spend more time on the land to hike and climb.


Have you looked into cruises that do climbing? Only the small cruise ships that do that kind of stuff actually land on the continent anyway.

As mentioned, Vinson really isn't that much cheaper to go unguided.


Interesting, I will look a bit further. I haven't really found options yet that are well within my budget for now, but never know what the future holds.

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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby Kevo » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:27 pm

Just looked at a map- looks like the Vinson Massif is maybe 50 miles inland. That's like the lower Kahiltna multiplied by ~8, plus what I would imagine to be much more complicated navigation and extra crevasses because of starting at sea level.

Hmm...Maybe it's possible to charter a boat from Argentina between 10 or so climbers, start at seas level with a minimum amount of gear and have the air service drop off a gear at base camp.

If you could get that many people together and spend and extra 20 or so days, it might just be possible to climb Vinson for 1/2 off...



Anyone want to make this happen?

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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby Scott P » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:01 am

Just looked at a map- looks like the Vinson Massif is maybe 50 miles inland.


Isn't the Ronne Ice Shelf in the way? I think Vinson would actually be several hundred miles from where you could land a boat.
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Re: Vinson unguided

Postby jbchalk » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:03 am

Scott P wrote:
Just looked at a map- looks like the Vinson Massif is maybe 50 miles inland.


Isn't the Ronne Ice Shelf in the way? I think Vinson would actually be several hundred miles from where you could land a boat.


Yes, that's my impression as well, Scott. At least a few hundred miles.

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