Vinson Massif Climb Antarctica  •  16,067'  •  4897m

Vinson Massif Frequently Asked Questions

This information should answer many of your initial questions and also guide you through the next stages of preparing for the expedition. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us:

  • Travel & Insurance
  • How do I get there?

    Flights typically arrive midday on Day 1 of the itinerary. We encourage you to book your flights early if possible, we will share your Guide's itinerary once booked. Due to contingency days, an open-ended or changeable ticket for the return flight is suggested. For best service and support, we recommend that you work with a knowledgeable travel agent that can assist you quickly should you need help while traveling.

    Get to the airport early and make sure your luggage gets checked through to the correct destination. Also, make sure that your flight connections aren't too tight. Lost luggage is a pain. Try to keep the number of connections to a minimum when you are making travel plans and use the same airline as much as possible.

  • What kind of insurance do I need?

    Travel Insurance is required, minimum $150,000 of evacuation coverage, and medical expense coverage. Trip cancellation/interruption coverage is strongly suggested due to our no-refund policy.

  • Do I need a passport?

    A valid passport with at least 6 months of validity is required. A "well-traveled" passport should have extra blank pages available for visa stamps. We suggest that you make a copy of your passport and keep it with you during your travels. Familiarize yourself with Travel Advisories and entry requirements available on the U.S. State Department website.

  • Packing & Food
  • How should I pack?

    Most of us will pack our gear in two duffle bags. Put your climbing pack in one of these bags. Most airlines limit checked luggage to two pieces each weighing no more than 50lbs, depending on the airline. New security measures make it impossible to lock luggage. Use zip ties to close the zipper tabs on your bags or pick up some TSA approved locks that use a numbered code, not keys. These are nice for your peace of mind. They help to prevent pilfering. In addition to these two bags, it's nice to use a small backpack for your carry-on luggage.

  • What kind of travel clothing should I bring?

    Casual attire is the rule for most of our activities. T-shirts and jeans work well in South America. It's nice to have a clean shirt with a collar and a pair of pants for evenings just in case we ever wound up at someplace a bit fancier. It can get windy and cool in Punta Arenas so you will want to have a windbreaking layer which can be your Gore-Tex jacket or a softshell.

  • How much money should I bring?

    Cash should be carried in the form of U.S. dollars. Bring small bills. Well-known credit cards are also accepted at better business establishments throughout the world. Plan to take about $1,500. That's probably more than you'll spend but it's always nice to have extra dollars.

  • What food should I bring?

    IMG will provide breakfasts and dinners during our time in Antarctica but plan on providing your own snack foods. The common phrase in the mountains is, "lunch starts after breakfast, and finishes right before dinner." These snacks will be used during the hours on the trail and summit day. You should plan on bringing 10-12 days' worth of snacks at about one pound per day. Hot drinks will be offered during group breakfasts and dinners which will include cocoa, tea, cider and coffee.

    Starbucks Via packets have become very popular in the mountains and if you're a big coffee drinker make sure to throw a few in. Snacks can be purchased in Punta Arenas but make sure to bring your favorite items from home.

  • Medical
  • What medical info should I consider?

    In addition to the first aid items listed on the equipment list, you must also bring some high altitude medications. These should be discussed with your personal physician and will require a prescription. Any medication should be used only if necessary and use should be discussed thoroughly with your guide before you take the medication.

    Personal first aid kit:

    • High altitude and travel medications:
      • Acetazolamide (10 tablets @ 125mg)
      • Dexamethasone (4 tablets @ 4mg)
      • Nifedipine (2 tablets @ 30mg)
    • Azithromycin ("Z-Pak")
    • Aspirin
    • Antacids
    • Imodium
    • Advil
    • Moleskin or second skin for blisters
    • One roll of athletic tape
    • Band-aids

  • What immunizations do I need?

    Requirements are subject to change. We encourage you to refer to the CDC website for the most up to date requirements and recommendations. ALE has now dropped the vaccination requirement; you just have to arrive three days early (per our itinerary).

  • Miscellaneous
  • What's included in the expedition fee?

    Costs Included in Trip Fee:

    • IMG Leadership & local guides
    • Group climbing equipment
    • Group flight from Chile to Vinson Base Camp (Round Trip)
    • Double occupancy in a nice hotel (3 nights in Punta Arenas at the beginning of the trip)
    • Shared accommodations in tents
    • Meals while climbing with the exception of lunch snacks
    • IMG buff

    Costs Not Included in Trip Fee:

    • International airfare/tax/baggage fee
    • Taxi/transportation to/from airport
    • Single supplement accommodations in hotel in Punta Arenas
    • Snacks while climbing
    • Alcoholic beverages and personal sundries
    • Personal gear/climbing equipment
    • Travel Insurance
    • Covid RT-PCR tests required for travel
    • Any expense resulting from Covid-19 resulting in delays or quarantine
    • Hotel costs due to weather or change of itinerary in Punta Arenas
    • Evacuation, hospital or medical costs
    • Guide gratuities (Tipping)