by Geir Mjosund 20/03/2016
The Seven Summits or Nine Summits are an epic mountaineering adventure of challenge, perseverance, and excitement. The seven highest mountains of the world’s seven continents. However, there is a matter of dispute between the Bass and Messner lists, which gives us an additional two peaks to conquer. As a result of this there is nine peaks to summit.
The Seven Summits are the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Climbing all seven is considered a mountaineering challenge . The idea of this challenge was first launched by Richard Bass in the 1980s .
Different interpretations of continental borders (geographical, geological, geopolitical) gives several definitions of the number of continents and the highest peak of each continent. The Seven Summits based on the continent model used in Western Europe and the USA.
The highest mountain on the Australian mainland is Mount Kosciuszko (2230 meters), and the highest peak on the Australian continent is Puncak Jaya (also called Carstensz Pyramid), 4884 meters.
The widely accepted highest peak in Europe is Elbrus (5642 meters) in the Caucasus. This is the highest peak when including the Caucasus within European borders. But this is controversial, with some people considering Mont Blanc (4810 meters) as Europe’s highest mountain.
The first Seven Summits list which was set up by Bass (Bass or Kosciusko list) chose the highest mountain of mainland Australia, Mount Kosciuszko (2230 meters) to represent the highest point on the Australian continent.
Reinhold Messner postulated another list (Messner- or Carstensz list) where he replaced Mount Kosciuszko with New Guinea’s Carstensz Pyramid (4884 meters). Neither Bass nor the Messner list includes Mont Blanc.
From a mountaineering point of view the Messner list the most challenging. Climbing Carstensz Pyramid has more character of the expedition and, whereas the ascent of Kosciuszko is an easy hike. Canadian Pat Morrow, who was the first to climb all the peaks on the Messner list, used precisely the argument for this list: he thought that the climbing was more important than the collection, and that it had to be a real climb goal therefore had to be the highest mountain in Australasia.
Climber and author Jon Krakauer (1997) wrote in Into Thin Air that it would be a bigger challenge to climb the second highest peak on each continent, known as Seven Second Summits. This is true particularly for Asia, as K2 (8,611 m) which is assumed to be a greater climb in regards to technical skills than Mount Everest (8850 m), where the altitude-related factors as the thin atmosphere, high winds and low temperatures are largely the same. Some of those completing the seven ascents are aware of the extent of these challenges. Morrow suggested in 2000 that the reason Messner not even was the first to complete the Seven Summits was that he was in a hurry to run up and down the fourteen highest peaks in the world, the 8000ers.
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We are Mtxplore, an ambitious team of explorers that love all the corners of the world, with one true purpose – The Mountains. Our love for the mountains and our love seeing the various parts of the world has pushed our limits beyond the normal expectations of life. We push the bar higher and higher everyday so we can achieve our goals to reach the highest summit of each continent on earth. These challenges is a road we would love to share with you. This road is called “The Seven Summits”.
The plan for 2016 is to go to Chamonix and climb the surrounding peaks in June, then in August we will climb Kazbek in Georgia and then at the end of the year make an 3 weeks unsupported expedition into Argentina to summit the highest mountain outside Asia, Aconcagua (6960 meters) and 1 of the Seven Summits.
In the summer of 2017 we plan to climb Khan Tengri (7010 meters), a technical mountain that have similar conditions to the 8000 meter peaks. This is because in 2018 we plan to climb Cho Oyu (8201 meters) without oxygen and without support.
Broad Peak is most likely on the calendar for 2020, a peak that has never been summited by any Norwegian ever. Then down the road we also have Everest and K2.
There is only 34 people who have made an summit to all the 14 mountains over 8000 meters, 3 Polish and 0 Norwegians.
Our summit at Mount Elbrus in 2015