The Seven Summits of the World are known as highest peaks found on each continent on Earth. The concept was first suggested by Richard Bass in the 1980's and it has been every mountaineer's goal to climb each one during their lifetime. Bass was the first to climb all the summits and once held the record for having been the oldest person to climb Everest.
As for the seven summits, no doubt, you may have heard of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mount Everest in Nepal. Read about the rest - how tall they are, which are the most challenging and why, how much it will cost you to make the climb to the highest peaks in the world. . .
||1) Mount Everest / Qomolangma
Mountain Range: Himalayan Mountains
Location: Nepal, China, Asia
Height: 8,850 meters or 29,028 feet
Located on the border between Nepal and Tibet, Everest is the world's highest mountain and most notorious.
It is also one of Nepal's most significant sources of tourist revenue. Almost 2,500 reached Everest's summit by the end of 2007, each bringing in around $25,000 each. Sherpas are an ethnic Nepalese group who reside in the mountains and are employed as guides and porters for climbers.
Two of the most famous climbers in the world are Edmund Hillary (a New Zealander) and Tenzing Norgay (a Sherpa), the first men to reach the summit of Everest in 1953
Mountain Range: Andes Mountains
Location: Argentina, South America
Height: 6,962 meters or 22,320 feet
Aconcagua is said to be an easier mountain to climb, technically speaking. Altitude sickness is one of the biggest barriers and no oxygen masks are required.The youngest person to have ever climbed Aconcagua was Jodan Romero of Big Bear Lake, California at 11 years old in December 2007.
|3) Denali / Mount McKinley
Mountain Range: Alaska Range
Location: Alaska, USA, North America
Height: 6,194 meters or 20,320 feet
Denali is the Native American word for "The High One." It was once named Mount McKinley after U.S. President William McKinley but named back in 1980.
Mount Denali is known for its cold climates, containing 5 large glaciers. One thermometer that was left on the mountain for over 19 years recorded that it had once reached -73.3C (-100F). Severe altitude sickness is also prevalent on Denali because its latitude is much higher. A mountain like Denali at the equater would have approximately 47% more oxygen on its summit, compared to sea level.
|4) Mount Kilimanjaro
Location: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa
Height: 5,895 meters or 19,640 feet
Kilimanjaro is made up of three cones of an inactive volcano and is the highest peak in Africa. Kibo is the highest cone where Uhuru Peak stands over Tanzania.It usually takes 4-5 days to climb Kilimanjaro and huts are located at each day's stop. This is thought to be one of the "easier" mountains to climb and is possible for those who have limited mountaineering experience. Avoiding altitude sickness by acclimatization is one of the hardest parts.
||5) Mount Elbrus
Mountain Range: Western Caucasus Mountains
Location: Kabardino-Balkaria & Karachay-Cherkessia, Russia, Europe
Height: 5,642 meters or 18.510 feet
The Elbrus mountain is also known as Strobilus, where Zeus chained Prometheus and Titan stole fire from the gods to give to men.
Each summer, approximately 100 climbers attempt the climb each day. Every year, about 15-30 die from their attempts to summit the mountain.
|6) Vinson Massif
Mountain Range: Sentinel Range, Ellsworth Mountains
Height: 4,892 meters or 16,067 feet
Vinson is known as one of the most inaccessible ranges in the world, and is only 800 miles from the South Pole.
The mountain was unknown and unsuspected until 1957. It wasn't until 1966 and 1967 that the first ascent was made to its peak. The most difficult part about the Vinson Massif is its inaccessibility, but there are now a few operators who offer tours to this no man's land.
||7) Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid)
Mountain Range: Sudirman Range
Location: Irian Jaya, Indonesia, Oceania
Height: 4,884 meters
Puncak Jaya is known as the most technically difficult summit to climb. To climb to the peak of Puncak Jaya, a government permit is required but can be acquired through adventure tourism operators.Once covered with glaciers, it was reported that in the 1970's, Puncak Jaya's glaciers had begun to melt and today, it stands as a significantly less mountain that it once had
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Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer & photographer in Toronto, Canada with a passion for food and travel.
Located: Toronto Canada
Likes: cities, culture, food/wine, paths-less-travelled, photography, wildlife