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Vinson Massif
Massif
(/ˈvɪnsən mæˈsiːf/) is a large mountain massif in Antarctica
Antarctica
that is 21 km (13 mi) long and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide and lies within the Sentinel Range
Sentinel Range
of the Ellsworth Mountains. It overlooks the Ronne Ice Shelf
Ronne Ice Shelf
near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula. The massif is located about 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) from the South Pole. Vinson Massif
Massif
was discovered in January 1958 by U.S. Navy
U.S. Navy
aircraft. In 1961, the Vinson Massif
Massif
was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (US-ACAN), for Carl G. Vinson, United States
United States
congressman from the state of Georgia, for his support for Antarctic exploration. On Nov. 1, 2006, US-ACAN declared Mount Vinson and Vinson Massif
Massif
to be separate entities.[4][5] Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica, at 4,892 metres (16,050 ft). It lies in the north part of Vinson Massif’s summit plateau in the south portion of the main ridge of the Sentinel Range about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north of Hollister Peak.[5] It was first climbed in 1966. An expedition in 2001 was the first to climb via the Eastern route, and also took GPS measurements of the height of the peak.[6] As of February 2010, 1,400 climbers have attempted to reach the top of Mount Vinson.[7]

Contents

1 Geography 2 Climate and glaciers 3 History

3.1 First ascent 3.2 Later ascents 3.3 First ascent
First ascent
from east side

4 Maps 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Geography[edit] The Vinson Massif
Massif
extends between Goodge Col
Goodge Col
and Branscomb Glacier
Branscomb Glacier
to the northwest, Nimitz Glacier
Nimitz Glacier
and Gildea Glacier
Gildea Glacier
to the southwest and south, and Dater Glacier
Dater Glacier
and its tributary Hinkley Glacier
Hinkley Glacier
to the east. The southeastern part of the massif ends at Hammer Col, which joins it to the Craddock Massif, of which the highest point is Mount Rutford (4,477 metres (14,688 ft)). The massif comprises both the high central Vinson Plateau
Vinson Plateau
with its few peaks rising to over 4,700 metres (15,400 ft), and several side ridges mostly trending southwest or northeast from the plateau. The current height (4,892 metres (16,050 ft)) of Mount Vinson was measured by a GPS survey that was conducted by the 2004 Omega Foundation team comprising Damien Gildea of Australia
Australia
(leader) and Rodrigo Fica and Camilo Rada of Chile.[8] Since 1998 and continuing through 2007, the Omega Foundation has placed a GPS receiver on the summit for a suitable period of time to obtain accurate satellite readings.[8] Climate and glaciers[edit] The climate on Mount Vinson is generally controlled by the polar ice cap's high-pressure system, creating predominantly stable conditions but, as in any polar climate, high winds and snowfall are a possibility. Though the annual snowfall on Mount Vinson is low, high winds can cause base camp accumulations up to 46 centimetres (18 in) in a year. During the summer season, November through January, there are 24 hours of sunlight. While the average temperature during these months is −30 °C (−20 °F), the intense sun will melt snow on dark objects.[citation needed] Over successive years, the limited amount of snow that falls on Vinson Massif
Massif
compacts and is transformed into ice, forming glaciers. These glaciers follow the topography and flow down the mountain's valleys.[9] The uppermost glacier occupies Jacobsen Valley
Jacobsen Valley
on the north face of Mount Vinson, and flows either into Branscomb Glacier
Branscomb Glacier
to the west or Crosswell Glacier
Crosswell Glacier
to the east. The Crosswell Glacier
Crosswell Glacier
flows into the Rutford Ice Stream
Rutford Ice Stream
via Ellen Glacier.[9] The south face of Mount Vinson is drained by Roché Glacier, which flows westwards into Branscomb Glacier, with the latter leaving Vinson Massif
Massif
to join Nimitz Glacier. History[edit] A high mountain, provisionally known as 'Vinson', was long suspected to be in this part of West Antarctica, but it was not actually seen until January 1958, when it was spotted by US Navy
US Navy
aircraft from Byrd Station. It was named after Carl Vinson, United States
United States
Representative from Georgia who was a key supporter of funding for Antarctic research.[4] The first measurement of the Vinson Massif
Massif
was established in 1959 at the elevation of 5,140 m (16,864 ft).[4] First ascent[edit] In 1963, two groups within the American Alpine Club, one led by Charles D. Hollister and Samuel C. Silverstein, M.D., then in New York, and the other led by Peter Schoening of Seattle, Washington, began lobbying the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
to support an expedition to climb Mount Vinson. The two groups merged in spring 1966 at the urging of the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
and the American Alpine Club, and Nicholas Clinch was recruited by the American Alpine Club to lead the merged expeditions. Officially named the American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition 1966/67, the expedition was sponsored by the American Alpine Club and the National Geographic Society, and supported in the field by the U.S. Navy
U.S. Navy
and the National Science Foundation Office of Antarctic Programs. Ten scientists and mountaineers participated in AAME 1966/67. In addition to Clinch they were Barry Corbet, John Evans (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN), Eiichi Fukushima (University of Washington, Seattle, WA), Charles Hollister, Ph.D. (Columbia University, New York, NY), William Long, Ph.D. (Alaska Methodist University, Anchorage, AK), Brian Marts, Peter Schoening, Samuel Silverstein, M.D. (Rockefeller University, New York, NY) and Richard Wahlstrom. In the months prior to its departure for Antarctica
Antarctica
the expedition received considerable press attention, primarily because of the reports that Woodrow Wilson Sayre was planning to fly in a Piper Apache piloted by Max Conrad, the "flying Grandfather", with four companions into the Sentinel Range
Sentinel Range
to climb the Mount Vinson. Sayre had a reputation for problematic trips as a result of his unauthorized, unsuccessful, and nearly fatal attempt to climb Mount Everest from the North in 1962. His unauthorized incursion into Tibet led China to file an official protest with the U.S. State Department. In the end, the purported race did not materialize as Conrad had difficulties with his plane. According to press reports, he and Sayre were still in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
on the day the first four members of AAME 1966/67 reached Mount Vinson's summit. In December 1966 the Navy transported the expedition and its supplies from Christchurch, New Zealand
New Zealand
to the U.S. base at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, and from there in a ski-equipped C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
to the Sentinel Range. All members of the expedition reached the summit of Mount Vinson. The first group of four climbers summited on December 18, 1966, four more on December 19, and the last three on December 20. On August 17, 2006, from nomination by Damien Gildea of the Omega Foundation, US-ACAN approved naming the subsidiary peaks south of Mount Vinson for the AAME 1966/67 members Nicholas Clinch, Barry Corbet, Eiichi Fukushima, Charles Hollister, Brian Marts, Samuel Silverstein, Peter Schoening and Richard Wahlstrom. Other peaks in the Sentinel Range
Sentinel Range
had previously been named for John Evans and William Long.[10] Later ascents[edit]

