Mount Sidley—Volcanic Seven Summits

Land Based Trips
Land-Based
Fly to South Pole to see Emperor Penguins

Climb in one of the least travelled corners of Antarctica and experience mountaineering at its most exploratory

Do you dream of the unexplored and crave the extraordinary? This is the ultimate - a mountaineering expedition to Mount Sidley 14,058 ft (4285m), Antarctica's highest volcano.

Sidley is a huge and remote mountain set on the flat white expanse of the Polar Ice Sheet. The majestic, mostly-snow-covered peak features a 3 mile (5km) 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, creating an elaborate maze that leads to the summit.

Mount Sidley was first climbed in 1990 by New Zealander Bill Atkinson and saw it’s second ascent in 2010 by a guided party of four. The team established a new route up the east ridge and traversed all three summits. Other interesting routes have yet to be climbed and, in the spirit of real adventure, we aim to lead parties up different routes in the coming seasons.

Sidley’s spectacular remote setting, interesting and varied climbing, and its status as one of the Volcanic Seven Summits make it a ‘must do’ for adventurous mountaineers.

Accommodations

Union Glacier Camp
The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming at our main Antarctic camp at Union Glacier. You’ll find roomy, double occupancy sleeping tents; a spacious dining hall; fresh delicious meals; and a spectacular setting. You’ll be surprised how comfortable Antarctica can be! Our full-service camp is designed for Antarctic conditions and with best environmental practices in mind. It operates during the Antarctic summer (November through January) and is dismantled at the end of each season.

Field Camps
Our Emperor Penguin, ski expedition, climbing and other field camps are more basic. Equipment must be lightweight and portable, yet still strong enough to withstand Antarctic conditions. We sleep in mountaineering-style tents and eat a combination of fresh-frozen meals, prepared by our chefs at Union Glacier; and de-hydrated meals.

Strenuous

Strenuous trips include skiing, climbing, and trekking trips where you spend several days or more in remote field camps and you are active for 6-8 hours a day over steeper, more rugged terrain. They can involve climbing and camping at altitude and in extreme weather conditions. These trips can be tailored to your skills and abilities, however a good level of fitness is essential and some technical skills may be required.

Day 1: Fly to Antarctica

Depart Punta Arenas Chile. Fly 4 ¼ hrs to Antarctica by private transport jet. Land on our ice runway and settle in at Union Glacier Camp.

Days 2-3: Expedition Preparations

Review expedition plan with your guides. Climb small peaks near camp to acclimatize and to get to know your climbing team.

Day 4: Fly to Mount Sidley

Fly 550 miles (885km) over the vast emptiness of West Antarctica to the Executive Committee Range. Our ski aircraft lands near Mount Sidley and we establish base camp at approximately 6700 ft (2042m), below the imposing bulk of the mountain.

Days 5-9: The Ascent

Mount Sidley offers several interesting route options, including a longer easy ascent from the north side and a steeper climb up the west ridge from the Bennett Saddle. The route that you climb will be decided by your team and your guide, based on the group's skill and experience.

From base camp to the summit involves approximately 7300 ft (2225m) of elevation gain. We climb alpine style, setting two intermediate camps on the mountain and carrying all of our food and equipment with us. We may ski to low camp on hard packed, wind blown snow, but most of the climb will be done with crampons.

Summit day offers spectacular views as we follow the summit ridge along the rim of the caldera. Below us the sheer walls of the Weiss Amphitheater drop away 4000 ft (1200m) and neighboring Mount Waesche tempts us with its snowy slopes. We weave our way between a maze of fantastical ice 'mushrooms'. These snow features are formed by wind and moisture depositing rime ice on small obstacles, over the years evolving into massive structures. Following our summit we return to high camp, then retrace our steps back to our base camp.

Days 10-11: Weather Days

Optional ascent of Mount Waesche or some of the other satellite peaks in the area, if time and weather allow. These days also provide a buffer for weather delays.

Day 12: Return to Main Camp

Fly back to Union Glacier Camp. Celebrate our achievement with a glass of champagne and a delicious, fresh meal prepared by our chefs.

Day 13: Return to Punta Arenas, Chile

The aircraft from Punta Arenas will arrive with a new collection of avid explorers and you depart for the final leg of your Antarctic experience. Our staff will meet you at Punta Arenas airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Please Note:

No two Antarctic experiences are exactly the same. This is part of the excitement and adventure of Antarctic travel. The itinerary above highlights typical activities and experiences. Exact timeline and details will vary from trip to trip. Trip length may vary by departure.

Please anticipate delays and do not plan anything for at least a week after your scheduled return. Allow yourself to enjoy this unique experience without the stress of pending commitments.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Per Person USD
Rates 2014-2015
Price (US$)
Camp
$68,500
 
Camp
Contact for Details
 
Camp
$68,500
 
Camp
$40,700
 
Camp, XC Ski
$65,500
 
Camp, XC Ski
$60,500
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp
$68,500
 
Camp
$45,800
 
Camp, XC Ski
$27,500
 
Camp
$23,250
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp, XC Ski
$58,900
 
Camp
$45,800
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp, XC Ski
$58,900
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$27,500
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$53,800
 
Camp
$45,800
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp
$45,800
 
Camp
$49,300
 
Camp, XC Ski
$58,900
 
Camp, XC Ski
$58,900
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$39,900
 
Camp, Mountaineering
$27,500
 
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