What are mountaineering’s 7 summits?

6 Feb

Some of my work colleagues have decorated my desk surrounds with what they call a wall of spunks. And they mean it entirely ironically since the largest image is of an Identikit composite.

For the most part I let them go, but every so often one of them takes pity on me and adds someone who does not boast man boobs, excessive chest/face hair or some combination of the two. Which is how Bear Grylls got a guernsey.

Now, I’ve been a fan of Man vs Wild for a long time, even knowing “he and the crew receive support when they are in potentially life-threatening solutions, as required by health and safety regulations”.

I won’t hear a word against him. And to the detractors who call him a fake and a fraud, I simply point out he has some serious adventuring credentials. I mean the man climbed to the summit of Mt Everest when he was only 23, becoming the then youngest Briton to do so.

It was an incredible feat. One I could certainly never hope to emulate. But why stop there?

After all, it’s just one of the famous 7 Summits, otherwise known as the seven highest mountains on the seven continents. But where are the others? I set out to find out. And here they are…

* Kilimanjaro, Africa, 5895m
* Denali, North America, 6194m
* Elbrus, Europe, 5642m
* Aconcagua, South America, 6962m
* Vinson, Antarctica, 4897m
* Everest, Asia, 8850m

Then we get to the final and somewhat controversial summit. The Bass list includes Mt Kosciuszko in Australia (2228m) while the Messner list broadens the continental definition to Oceania or Australasia and slots in Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia (4884m).

Either way, getting the set is an impressive feat!


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