The "Seven Summits" Challenge
Everest, Aconcagua, Denali (McKinley),
Elbrus, Vinson, Kosciuszko / Carstensz
About 25 years
ago, Dick Bass conceived the idea of climbing the "Seven Summits".
This challenge consists of climbing the highest mountain on each of
the 7 continents. Dick Bass was the first to complete this
challenge in 1985, but a controversy about the actual list of the
seven summits still remains.
the geographical, geological or geopolitical boundaries, the highest
summit of Europe could be either Mont Blanc in France at 15,774 ft.,
or Mount Elbrus in Russia at 18,540 ft..
lying north of the main Caucasus crest, technically falls into
Europe by a few miles, using the classic Europe/Asia dividing line.
Elbrus and the Caucasus are not generally thought of as very
"European", instead being closer to the Middle East. The
alternate candidate, Mont Blanc is clearly in Europe, but being 2766
ft. lower in elevation, is an honorable mention. When it comes to
the "Seven Summits", the consensus is that Mount Elbrus holds the
title as top of Europe.
The debate is even
stronger for the 7th summit title between Kosciuszko in Australia at
7,308 ft., or the Carstensz Pyramid in Irian Jaya, Indonesia at
16,023 ft., in Oceania.
is the highest summit in Australia/Oceania, but strictly speaking,
it is hard to call it a continental high point when it is not on a
continental landmass, and second, politically it is in Indonesia,
part of Asia. Lowly Mount Kosciuszko is the high point of the
generally flat continent of Australia, and is considered by many to
be the true seventh summit.
there are two "official" lists of the "Seven Summits": Bass' version
with Kosciuszko as the 7th summit and the Messner's list with Carstensz
Pyramid as the 7th summit. Many climbers wishing to complete the
"Seven Summits" challenge, do both peaks.
the various statistics nearly 200 mountaineers have completed the
"Seven Summits" challenge, with less than 10% of those climbers
Back to Seven Summits Gallery