All you need to know about the seven summits

Mention the seven summits and everyone goes mute. They all want to hear all you have to say about the subject. To spare you the trouble of always looking for information about the seven summits elsewhere; this article has everything you need to know about the seven summits.

What are the seven summits?

The seven summits are the highest points in every continent. This means that there is no bigger mountaineering accomplishment than reaching the seven peaks.

While everyone agrees that the seven summits are the highest points in each continent, there is some debate as to which mountains should be included in the list. When Dick Bass first completed the challenge in 1985, the highest peaks for each continent were established as follows:

  1. Aconcagua (South America)
  2. McKinley (North America)
  3. Vinson (Antarctica)
  4. Kilimanjaro (Africa)
  5. Kosciusko (Australia)
  6. Elbrus (Europe)
  7. Everest (Asia)

There was a dispute when Pat Marrow, another climber, argued that Carstensz (Puncak Jaya) was the highest mountain in Australia and not Kosciusko as suggested by Dick Bass. He justified this by stating that the continental shelf on which the Carstensz pyramid rests is part of the Australian content. Reinhold Messner backed up this and the variation came to be known as the Messner list, which is followed today.


  • South America’s Aconcagua (22841 Feet)


Aconcagua, near the Argentinean/Chilean border, is the highest mountain in the world outside Asia’s Himalayas. A team of German climbers was the first to reach its summit back in 1987. The official climbing challenge for Aconcagua starts in late March and early November.


  • North America’s Denali


At some point, the name had been changed to McKinley in honor of President McKinley but later reverted back to the original by Congress in 2015. Denali, meaning “the high one”, is located in Alaska- east of the Bearing Sea.

Mt. Denali is mostly renowned for unfavorable weather. By deciding to hike there, you must be in for wind, precipitation, and snow.


  • Antarctica’s Vinson


Mt Vinson is named after US Congressman Carl Vinson. The average temperatures do not fall below 20 degrees. On the negative side, however, you must be prepared to carry everything you need in your kit because there are no porters here.


  • Africa’s Kilimanjaro


This is Africa’s tallest volcanic mountain. At the top, there are three summits labeled Kibo, Shira, and Mawenzi. You will enjoy tour guiding, group camping, and even hut accommodation on some of the routes. Climbing Kilimanjaro is considered to be the easiest among the seven summits.


  • Australia’s Carstensz


Mt. Carstensz climb is a tough one. In fact, you will need a number of permits to embark on the climb. Because it’s so close to the equator, you can climb it all year long but expect a lot of rain.


  • Europe’s Elbrus


Elbrus is a dormant volcano located in the uneven Caucasus Mountains. The normal route to the peak is an easy one. It includes a cable car to about 13000”. Despite the easy climb, about 25 deaths are reported each year due to unpreparedness to harsh weather.


  • Asia’s Everest


Everest rests on the Nepal-Tibet border. Attempting to reach the summit without supplemental oxygen could be lethal and has even caused almost 120 deaths.



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