Mount Vinson: 16,067 feet

The highest peak in Antarctica lies within the Ellsworth mountain range a mere 600 miles from the South Pole. The icy continent is a landscape of extremes, with night-time low temperatures often reaching negative 40F and a summertime sun that never sets. Antarctica is one of the last truly wild places on earth, and climbers who venture to “The Ice” will leave with a feeling that they were just part of something very, very special.

Our Vinson climbing team meets at the southern tip of Chile in the bustling port town of Punta Arenas. We will spend two days checking equipment and weighing our collective gear and supplies in preparation for the 6 hour flight to The Ice. Flying to Antarctica aboard a Russian Ilyushin IL-76 cargo jet and landing on the blue ice runway at Union Glacier is an experience you will never forget. From the Union Glacier we board a Twin Otter on skis for the flight to Vinson Base Camp. It takes an impressive amount of logistical support to get people and gear to the bottom of the world.

The route up Mt Vinson involves glacier travel and moderately steep snow climbing. We generally put in two camps above base camp before going for the top. The summit ridge provides some interesting climbing as you wind through rocks, ice and snow on your way to the top of Antarctica. The views from the summit on a clear day are breathtaking, as you gaze across an ocean of ice which extends all the way to the horizon.

Vinson climbers should prepare themselves physically to be able to carry moderately heavy loads over the course of 6-8 hour days. Antarctica is a very cold place and proper equipment is essential. Our Vinson expedition guides are very adept in taking care of climbers in Arctic and Antarctic conditions; however, climbers must ultimately be familiar with how to look after themselves in a very cold environment.

The Mountain Trip Difference

We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of personal attention to our Vinson climbers from your first contact with our office until after you return home from your expedition. Our office staff is comprised of Vinson veterans, who can answer your questions based on personal experience. We provide the very highest standard of client care at every stage of your trip, and base all of our decision making on, “What is best for you?”

Our expedition guides are very experienced with the rigors of Antarctic climbing and we provide them with the very best in food and supplies to ensure that you have the greatest possible experience at every stage of your journey. Mountain Trip sets the standard for quality on Mount Vinson. We use the finest Antarctic tents, and have been the only guide service to equip our Vinson Base Camp with a large comfortable dome tent for weathering out storm days.

Vinson climbing expeditions take about 14 days; however, flight delays in Antarctica are quite common due to the ever changing weather. Mountain climbers must keep some flexibility in their return schedules to allow for delays.

We are currently accepting bookings for the 2015/16 season. Based on booking trends over the past few years, and the limited availability of seats on the IL-76, we strongly encourage prospective climbers to book well in advance of their desired departure. Early booking also gives us priority for flights to Vinson base camp. Booking in April for a December expedition is good idea, if your dates are not flexible.

DAY 1 ARRIVAL DAY IN PUNTA ARENAS.  Team members should plan to arrive in Punta Arenas on this date. Depending on when everyone arrives, we might have our team meeting and equipment check at our hotel this afternoon. There are very few gear shops in P.A, so be sure that you brought everything on the equipment list and that everything is in good condition and of the highest quality. We’ll discuss the following days’ events in detail and probably still have some time to explore the interesting port city. That evening, we’ll all go out for a welcome dinner in one of the several great restaurants.

DAY 2: TEAM MEETING OR CONTINGENCY DAY. We have seen enough delayed luggage on flights into Punta Arenas to have learned that it is worth arriving a day early for an expensive and time sensitive trip like this one.  We often have time to go on a sightseeing tour on this day, but we might spend it doing gear checks and conducting our team meeting, depending on when team members arrive on the day before.

DAY 3: GROUP MEETING. All climbers flying to Antarctica must attend a pre-flight orientation with ALE. Later in the day we will weigh all of our equipment and food and ALE will stow it all on the Ilyushin.

DAY 4: FLY TO THE ICE. Weather permitting, we make the 4.5 hour flight to the blue ice runway on the Union Glacier. From there, weather permitting, we will fly to base camp at 7,000 feet in a Twin Otter. At base camp we will have an on-glacier safety talk and prepare our sleds with loads for our ascent.

