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Mount Vinson: The Highest Peak in Antarctica

Mount Vinson, or the Vinson Massif, is the highest peak in Antarctica, standing at a whopping 4,892 meters (16,050 feet). Located in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, it is the most prominent peak on the continent and an iconic landmark.

Vinson is one of the Seven Summits. Meaning it's the tallest mountain on one of the seven continents, in this case, Antarctica. The other six mountains are: Mount Everest (29,029 feet) in Asia, Mount Denali (20,322 feet) in North America, Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet) in Africa, Elbrus (18,510 feet) in Europe, Aconcagua (22,828 feet) in South America, and Carstensz Pyramid (16,024 feet) in Australia/Oceania.

Mount Vinson

Mount Vinson: At a Glance

Here are the important facts to know about Mount Vinson:

  • Location: Antarctica

  • Height: 16,050 feet (4,892 meters)

  • Prominence: 16,050 feet (4,892 meters)

  • First Ascent: 1966

  • Notable Fact: Vinson is one of the Seven Summits.

If you're interested in Vinson, you might also want to read about the Transantarctic Mountain Range in Antarctica.


The climbing history of Mount Vinson is an interesting one. The mountain was first climbed in 1966 by an American team. The team was led by relatively unknown climber Nicholas Clinch. The expedition was known as the American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition and was funded by the National Geographic Society and the AAC.


The mountain was named for Carl Vinson, a US Representative from Georgia who helped fund the expedition to scout the mountain (which was not seen until 1958).

New routes are still being climbed on Vinson to this day, including a route in 2001 that ascends from the east.


Mount Vinson, also known as Vinson Massif, is the highest peak in Antarctica. Located in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, it stands at an elevation of 4,897 meters (16,066 ft) and is part of the seven summits – the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.

US Department of Interior map of the Vinson Massif

The mountain itself is a large, flat-topped massif surrounded by a vast icecap. It is composed of igneous rocks that are around 100 million years old and is located near the Shackleton Ice Shelf. Despite its extremely remote location, Mount Vinson has become an increasingly popular destination for mountain climbers over the past few decades.

The Sentinal Range

Vinson is part of the Sentinal Range, a large, northern range of mountains in Antarctica. It stretches for 115 miles and is 30 miles wide at its largest. The range includes numerous peaks that reach heights of well over 10,000 feet, including Vinson. Some of the mountains in the range include:

  • Mount Tyree (15,919 feet) (the second-tallest mountain in the range)

  • Clinch Peak (15,883 feet)

  • Corbet Peak (15,820)

  • Schoening Peak (15,561)

  • Hollister Peak (15,515)

  • Príncipe de Asturias Peak (15,354 feet)

Antarctica Mountain


Mt Vinson and its surrounding region, the Vinson Massif, have some of the most extreme weather conditions on earth. The area is mostly covered in snow and ice, and temperatures range from -76°F (-60°C) in the winter to 17°F (-8°C) in the summer.

During the winter months, snowfall can be heavy, and blizzards are common. During the summer months, temperatures can increase significantly, and sunshine can provide some relief from the cold. Winds in the area can be strong and gusty at all times of the year, making conditions hazardous for climbers.

Precipitation is minimal in this region, but during the summer, there can be occasional rainstorms.

How Dangerous is Mount Vinson?

Mount Vinson is not regarded as a particularly dangerous or difficult mountain to climb when compared to the other seven summits. Climbers can join guided missions to the peak for around $50,000 and join the over 1,000 climbers who have attempted it.

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