Gavin Bate ascending Mount Vinson in 2000

The climb of Vinson offers little technical difficulty beyond the usual hazards of travel in Antarctica, and as one of the Seven Summits, it has received much attention from well-funded climbers in recent years.[7] Multiple guide companies offer guided expeditions to Mount Vinson, at a typical cost of around $30,000 per person, including transportation to Antarctica
Antarctica
from Chile. First ascent
First ascent
from east side[edit] While the vast majority of prior climbs to the summit have used the western side of the massif from the Branscomb Glacier, the first ascent from the east side was successfully completed by an eight-person team sponsored by NOVA in January 2001.[6] The team consisted of:

Conrad Anker
Conrad Anker
– expedition leader Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauer
– mountaineer and author Dave Hahn
Dave Hahn
– mountain guide with 34 ascents, including ascents to Gardner, and Shinn. Andrew Mclean – extreme skier Dan Stone – glaciologist Lisel Clark – producer John Armstrong – cameraman Rob Raker – assistant cameraman and sound recording

The team not only made the first ascent from the east side but also performed scientific research into snow accumulation at different elevations as well as taking the first ground based GPS reading from the summit. The GPS reading gave the elevation of the highest point in Antarctica
Antarctica
as 16,077 ft (4,900 m), eclipsing the earlier established heights recorded in 1959 and 1979. Another first was the successful aircraft landing of a Twin Otter on the Upper Dater Glacier
Dater Glacier
on the eastern slopes of Mount Vinson. NOVA named the production "Mountain of Ice", which first aired on PBS in February 2003.[6] Maps[edit]

Vinson Massif. Scale 1:250 000 topographic map. Reston, Virginia: US Geological Survey, 1988. D. Gildea and C. Rada. Vinson Massif
Massif
and the Sentinel Range. Scale 1:50 000 topographic map. Omega Foundation, 2007. Antarctic Digital Database (ADD). Scale 1:250000 topographic map of Antarctica. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). Since 1993, regularly updated.

See also[edit]

Vinson Plateau Mount Sidley
Mount Sidley
– highest volcano in Antarctica

References[edit]

^ "Vinson Massif" Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2011-10-26. ^ " Antarctica
Antarctica
– Ultra Prominences" peaklist.org. Retrieved 2011-10-26. ^ "GPS waypoints for the Vinson Massif". 7 Summits. Retrieved 2007-01-29.  ^ a b c "Vinson Massif". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  ^ a b Stewart, J. (2011) Antarctic An Encyclopedia McFarland & Company Inc, New York. 1776 pp. ISBN 9780786435906. ^ a b c NOVA. "Mountain of Ice". WGBH. Retrieved 2004-12-28.  ^ a b "Mount Vinson, the summit of Antarctica". 7 Summits. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  ^ a b Gildea, Damien; Splettstoesser, John (2007-08-27). "Craddock Massif
Massif
and Vinson Massif
Massif
remeasured". 10th International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (ISAES), 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  ^ a b "Vinson Massif". United States
United States
Geological Survey.  ^ ExplorersWeb Inc. "Vinson Massif
Massif
& The Sentinel Range: New map – new names". The Poles. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 

External links[edit]

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v t e

Seven Summits

Asia

Everest (8,848 m or 29,029 ft)

South America

Aconcagua
Aconcagua
(6,962 m or 22,841 ft)

North America

Denali
Denali
(6,198 m or 20,335 ft)

Africa

Kilimanjaro (5,893 m or 19,334 ft)

Europe

Elbrus (5,642 m or 18,510 ft) or Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
(4,810 m or 15,781 ft)

Antarctica

Vinson Massif
Massif
(4,892 m or 16,050 ft)

Oceania

Puncak Jaya
Puncak Jaya
(4,884 m or 16,024 ft) or Mount Wilhelm
Mount Wilhelm
(4,509 m or 14,793 ft)

Oceania
Oceania
(Australia)

Mount Kosciuszko
Mount Kosciuszko
(2,228 m or 7,310 ft)

.