DAY 5: MOVING UP GLACIER. We have a couple of options as to where we can camp on the Branscomb Glacier. This decision as to which camp to use first will be based on weather conditions and on how the team is feeling on our first day on the trail. One camp is at the major bend in the glacier (about 9,600’) and the other is located at the base of the steep ridge and face leading to high camp at about 10,000 feet.

For the sake of this itinerary, we’ll assume that we placed camp at the 10,000′ site.

DAY 6: CARRY TO HIGH CAMP. We’ll carry loads up to high camp at 12,500 feet and return to Camp 1 for the night. This gives us a chance to “carry high and sleep low,” helping us stock the camp with supplies and enable our bodies to better acclimatize to the upper mountain.

DAY 7: REST/ACCLIMATIZATION DAY. The day of carrying loads up the steep face is a long and tiring one, so most climbers will want to rest for a day before moving up to high camp on our summit bid.

DAY 8: THE RIDGE TO HIGH CAMP. The route up to high camp climbs a steep face next to a rocky ridge for 3,000 feet (900m). The views back down the Branscomb Glacier can be astounding, so don’t forget to look back over your shoulder on your way up. This stretch follows fixed lines for most of its length, so be prepared to use an ascender with mittened hands.

DAY 9: OPTIONAL REST AND ACCLIMATIZATION DAY. We’ve just made a big gain in elevation, so many climbers will benefit from taking a rest day before making a bid for the summit

DAY 10: SUMMIT DAY! From high camp it is about a three mile traverse with 3,600 feet of elevation gain to the summit. The summit ridge offers fun climbing with sensational views of Ellsworth Range and the Ronne Ice Shelf. After summiting, we’ll spend the night back at high camp before descending down the steep face the next day.


DAY 12-13: CONTINGENCY DAYS. You’ve flown a long way and spent a lot of money to get here, these days are insurance so that you get the best possible shot at summiting. We’ll have plenty of delicious meals to keep us busy and the sledding and hiking out of Vinson base camp are fantastic.


DAY 15: FLY HOME This is quite optimistic, and climbers should heed our recommendations for booking return flights.

****This is a very rough outline of how the schedule might proceed. There are many options for moving, camping, rest days, etc. and we might easily be delayed by weather at the beginning, middle or end of the trip. Please keep an open mind and stay flexible!

The following is a general list of required gear for climbing Mount Vinson with Mountain Trip. Climbers joining us on an expedition will receive an updated, comprehensive equipment list that may supersede this list.

Many of the items on the list need to fit you well in order for you to fully enjoy your experience on the mountain. Please plan ahead with equipment purchased for your trip so you can be certain that your gear fits you well. The Branscomb Glacier is not the place to discover that your pack is too small for your torso, or that your boots give you blisters. Recommended items reflect the opinions of our guides. We have used and have faith in all of our recommendations, but they may not necessarily fit or work for you.

Call or email us with any gear questions. We want you to be as prepared as possible for your expedition.

Please follow this list closely and do not hesitate to call us for clarifications or to solicit an opinion about anything you are considering. There is a modest selection of gear available in Punta Arenas, but please plan ahead and do not plan on purchasing anything in Chile, as what you need just might not be available. Only bring down top-notch gear that is in very good condition, as it will all get tested, perhaps to the extreme!


GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
OverbootsDouble mountaineering boots require overboots for the potential extreme cold of the upper mountain. We prefer snug fitting neoprene overboots, such as the ones from 40 Below. Triple boots generally do not require overboots, but we encourage you to double check with us regarding your personal boot choice.
Mountaineering SocksModern mountaineering boots do not require multiple socks as did boots some years ago. Most climbers prefer a medium to heavy weight, wool or wool/synthetic blend sock for use with mountaineering boots. Some climbers are fans of using a sock system of a very light synthetic sock with their heavier wool socks. Make certain that your socks do not make your mountain boots too tight, as this will result in cold toes. 3 - 5 pairs of socks should suffice for your expedition.
Mountaineering BootsModern Mountaineering Boots fall into two categories, traditional double boots and the newer triple boot systems with integrated gaiters. Either variety works well, however the “triple boots” are lighter and arguably simpler. Whichever you decide to use, the goal is to have warm, comfortable feet! Try on a variety of boots as they all fit differently and get the one that fits well. Consider your future mountaineering objectives when purchasing boots as well.

