Climb Antarctica with GoTrek

The continent of Antarctica is the last great frontier. Our adventure to “the ice” is an amazing climbing expedition with most of the adventure being the trip to the mountain itself! Feel the same climate and atmosphere that pushed the legendary Ernest Shackleton to his heroics in the famous Nimrod and Discovery expeditions as you pull sleds across the ice en route to climbing Mt. Vinson.  At 16,067 feet, 4,897 meters, Mt. Vinson is the highest point on the Antarctic continent, and one of the Seven Summits, it’s located 600 miles from the South Pole. Climbing Vinson, feels like a “mini” Denali expedition, demanding and breathtakingly scenic (but shorter in length).

The climb of Mt. Vinson is straightforward, but does demand some technical glacier travel experience. Go Trek’s Craig Van Hoy requires previous glacier traversing experience and (preferably) extensive winter camping experience. An ascent of Mt. Vinson can be done in as little as one week but our itinerary includes plenty of time for acclimatization, rest, and weather delays. The cold, dry Antarctic climate is like nothing else you’ve experienced.

Join GoTrek for your next adventure! Come and take part in an unforgettable experience! It is a climb like none other . . .

Note: six climber limit.

Culture & Sightseeing

Go Trek jumps into Antarctica from Punta Arenas, Chile, the southernmost city on Earth and a historical haven for famous explorers, pirates and gold-crazed Europeans heading for the California Gold Rush. Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, Punta Arenas sits astride one of the world’s historic trade routes; its prosperity has risen and fallen with that trade. Punta Arenas enjoyed its first great boom during the California Gold Rush, when it served as a harbor for great clipper ships. It is a fascinating and unique town complete with exotic sights and sounds. We’ll spend the better part of two days in Punta Arenas, organizing our gear and preparing for our climb. You’ll have an opportunity to sample its delectable restaurants, see the Magellan Penguins, and stroll among the historic buildings of downtown.

Experience Requirements

This is a moderate nontechnical climb. That said, Vinson is a land of extremes. You should have solid previous winter mountaineering experience and be familiar with the use of ice axe, crampons, and rope travel.

  • 2015-16 TREK DATES

    December 26, 2015 – January 14, 2016



  • Days 1-2:  Flights from home to Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Day 3:  Day spent in Punta Arenas; prep and organize gear. Sightsee around Punta Arenas
  • Day 4:  Flight to “The Ice.” About a 6-hour flight to Patriot Hills, then we make our way via small plane to Vinson Basecamp
  • Day 5:  Double-Carry Day I; we’ll carry and cache to Camp I at approximately 9,500 ft
  • Day 6:  Rest Day / Acclimatization Day; overnight at Vinson Basecamp
  • Day 7:  Climb to Camp I
  • Day 8:  Double-Carry Day II; we’ll carry our gear to our 12,500 ft. camp and cache it. Overnight at Camp I
  • Day 9:  Rest Day / Acclimatization Day; overnight at Camp I
  • Day 10:  Climb to Camp II; prepare for our first summit attempt
  • Day 11:  First Available Summit Day
  • Day 12:  Optional Summit Day or, if successful on our first attempt, descend to Vinson Basecamp
  • Day 13:  Fly to Patriot Hills, then to Punta Arenas; overnight in hotel in Punta Arenas
  • Day 14-15:  Flights from Punta Arenas to home

Note:   We will be building in four additional optional days for weather, acclimatization, etc. This will allow us to accommodate any logistical glitches that might show up given the complex nature of traveling to/from Vinson Basecamp.


Equipment List


  • Double plastic climbing boots with good foam liners
  • Insulated overboots
  • Gaiters
  • Down camp booties
  • Three (3) pairs of socks
  • Two (2) sets non-cotton long underwear (bring a heavy weight and a lighter weight)
  • Climbing pants (Schoeller fabric is great)
  • Fleece jacket
  • GORE-TEX® pants
  • GORE-TEX® jacket
  • Down jacket
  • Down pants
  • Balaclava or face mask
  • Ski hat
  • Three (3) sets of gloves, liners, ski gloves, and warm overmittens

  • Backpack – 6,000-cubic-inch capacity
  • Adjustable trekking poles
  • Ice axe
  • Sleeping bag (-20 is good)
  • Two (2) sleeping pads
  • Crampons
  • Climbing harness
  • Ascender
  • Eight (8) carabiners (at least 2 locking)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Sunglasses (wrap-around style)
  • Ski goggles
  • Nalgene water bottles
  • Pee bottle (optional)
  • Cup, bowl, and spoon
  • Toiletries
  • Personal supply of toilet paper
  • First aid kit
  • Five (5) large plastic garbage bags
  • Camera, film, and extra batteries