Tag: Antarctica

Today on Christmas Eve, the Vinson team took a rest day at Low Camp.  Garrett Madison, expedition leader, called in with the following details:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition.  Today is December 24th.  We had a great day here at Low Camp, perfect weather all day – warm, sunny, no wind.  We had a rest day here – slept in late, had a nice breakfast, and did some training today.

 

And then climbed partway up the route to check it out.  All looks good and we’re excited to be heading up to High Camp tomorrow!  We will check in on Christmas Day when we get up to High Camp tomorrow.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Today the Vinson team #1 made the move from base camp to Low Camp (2940m/9,100ft).  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, reports in with today’s dispatch via sat phone:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition.  Today is December 23rd and today we climbed from Vinson base camp up to Low Camp.

 

It took us about five and half hours and we got up to Low Camp in the evening, dug out our cache and set up camp.  We had a nice dinner.

 

All tucked into our tents now and getting ready to go to sleep here.  Everyone did great today!  We had beautiful weather – it was a nice warm day, hardly any wind, and great views all around.  So a wonderful day climb up Mount Vinson.

 

Our plan for tomorrow is to take a rest.  Everyone’s doing great.  We will check in soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

After a day of carrying loads up towards Low Camp, expedition leader, Garrett Madison, checks in via sat phone from Vinson base camp:

Hello, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedtion #1. Today is December 22nd and we are at Vinson base camp. We had a great day. We carried a load up part way to Low Camp, returned back to base camp and organized our gear and our food for our move up tomorrow to Low Camp. Everyone is doing great here in base camp, weather is improving and we’re looking forward to moving up the mountain soon. Everything’s well here at Vinson.  We’ll check in soon!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Our team has arrived at Mount Vinson Base Camp and expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides a brief recap of today’s activities via satellite phone:

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson climb #1. We made it to Mount Vinson base camp today. The Twin Otter flew us out of Union Glacier camp. We arrived at Vinson base camp in the afternoon, set up our camp and cooked dinner.  We had a great meal and now were just tucked into our tents and our sleeping bags getting ready for a good night’s rest.  All’s well here at Vinson base camp.  We’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archives)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Garrett and our first Mount Vinson team for the season have arrived at Union Glacier camp, Antarctica and are looking forward to flying on to Mount Vinson base camp today:

Hello, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Mount Vinson team #1. We have arrived at Union Glacier camp! We got in about 1:00 AM today, Saturday December 21st. We’re really happy to get out of Punta Arenas and had a smooth flight to Antarctica and landing at Union Glacier camp.

 

We got in, had a nice meal and set up our tents and now we are all tucked in and looking forward to a good sleep and having breakfast tomorrow at 9:00 AM. Hopefully the weather will be good tomorrow and we can fly over to Vinson base. We’ll check in soon, thanks!

(photo:  Linda Wohlgemuth from the Madison Mountaineering archives)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, called in today reporting on the kick-off of our first Mount Vinson expedition of the season in Antarctica:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Vinson expedition #1. Today is Wednesday, December 18th, and we are in Punta Arenas. We’ve been here a few days, all packed up, and ready to go. Everything is loaded on the Ilyushin Il-76 jet ready to fly us from here to Union Glacier camp, Antarctica.

 

But, the weather is bad so we can’t fly so we’re just waiting here. But, we are making the most of it. We’ve had a great time visiting the penguins, checking out the museums in town, walking along the coastline, and enjoying some great meals here in Punta Arenas. Some wonderful restaurants!

 

So everyone’s doing well, we’re having a good time, and just hoping with fingers crossed that we will have some good weather in a couple of days to fly to Antarctica.

Mount Vinson team #1 ready to go!

Mount Vinson team #1 ready to go!

Dinner in Punta Arenas

Dinner in Punta Arenas

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

 

We are excited to once again be heading off to Antarctica to climb the southernmost of the Seven Summits, Mount Vinson.  The first of our two expeditions this season heads out on December 18th.  Stay tuned here for daily updates once we get underway.

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on Mount Vinson for the 2020/2021 season next December!  Contact our office for details.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow the teams as they make their attempts to summit the highest mountain in Antarctica on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking maps:

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Be among the few to have climbed Antarctica’s highest volcano and one of the Volcanic Seven Summits. Join the ultimate mountaineering expedition to Mount Sidley (4285m / 14,058 ft) and stand atop one of the most remote summits on earth.