Recommended Triple Boots: La Sportiva OLYMPUS MONS EVO, Boreal G1 Expedition, Scarpa PHANTOM 8000 or Lowa 8000 GTX

Recommended Double Boots: La Sportiva BARUNTSE, or SPANTIK, Boreal G1 Lite or the Scarpa “INVERNO” with High Altitude Liners or aftermarket liners.

Guides' Tip: A great upgrade to any plastic boot are the Denali Liners by Intuition. These are lighter and warmer than almost any stock liners. They are heat molded to fit your feet and are worth every penny.
GaitersAny height gaiters will work for most trips, but tall versions like Black Diamond’s “Frontpoint Gore-tex” are better for snow and for protecting your pants while ice climbing.

Torso Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
VestA lightweight down or synthetic filled vest can be a nice addition for colder climbs or for those bringing a lighter weight expedition parka. We are fans of the ultralight down vests or the lightweight Nano vests from Patagonia. This is an optional layer for most climbers.
Wind ShirtMany high alpine peaks are cold and dry. If you are not getting rained on or experiencing wet snow, perhaps you do not need a waterproof jacket? We are huge fans of very lightweight windshirts for peaks like Denali and Aconcagua. Weighing just a few ounces, these can be carried in your pocket or in the lid of your pack for rapid deployment. They can replace your hard shell on many mountains, saving you a half a pound or more.
T ShirtSynthetic or lightweight Merino wool shirts can be a nice "extra" piece for the lower glacier on Denali. Consider this optional. Synthetics dry faster than cotton! Long-sleeve "sun hoodies" are popular amongst our guides.
Soft Shell JacketMany big, cold mountains do not require a fully waterproof jacket. Soft shell jackets are much more breathable and comfortable than Gore-tex, and we are fans whenever they are appropriate. Soft shell is a general term for highly breathable layers that still cut most, if not all of the wind. Some trips require a hard shell down low, but can be climbed using soft shells higher up on the mountain.
Hard Shell JacketThis jacket should be large enough to go over your fleece clothing layer. You do not need the burliest Gore-Tex jacket you can find, and we prefer the lightest weight versions. Many people are climbing peaks such as Denali, Aconcagua and Everest using very lightweight, windproof, water resistant shells, rather than fully waterproof jackets. Other trips, such as Carstensz Pyramid and Ecuador, are notoriously wet and absolutely need waterproof layers. Long expeditions like Everest also need this layer. Contact us to see if your particular trip needs this layer for your trip.
“Puffy,” Synthetic JacketSize this layer to fit over your light fleece and wind shell. We are fans of the puffy, Primaloft jackets because they are lighter and warmer than thick fleece and compress down much smaller. A hood is a recommended feature in this layer, but is not necessary.
Light Fleece TopYou'll want a light fleece top in a weight similar to Capilene 4 from Patagonia, or Powerstretch from Polartec. A rather deep zip t-neck really helps with ventilating and we are fans of a hooded version for this layer.
Base Layer Top(1 or 2 sets) Synthetic layers work well, such as Capilene 2 or 3 from Patagonia. There are some really nice Merino wool options on the market as well. One set it sufficient for most expeditions and for overnight trips, however; the choice as to whether to bring a second set is a personal one, based on your level of comfort with wearing the same clothes for days or weeks at a time.
Expedition ParkaPatagonia, Feathered Friends, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, and The North Face all make good parkas. There are some synthetic options; however, down is recommended as it is lighter and less bulky. You do not need a full-on 8000meter parka for peaks like Denali and Aconcagua, but you should have a warm one with a hood. A suitable parka will be built with "box baffled construction."

