ANI maintains a seasonal base camp on the Branscomb Glacier at the foot of Mount Vinson. This is the start point for most Vinson climbs.
Vinson Base Camp is located 95 miles (151km) from our main Antarctic Camp on Union Glacier. The geographic location is 78º32'S 086º00'W. And the elevation 7020ft (2140m) above sea level. Flights to and from Vinson Base Camp are by ski aircraft (from Union Glacier).
ANI guests enjoy comfortable accommodation in a spectacular setting. A heated dining/multi-purpose tent is our main operations center. The tent has a dining/relaxation area for our ANI guests and guides and a separate operations/kitchen area. Meals are based on fresh ingredients and include fresh-frozen meals prepared in advance by our chefs at Union Glacier as well as meals prepared on-site. Guests sleep in sturdy 4-season mountain tents near the main ANI tent. Simple, open-air toilets with privacy walls provide a "loo with a view" looking out over the Nimitz Glacier.
Base Camp staff provide meals for our guests, manage and maintain our base camp faciltiies, coordinate with visiting guides, and assist in case of emergency on the mountain. ANI Rangers also live at Vinson Base Camp. As their name suggests they move about the mountain maintaining equipment and re-stocking caches. They also coordinate with ANI and visiting guides to keep Vinson clean and provide assistance to field parties when required. Rescue equipment is stored at Vinson Base Camp and emergency caches on the mountain.
Vinson Base Camp maintains daily communication with climbing parties, Union Glacier camp, and our Chile office, using VHF, HF, Satellite phone, and email communications. Guests can make outgoing satellite phone calls from base camp, using our Iridium handsets. Pre-paid phone cards can be purchased at Union Glacier or Vinson Base Camps.
In keeping with our policy of best environmental practices, our camp is solar powered and all waste is returned to Punta Arenas, Chile (via Union Glacier) for proper disposal.