Climbing the World’s 7 Summits

Summiting the tallest mountain on a continent is one of the world’s greatest achievements, but completing all 7 is rare adventure only for the most daring of people. Here is a list of the tallest mountains on each of the 7 continents.

Kilimanjaro – Africa
Residing in the country of Tanzania, the tallest mountain in Africa rises to a massive 19,341 feet. Currently a dormant volcano, Kilimanjaro was first climbed by an Englishman named Hans Meyer. Today it is a popular destination for hiking and takes about a week to summit one of the many different routes to the top.

Aconcagua – South America
At the tail end of the Andes Mountains in Argentina lies an enormous mountain of epic proportions. Living at 22,837 feet this is the highest mountain of the Americas and was first climbed by Matthias Zurbriggen from Switzerland. It is considered to be the highest ‘non-technical’ mountain on earth, meaning no equipment is necessary to reach the summit. However, extreme temperatures and weather make this trek more difficult than it may seem.

Mount Mckinley – North America
The Alaskan beast of a mountain known as Mount Mckinley rises to an astounding 20,327 feet. This peak was attempted numerous times before finally being summited in 1913 by a group of Americans and a Brit. With a view that is said to be ‘looking out of the windows of heaven’, Mckinley is now open to trekkers willing to spend 2-3 weeks climbing the mountain.

Mount Everest – Asia
The highest and most famous of the seven summits, