The Seven Peaks or the Seven Summits define the highest peaks of each of the seven Continents. Climbing all of these Seven Peaks is the biggest challenge that only a handful of Mountaineers can aspire for. This is because of the extreme skills, fitness and of course resources that are needed to achieve this mammoth feat. While each of the continents has more challenging peaks to climb from a technical perspective, the Seven Tops have the glory of being the highest summits.
As per records, only a few hundred have accomplished this challenge so far. Richard Daniel “dick” Bass, an American businessman became the first person to climb all of the Seven Peaks in 1985. He was also the oldest person to climb the Mount Everest then. The Seven Peaks Challenge got popular when his book titled ‘Seven Summits’ was published in 1988.
Here is the catalog of the Seven Summits which will give you a glimpse into their glorious an awe-inspiring stature.
Mount Everest, Asia
Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain and the toughest of the Seven Peaks is located in the Himalayan range between Nepal and China Border. The Summit of Mount Everest is 8,850 meters (29,035 feet). It’s the iconic mountain for every mountain climber. Some mountaineers consider it an easier mountain to climb technically, but because of its height it becomes one of the deadliest. One of the major obstacles in this summit is the icefall located at the Khumbu Glacier. Huge blocks of ice keep collapsing at this glacier and large cracks open up which makes this the most dangerous point in the entire climb.
Aconcagua, South America
Aconcagua, the second highest mountain of the seven peaks outside Asia; located in the Andes mountain range. The altitude of Aconcagua is 6,960 meters and is considered the highest non technical mountain in the world. This is because it does not require any ropes, pins and axes if approached from the northern route. However, the altitude and extreme weather on this summit is life threatening. It is said that only 3 out of 10 climbers are able to complete the summit.
Denali, North America
The ferocious peak of Denali is located near the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Circle which also makes this one of the coldest places on earth. Denali has the summit elevation of 6,190 meters (20,310 feet), higher than Mount Elbrus and Kilimanjaro. The upper half of Denali is permanently covered with snow and many glaciers. Climbers have to be highly skilled in snow and Ice climbing to complete the summit.
Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano and the easiest of the seven peaks. It’s a straight walk to the summit and requires standard sleeping bag, waterproof clothing along with hiking boots. Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania in East Africa. It is a non technical climb with the success rate of 90%.
18,510 ft Mt. Elbrus is also a dormant volcano in the Caucasus mountain range with two summit points. It is heavy glaciated and contains ice worth of 70 glaciers. The Climb is straight on ice and snow, not considered very difficult technically but challenging due to its steepness and strong winds. Compared to rest of the Seven Summits you can easily climb the summit with basic skills.
Puncak jaya, Oceania
Puncak jaya lies in the middle of the rain forest of Indonesia and considered the most exotic mountain of the Seven Summits list. It’s the most dangerous and challenging mountain to climb in the Oceania. To reach the summit one requires rock climbing, repelling and scrambling skills. Journey starts with a week long trek through the rain forest to the base camp and then steep rock climbing section to reach the summit.
With an elevation of 16,066 feet, Mount Vinson is the highest mountain in the frozen Antarctic region. It is located in the Ellsworth mountain range and 1200 km from the South Pole. Vinson sees a very few visitors as it is the most remote of all the Seven Peaks. The climb does not require significant technical skills but with Planet’s harshest climate, it becomes one of the most arduous climb.