Leg Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Hard Shell, Waterproof PantsIf there is a probability or good possibility of getting wet, you will need to have waterproof breathable pants. Also known as Hard Shell Pants, these should be as light weight as possible, and should have fully separating side zippers, so you can put them on and remove them over your boots. Gore Tex is commonly used, but there are a number of other materials that work fine. On some peaks, you might carry hard shell pants for the lower mountain, but switch to soft shell pants for the colder and drier upper mountain.
UnderwearConsider synthetic or Merino wool for your underwear. Most longer trips, such as Aconcagua or Denali, typically require 3-4 pair, but choose your quantity based on your personal level of comfort. Ladies might consider bringing additional pairs.
Down or Puffy Expedition PantsOn summit day or on a cold morning, having a warm layer to pull on over all your other leg layers is important. This layer should be down or synthetic (ie. Primaloft) filled and must have fully separating side zippers. Practice putting them on and taking them off while wearing your boots before you leave for your expedition.
Soft Shell PantsWe are fans of soft shell pants for use in the mountains. Also known as stretch-woven pants, these are breathable and comfortable enough to wear day in and day out on most expeditions. They cut most of the wind and are water resistant, meaning you can often use them in place of waterproof (not very breathable) hard shell pants on many climbs. On peaks like Denali and Aconcagua, you can wear them in lieu of your hard shell pants for much of the expedition.
Light Fleece BottomsAs the air thins and the wind picks up, you'll want a bit more insulation on your legs. Light fleece bottoms, such as the Capilene 4 bottoms from Patagonia are breathable and have a broad comfort range, so you can wear them all day long, even if the sun pokes out from the clouds. If you tend to run cold, consider thicker fleece, such as Powerstretch from Polartec, which most outdoor clothing manufacturers also use.
Base Layer BottomsLightweight synthetic or Merino wool bottoms are a good choice for this layer. Synthetic seems to wick a bit better and is the choice of most of our guides, but Merino tends to be more fragrance-free, and many people appreciate that quality. One pair is sufficient for overnight climbs and most expeditions, even longer climbs such as Denali and Aconcagua. Everest climbers should bring two pair.

Head and Hands

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Nose GuardBeko makes nice nose protectors that keep the wind and sun from wreaking havoc on your skin.
Ski GogglesThese are necessary for use while traveling during storms or during really cold spells. These must have double lenses and provide full UV protection. Fogging is a real challenge, so the “Turbo Fan” goggles are worth the investment! Select a general purpose lens that will provide some protection in bright light, but not be so dark as to make them useless on a cloudy or flat-light day.
Hand WarmersBring 4 -6+ sets of these disposable insurance policies, depending on where you are climbing. Make certain that your hand warmers are relatively new, as they do go bad over time.
Glacier GlassesGlacier glasses are most commonly used on big mountains, but some wrap around, sport-style glasses also work well. Whichever you bring, they must have side protection and filter 100% UVA and UVB rays. Increasingly, sun glasses are divided into categories of light transmission, and for snowy or glaciated climbs, you will want glasses rated to Category 3 or higher.
Face MaskCheeks and the tip of your nose are notoriously difficult to keep warm, especially in a biting wind. Neoprene face masks do a great job of protecting those exposed surfaces.
Sun HatBaseball type or wide brimmed sun hats are required for protection against the intense sunshine found on many peaks. You can combine a baseball hat with a bandana for good sun protection or go for a wide brimmed version to protect your face, ears and neck.
Warm HatBring one warm hat or two hats of different weights. Wool or fleece are fine, but your hat must provide ear protection from the cold. Windstopper fabric over your ears can greatly reduce your ability to hear things like rockfall or your rope mate calling to you.
Buff Neck GaiterBuff is a brand of light weight neck gaiters that have grown to become a staple of every guide's kit. These are amazingly versatile, and can be worn as a hat, a neck gaiter or pulled over your face for protection from the wind or sun. They come in many thicknesses nowadays, but we prefer the original weight for its versatility.
Summit MittensThick, warm mittens made from down, synthetic fill, or a combination of insulation are crucial for summit morning on many big, cold mountains. Most come with some form of retention straps, which can help reduce the chance of losing them to a gust of wind or in the event of a fall. Select a pair that fit well, with enough room to wiggle your fingers, but not so big that you cannot perform basic tasks while wearing them. Good mittens are expensive, but how much is one finger worth?
Light Weight GlovesWhen the sun comes out on a glacier, the temperature can soar. Light weight, soft shell gloves are great for keeping the sun off your hands, while still giving you a bit of protection from the wind and cold.
Medium Weight GlovesMid-weight gloves have become increasingly popular in recent years, gaining traction on the traditional heavyweight gloves as the go-to hand protection on many trips. Appropriate gloves will have light synthetic fill and are often waterproof.
Heavyweight GlovesWarm, insulated gloves are the day-to-day workhorses on cold peaks or for cold days of ice climbing. We prefer gloves with removable liners for ease of drying. It’s hard to stress how much you’ll be wearing these, so do not skimp on this item. Gloves should fit snugly, but not be too tight, and try them out before you purchase them, as some brand name gloves have pretty terrible dexterity.