Sidley is a huge mountain, set on the white expanse of the Polar Ice Sheet. This majestic peak features a 3 mi (5 km) wide caldera and sheer-walled amphitheater, created by an explosive eruption 4.7 million years ago. Blue-ice slopes guard the upper mountain and fantastical snow mushrooms sprout along the upper ridge, leading to the summit.

Mount Sidley was first climbed in 1990 by New Zealander Bill Atkinson.

Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile. Our guide will meet you upon arrival at the airport and take you to our hotel. After settling in, we will conduct a thorough equipment check, and then have a group dinner at one of the many fine restaurants.

Day 2: After breakfast, we attend a pre-flight briefing with our flight operator, and discuss many aspects of the journey to Antarctica. In the afternoon we send our duffel bags to the airport to be checked and packed for departure. We have the late afternoon and evening to explore the city.

Day 3: Depart for Antarctica. We fly approximately 5 hours over the Drake Passage and land at Union Glacier camp. We generally spend 1-2 nights at this camp.

Day 4: Review rope travel, Ice axe arrest, and crevasse rescue techniques.

Day 5: Fly to Mount Sidley base camp, establish base camp.

Days 6-12: Climbing period. Mount Sidley has been climbed by fewer than 10 teams and there is still opportunity for exploring new routes. The mountain offers several interesting options, including a longer, easy ascent from the north side and a steeper climb up the west ridge from the Bennett Saddle. Your guide will assess the options and decide on a route based on the group’s skill and experience.

From base camp to the summit of Mount Sidley involves approximately 7300 ft (2225 m) of elevation gain. You’ll climb alpine-style, setting intermediate camps on the mountain, and carrying all of your food and equipment with you. Although you may use skis lower down on the mountain, most of the climb will be done with crampons.

The slopes of the mountain are wind-blown, with hard packed snow and sections of blue-ice. Gentle slopes near the base give way to steeper terrain higher up.

Summit day offers spectacular views as you follow up the summit ridge along the rim of the caldera. The walls of the Weiss Amphitheater drop steeply away below you and neighboring Mount Waesche may tempt you with its snowy slopes.

As you make your way to the summit ridge, you’ll weave your way between a fantastical maze of snow mushrooms. These massive snow features are formed by wind and moisture depositing rime ice on small obstacles over time.

Following the summit, you’ll return to your high camp, then retrace your steps back to base camp.

Day 13: Fly back to Union Glacier Camp this day.

Day 14: Fly from Union Glacier Camp to Punta Arenas

Day 15: Depart Punta Arenas for home.

Days 16-18: Extra days in case of bad weather or flight delays.

Mount Sidley 2021 Departures:
January – to be announced

Cost: $59,950
Deposit: $12,000

Costs Include:
‌• Round trip flights from Punta Arenas to Antarctica
• All flights within Antarctica to reach Mount Sidley base camp and back
• All accommodation and services while in Antarctica
• All meals in Antarctica
• All team equipment (tents, ropes, cooking equipment, etc.)
• All communications equipment such as VHF radios and satellite phone
• Guide service fees
• Daily weather forecasting during the climb

Costs Do Not Include:
• Bank transfer fees, if needed
• Accommodation and meals in Punta Arenas
• Personal items (see equipment list)
• Medical and Evacuation Insurance (required)
• Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
• Any charges incurred that are beyond the control of Madison Mountaineering, LLC
• All prices and program dates are subject to change

Mt. Sidley Cancellation and Refund Policy:
Each deposit includes a $5,000 non-refundable registration fee that secures your flight reservation to Antarctica. A full refund, minus the registration fee will be provided if a refund request is made in writing and received by our office 120 days before the program begins. No refunds will be provided from the 120-day period leading up to the start of the expedition.

