The seven summits, the highest peaks of the 7 continents: Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson, Carstensz! Trips, Statistics & information!
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Vinson GPS

Waypoints for Vinson offers fully serviced trips from Punta Arenas, Argentina on the Normal route
Below are coordinates of the regular route up Mt Vinson as well as the summit of Mount Shinn, see the explanation beneath for details.


Submitted by: Rob Milne Scottish Mountaineering Club jan 2004
Grid Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm' Rob Milne's GPS Damien Gildea's
Datum WGS 84 Measurements (Not accurate) Measurements:
Header Name Coordinates Altitude Altitude
Waypoint Patriot Hills Camp and airstrip S80 18.115 W81 21.011 2836 ft/ 864m   782m
Waypoint Vinson Base Camp S78 32.094 W86 00.932 6928 ft/2111m   2100m
Waypoint Turn of glacier S78 32.142 W85 49.455 8328 ft/ 2538m  
Waypoint New Camp 1 S78 30.042 W85 48.607 9145 ft/ 2787m  
Waypoint Old Camp 2 S78 29.177 W85 48.405 11089 ft/ 3380m  
Waypoint Start Headwall S78 29.142 W85 45.269 11963 ft/ 3646m  
Waypoint High Camp S78 29.279 W85 41.935 12368 ft/ 3770   3700m
Waypoint Cache Poles S78 31.529 W85 37.035 16587 ft/ 5056m  
Waypoint Vinson Summit S78 31.449 W85 37.029* 17149 ft/ 5227m* 4892m*
Waypoint Mount Shinn Summit S78 27.812 W85 43.493 16457 ft/ 5016m 4661m



* Rob Milne used a simple GPS, likely using barometric pressure as well as satellites for altitude, which is not reliable at this latitude. Damien Gildea remeasured Vinson as well as Mt Shinn with a better unit (see below). The height for Vinson was 4892.17m. Full Lat/Long was 78 31 31.74 S 85 37 01.73 W, which is the only waypoint that is off from Rob Milne's.

Damiens GPS ran on the highest piece of solid rock, about 3m south of the snow mound with the pole in it. The crest of the mound is maybe 1m or less higher than the top of the rock.


In the words of Damien, from different publications and emails:

"But really this is within the +/-5m that the USGS put on such heights anyway, at least for Antarctica, so we are not claiming anything dramatic.

We also measured the sub-peaks of Vinson (9 of them, only one previously climbed) and found that 'Kershaw Peak' was only 27m lower than Vinson main summit. But those sub-peaks are not really individual mountains, just peaks, so Tyree is still the real #2."


"Mt. Shinn has long been considered Antarctica’s third highest mountain. The first surveys of the Ellsworth Mountains were done by US parties during the 1961-62 season, when the first ascents of mountains in the range were also done. The area was re-surveyed in the 1979-80 season, again by a US party. This expedition included, however, two German and one Soviet climber, who climbed to the summit of Vinson Massif in the course of their work. They placed a ski-pole and red flag on the summit, which assisted the ground parties in obtaining a height for Vinson that was more accurate than had previously been ascertained. Thus the height of Vinson’s main summit was reduced from 5140m to 4897m. The official height of Mt. Tyree was also reduced to 4852m, but no height was ever published for Mt. Shinn – either before or after the 1979 work." (from the Shinn report on the Omega foundation site)

In 2002 Shinn's height was 4660.508m. Full Lat/Long was 78 27 48.8 S 85 43 28.9 W

Note: All the camp readings were on snow/ice. Vinson Main Summit was on rock.


Our system is a lot more detailed than any handheld GPS, even when the handheld is using the satellites for altitude, let alone when it is going by barometer. Our unit is a Trimble 5700, an updated model of what was used on Everest a few years back by Bradford Washburn et al. Details at and also in the older Shinn section of



Measuring Vinsons altitude at the summit (aboit one meter below the snow summit). Picture by Damien Gildea, the climber in the pic is Camilo Rada.


Damien Gildea is the author of ‘The Antarctic Mountaineering Chronology’ (1998), the only reference book dealing specifically with ascents of the peaks of Antarctica and South Georgia.