Sleeping Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Foam Sleeping PadBringing two sleeping pads, one closed cell foam and the other an inflatable pad, will provide additional comfort and insulation, as well as a bit of insurance in case you have a catastrophic failure of your inflatable pad.
Inflatable Sleeping PadInflatable pads have improved tremendously in recent years. Whether you choose a self inflating pad or one that requires some pumping to inflate, select a pad that is warm and comfortable.

Climbing Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
CramponsSelect a pair of 10 or 12-point mountaineering crampons that fit your boots well. Mountaineering crampons will have horizontally oriented front points, rather than the vertically oriented ones used for ice climbing. Step-in or strap versions work equally well; just make sure they fit your mountain boots and overboots. Often, you will need to lengthen your crampons to accommodate your overboots. Please make sure you can make this adjustment in the field. Aluminum crampons are generally not acceptable for most of our expeditions. Note that the newer, stainless steel version is a lot lighter than its predecessor.
Prussik CordIn addition to our one, full-handled ascender, we will use one prussik loop for glacier travel. Bring five feet of 6 or 7mm perlon cord for tying into a prussik loop. Your guides will assist with this in Anchorage.
Climbing HelmetMake certain it fits over your warmest hat and under the hood of your shell. We have seen a couple super-lightweight foam helmets get crushed in duffel bags bag during travel, so protect your lid!
Perlon Cord50 feet (15.25m) of 5-6mm accessory cord will be plenty to rig your sled and pack for glacier travel. This is readily available in Anchorage and should be considered disposable, as we'll cut it into several pieces.
Locking CarabinersBring three locking carabiners. Screwgate or auto-locking 'biners work equally well, although the new magnetic gate versions seem like they might be less prone to freezing closed. Select light weight carabiners.
CarabinersBring eight regular (non-locking) carabiners. Please do not bring “bent-gate” carabiners, as these have certain limitations that do not make them appropriate for how we will use them. Mark your 'biners with colored tape for identification.
Climbing HarnessYour harness should be adjustable enough to accommodate several layers of clothing. As with most items on this list, choose a light weight harness.
Ice AxeA general use, mountaineering axe is sufficient for this climb. Some axes are much lighter than others, so select for weight as well as a size for your height. Most climbers do well with a 60 - 75 cm axe. On less technical routes, a longer axe can act like a walking stick on flatter terrain.


GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
SunscreenThe sun can be intense at altitude. Bring one small tube for use while climbing and one larger tube for use while not on route.
Several Good Jokes!"A Moose walks into a bar..."
GPS Tracking DeviceSpot GPS devices have been the standard, but the DeLorme inReach has been increasingly popular, as you can send and receive text messages with it. We carry a tracking device on every trip, but you might consider bringing one as well. Again- consider how you will keep it powered over the course of your expedition.
Personal Music PlayeriPods and the like are really nice on a long trip. At altitude, hard drive based devices stop working, so make certain that you bring a flash drive (solid state) music player. Also consider how you will keep it charged, and bring whatever is necessary to keep you in time to the beat.
Small KnifeA small knife or small multi-tool is also handy to have. One per tent is sufficient. There is emphasis on the word small when it comes to multi-tools!
LighterYour guides will have plenty of lighters, but it is nice to have one lighter per tent, as cord always needs to be cut and melted.
MapsOur guides will have maps and/or GPS devices, but a good map can be fun to have along.
Altimeter WatchAn altimeter watch can be fun to have on an expedition to keep track of your ascent and to watch for changes in barometric pressure.
Journal (and pencil)Expeditions can be a great time for reflection and a journal can be a nice way to wax poetic or just keep track of what you did each day. Keep it small and leave the leather bound version at home.
Book(s) or E-ReaderThere is a lot of "down time" on an expedition, even when you have good weather. A book or two can help pass the time. E-Readers have gained popularity in recent years, as they enable you to have dozens (or hundreds) of books at your disposal. E-Readers present certain challenges, but can be a great way to keep your sanity during a long storm. Consider how you will recharge your e-Reader.
CameraSmall, light weight point and shoot cameras are most popular among climbers. Be sure to bring extra memory and batteries!
Personal Medical KitMountain Trip's guides will have fairly comprehensive medical kits developed by our Medical Director, but we encourage each climber to bring a small, personal kit. Items to consider bringing include: blister treatment and prevention, pain relievers, and antacids. Presctiption medications should be based on consultation with your personal physician. Suggested drugs for altitude expeditions include: Diamox (acetazolomide) 125 mg, Decadron (dexamthazone) 4 mg, Nifedipine XR 30 mg, and a couple of antibiotics for respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
P-BottleWide-mouth, collapsible Nalgene Cantenes work great- they make a 96 ounce version, which will come in handy during long storms or if you take Diamox. Ladies- look for an appropriate adapter available at your local outdoors store. These items can both be tough to find in Anchorage so plan ahead!
Toiletry KitTooth brush & paste, dental floss, Handi-wipes (1 per day on average), a small bottle of hand sanitizer, perhaps some foot powder… keep it small!!!
Toilet PaperDepending on your technique, you'll want 1-2 rolls, each packed in a quality zip-lock bag.
Sun ScreenSmaller tubes work well, as they are easier to keep from freezing than is one big tube. You'll want to bring 3-4 ounces (85 - 110g) for the trip.
Lip Balm (2 tubes)Protect your lips! Bring two tubes of high quality lip balm with SPF.
Lexan SpoonA soup spoon made from Lexan will survive most trips and is more useful and versatile than a fork or even a "spork." Mark your spoon with your initials to keep spoon rustlers at bay.
Insulated Cup or MugA 12 - 16 ounce (350-500 Ml) mug with an attached lid will help keep you hydrated. The Kleen Kanteen Insulated Bottle with the "Cafe Cap" is pretty nifty, as it is a mug and a thermos all in one!
Large Plastic BowlBowls are much easier to use and are much more versatile than are plates. Bring a 2-4 cup camping bowl or a plastic "Rubbermaid" style container for your mountain dining.
Insulated Bottle Cover(s)Water bottles freeze when it gets cold. Crazy, but true! Extra clothing can help insulate bottles, but dedicated water bottle insulators do a much better job. Bring at least one.
Two (2) One-Liter Water BottlesYou will need two, 1-liter plastic water bottles. Please bring wide-mouth bottles, such as those from Nalgene, as these are much easier to fill than bottles with small openings.
Stuff SacksWe are fans of the very light stiff sacks made from Sil Nylon fabric. Bring enough for your clothes and personal items. Light, zippered stuff bags are really nice for toiletries.
Ski / Trekking PolesAdjustable poles work great and are easier to travel with as they fit better in your duffel bag. Black Diamond Flick Lock poles are recommended as they are less prone to spontaneously collapsing than some of the twist-tightening versions. The small “trekking” baskets on some poles are not large enough for use on soft snow, so make certain your poles have bigger “snowflake” style baskets for any climb with glacier or snow travel.

Refunds and Cancellations

Mountain Trip recognizes how difficult and disappointing it can be for climbers who must cancel expeditions which they have planned for a long time. Team members must also recognize that, due to the nature of planning expeditions and dealing with governmental permits and regulations, Mountain Trip also accrues significant expenses in the months prior to expedition departure dates. We must therefore adhere to a strict refund policy for all climbers. Trip cancellation and travel insurance is generally available for all expeditions. U.S. and Canadian residents should contact us for more information regarding travel insurance. Our refund and cancellation policy is outlined below.

• Our Mount Vinson expeditions require a $7000 deposit to secure a spot on the team. Your submission of a deposit constitutes your acceptance of this Fee Schedule, Refund and Cancellation Policy.

• All deposits for Mount Vinson expeditions include a non-refundable $1500 administration fee (Trip Cancellation Insurance is available to protect the administration fee, if not the entire cost of your climb – US and Canadian residents can contact Mountain Trip for information on such a policy).

• Final payments for expeditions must be received 120 days prior to the Team Meeting Day.

• Failure to pay expedition fees by the date they are due constitutes cancellation of your spot on the team and forfeiture of your deposit.

• Any cancellation 120+ days before your Meeting Day will be refunded in full, less the administration fee.

