Everyone has a wish list – a desire to do something different, to explore different places, to achieve their goals, to do anything and everything that will make us happy! So, here I bring you the mother of all the wish lists in the world – The Seven Summits!
The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continent and summitting them is not an easy task. The first person to climb all seven mountains was Richard Bass in 1985. It’s a dream of lots of climbers, adventurers and explorers to summit the highest point on each continent in their lifetime. Here are the tallest mountains of each continent.
Mount Everest, Asia
The mother of all mountains, Everest is a dream for every mountaineer out there! At a record-shattering 29,029 feet above sea level, the Mahalangur Range’s Mount Everest tops all peaks in the world. It was first ascended in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
Located on the border of Nepal and China—in fact, the border runs directly through the summit point—Everest has neighbouring peaks that could easily top many highest mountain lists. This peak attracts travellers, mountaineers, climbers from around the world. There are two main routes to trek – one from the north in Tibet which is more challenging and the other from south through Nepal. Historically, less than 30 percent of people who attempted to make it to the summit succeeded. Nowadays, this figure has increased to about 50 percent. The best time to climb Mount Everest is in late April and May.
Aconcagua, South America
If you’re ranking continents by their highest peaks, South America comes in second with Aconcagua in Argentina and its 22,834-foot summit.
Located in the Argentine province of Mendoza close to the region’s capital, Mendoza city, this Andean giant is a popular destination for climbers of all levels. The expedition to climb Mt. Aconcagua is a highly difficult one that typically spans over a course of 12 days. With extreme altitude climbs, the mountain poses extremely difficult conditions such as harsh winds, heavy snow and of course, low oxygen levels.
Denali, North America
Denali is the native American name for the mountain but it was changed to Mt. McKinley in honour of President McKinley and then officially changed back to Denali by the National Park Service in 1980 and by Congress in 2015.
Denali is located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the US state of Alaska. With a summit height of 20,310 feet (6,190 m), Denali is the highest mountain in North America. The classic West Buttress Route requires only intermediate technical climbing skills; but perseverance, intense physical exertion, teamwork and patient acclimatization are all necessary for this climb. The Kahiltna Glacier experiences drastic and unpredictable weather changes, so climbers have to be prepared for anything here!
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa
A huge dormant volcano and also one of the biggest volcanoes on the planet, Mt. Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania and is the highest mountain on African continent. It is also the world’s highest free-standing mountain which means it is not part of any mountain range. The trek to the top is comparatively easier than summiting those of the Himalayan or the Andes counterparts and the scenic route covers a huge variety of ecosystems. The climb takes anywhere from 4 to 7 days with 7 being the suggested time to allow for proper acclimatization.
Mount Elbrus, Europe
With a summit elevation of 5,642 meters (18,510 ft), Mount Elbrus is considered the tallest mountain in Europe.
The mountain sits within the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia near the border with Georgia. It has two main summits – the western summit at 18,513’/5642m and the eastern summit at 18,442’/5621m. Despite its formidable stature, Europe’s highest peak can be climbed by most, but it doesn’t come without challenge or commitment. It can be climbed from the north or south with the north being significantly less crowded and more difficult. The standard south route on Elbrus is technically easy.
Mount Vinson, Antarctica
With an elevation of 16,066 feet (4,897 meters), Mount Vinson is the highest mountain in Antarctica. It is located on the southern part of the main ridge of the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. Also called Vinson Massif, Mount Vinson is more than 750 miles (1,200 kilometres) from the South Pole, making it the most remote of the Seven Summits. Apart from the usual hazards of travel in Antarctica, the climb of Vinson offers little technical difficulty. But once you reach the top, the surreal view of the snow bed will leave you speechless!
Mount Kosciuszko, Australia
Located in Kosciuszko national park in New South Wales, Mount Kosciuszko is at a height of 2,228 metres and is considered to be a difficult summit. It’s more of a hill, but climbing, or hiking Mount Kosciuszko is a great way to spend a day in the Snowy Mountains. From the top of the ski-lift, the hike to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko and back again to the ski-lift is about 13km. Try your hands at skiing while you’re up there.
Click here to read about the Ten Highest Mountains in the World!
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