• Ice Axe: General mountaineering tool (65cm)
• Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
Ascender: 1 right or left hand ascender (Petzel brand is best)
• Alpine Climbing Harness: A mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock climbing “sport” harness.
• Carabineers: 3 locking and 3 regular
• Accessory Cord: 40’ of 5mm accessory cord for rigging your harness and prussiks.
• Rappel device: ATC or figure 8
• Mountaineering boots: La Sportiva Olympus Mons, Millet Everest, etc. A ’triple’ boot system is preferred to keep your feet warm.
• Gaiters: If you are not using a triple boot system (recommended above), then plan to bring gaiters.
• Overboots: If you are not using a triple boot system, please bring neoprene overboots to provide additional warmth for your feet.
• Booties: Optional, down is best.
• Wool or synthetic socks: 3 pair
• Liner socks: 3 pair
• Synthetic Short underwear: A non cotton style underwear.
• Lightweight Long Underwear: 2-3 pair long sleeve shirt and long pants
• Heavyweight long underwear: 1 pair
• Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt: 1-2 pair
• Soft Shell jacket: To be worn over other layers
• Soft Shell Pants: Very breathable and water repellant
• Hard Shell Jacket with hood: A waterproof and breathable shell jacket
• Hard Shell Pants: Waterproof and breathable shell pants
• Heavyweight Insulated Down Jacket with hood: 800+ fill
• Insulated synthetic Pants: 800+ fill
• Warm Hat: Synthetic or wool hat (ski hat).
• Balaclava: to protect your neck and face in high winds.
• Facemask: Optional, neoprene is best.
• Baseball Cap or other sun hat: To shade your face / neck from the sun on a hot day.
• Bandana or Buff: To protect your neck / face from the sun.
• Balaclava: To protect your face & neck from the wind/cold
• Glacier glasses: Full protection with side covers or wrap around.
• Ski goggles: To be worn on summit day in the event of high winds.
• Lightweight synthetic liner gloves: For wearing on a hot day.
• Soft shell gloves: To wear for moderate cold / wind.
• Shell glove with insulated liner: To wear for severe cold / strong wind.
• Expedition Mitts: Large enough to fit a liner glove inside.
• Expedition Backpack: 65L pack should be large enough.
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -40°F. Goose down or synthetic.
• Compression stuff sacks: For reducing volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc., in your pack.
• Self inflating sleeping pad: Full length is preferred.
• Closed cell foam pad: To be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping.
• Trekking poles with snow baskets: Adjustable poles
• Cup: A plastic 16 oz. minimum cup or mug
• Bowl: A large plastic bowl for eating dinner or breakfast out of
• Spoon: Plastic spoon (lexan)
• Sunscreen: SPF 50 or better
• Lip screen: SPF 30 or better (2 sticks).
• Water bottles: 2 or 3 wide mouth bottles with 1 liter capacity.
• Water bottle parkas (2): fully insulated with zip opening.
• Thermos: 1 liter
• Pee bottle: 1 liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent.
• Toiletry bag: Include toilet paper and hand sanitizer
• Hand warmers & toe warmers: 3 sets of each.
• Knife or multi tool (optional).
• Trash compactor bags: to line back pack and stuff sacks as well as for separating gear.
• Camera: bring extra batteries and memory cards.
• Travel Clothes: For days in Punta Arenas.
• Duffel bags (2) with locks: To transport equipment.
• Base Camp Items: Kindle, iPad, smart phone, etc.
• Snack food: Please bring a week’s supply of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. A variety of salty and sweet is good. Please be advised that some foods are not allowed into Chile.
• Small personal first aid kit: Include athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, personal medications, etc.

Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because we have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun!

Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.

Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!

More Climbs

Our final Mount Vinson expedition of the season was able to go all the way from Mount Vinson High Camp to Union Glacier Camp in a day.  Listen in to expedition leader Garrett Madison‘s audio expedition dispatch:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Mount Vinson expedition with Jim Lumberg and Garrett Madison (in conjunction with PolarExplorers).  Today is January 19th and we have arrived back at Union Glacier Camp.  We had a great summit yesterday on Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica.  Today we woke up at High Camp, packed up our camp, descended down to Low Camp, and then all the way to Vinson Base Camp.  We were very fortunate to be met by a Twin Otter aircraft which then shuttled us 45-minutes back to Union Glacier Camp, the main hub here in Antarctica.

 

The plan is that tomorrow we hope to fly out on the llyshun jet back to Punta Arenas, Chile.  Then, in the next few days, be homeward bound.  We were very lucky to get out today from Mount Vinson to Union Glacier.  We are both doing well, just had a great dinner, and looking forward to some much needed rest.

 

Thanks for following along.  We will check in soon.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering 2019 Mount Vinson team two)

This just in from expedition leader, Garrett Madison.  Our third and final expedition of the season reached the Mount Vinson summit making 3 for 3!

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for Mount Vinson expedition with Jim Lumberg and Garrett Madison.  Today is January 18th and we summited Mount Vinson today!  We had a beautiful summit day with the mountain all to ourselves.  We are back at High Camp about to have some pad thai dehydrated meals.

 

Our plan is to head down tomorrow to Vinson Base Camp and hopefully soon catch a flight to back to Union Glacier Camp.  It’s been a great climb so far.  We just have to get down the steep fixed rope section tomorrow and down on to Vinson Base Camp.

 

All is well here and it’s been a wonderful expedition!  This is Garrett Madison and Madison Mountaineering in collaboration with PolarExplorers.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering 2019 team two)

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