• If you cancel 120-90 days before your Meeting Day, you are eligible for a refund of 50% of any monies paid, less the deposit.

• No refunds will be provided for cancellations occurring within the last 89 days prior to an expedition.

• All requests for refunds must be made in writing and received in our Colorado office.

• If you register for a climb within 90 days of the Team Meeting Date, expedition fees will be due in full to secure your spot on the team.

• Mountain Trip reserves the right to cancel an expedition prior to the departure date for any reason. In such an event, all monies collected by Mountain Trip from team members for that expedition shall be promptly refunded. This is the extent of our financial liability.


Inclusions and Exclusions

Included in the Trip Fee:

• Unlimited pre-trip access to our office resources

• US trained, Mountain Trip guide(s)

• Airport transfers

• Up to three nights accommodation in Punta Arenas (shared room)

• Welcome dinner in Punta Arenas

• Scheduled R/T flights between Punta Arenas and Union Glacier, Antarctica

• Scheduled R/T flights between Union Glacier to Vinson BC

• 125 lbs (56 Kg) of weight per climber (including group food and gear) is included with our flights

• All group equipment for the expedition, including: tents, kitchen, ropes, snow pickets, sleds, satellite phone for emergency use and for calling in dispatches, GPS tracking device for the team

• Custom expedition dispatch blog for your climb, complete with audio posts from the mountain

• Assistance arranging for post-climb activities such as wine tours, rafting, etc.


Not Included in the Trip Fee:

• Flights to and from Chile

• Visa fee in Chile

• Personal clothing and equipment

• Meals beyond the welcome dinner in Punta Arenas (breakfasts are included with your hotel room)

• Additional nights’ accommodation in Punta Arenas, in the event your flight to Antarctica is delayed or you arrive earlier than the Meeting Date

• Excess weight fee for Antarctic flights

• Base Camp showers, services and beverages beyond those provided in our meal program

• Travel and/or rescue insurance – Please note that Medical Evacuation Insurance is required for trips to Antarctica.

• Costs incurred due to evacuation or unplanned departure from the mountain due to illness or other problems

• Costs incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Mountain Trip

• Customary gratuities for guides and local staff

• Costs as a result of force majeure


General Agreement Concerning Services to be Provided And Responsibilities of Team Members

When registering for an expedition with Mountain Trip we want to help make sure you understand the services we are providing and the services you are responsible for.

Transportation is incidental

The main purpose of becoming a team member is to join us on an expedition in the mountains. As such any transportation we provide or that you may contract for on your own is incidental to the trip. We suggest that you make sure you have time built into your itinerary for delays.

Transportation to and from your destination

We will designate a specific Meeting Day for your expedition. Transportation to the meeting point on your Meeting Day is to be provided by you. You must arrive in time to be ready to participate in a team meeting at the appointed time on the Meeting Day for your expedition. Expedition climbing is very dynamic and we will provide you with a recommendation as to when you should book your flights to and from your destination. We suggest you book a ticket that allows you to change your flight with little effort or cost.

Lodging off the mountain

Mountain Trip will provide lodging per the Inclusions and Exclusions section above. Any additional lodging is your responsibility. Don’t worry about booking a room after your expedition. We generally don’t know how long we’ll be in the mountains, and we can help arrange lodging when we return to “civilization.”

Responsibilities of Team Members

You are ultimately responsible for your own well-being, including making all necessary preparations to ensure good health and physical conditioning. You are responsible for understanding the conditions that may exist on the climb and choosing a climb that is appropriate for your abilities and interests. You are responsible for having knowledge of all pre-departure information and for assembling the appropriate clothing and equipment for your climb.

While on the expedition, team members are responsible to maintain basic levels of hygiene and to conduct themselves respectfully with other team members and members of the local population. If a guide feels that a team member is putting other members’ health or safety at risk, the guide has the discretion to remove a team member from an expedition.

Use our office staff and your lead guide as pre-trip resources to ensure that all your questions are answered. Travel insurance may help recoup expenses if you need to leave an expedition due to an illness and Medical Evacuation Insurance is required for this particular expedition.

Airline Responsibility Passenger/Airline contracts are in effect while team members are on board any aircraft contracted for use in the expedition.

Share Button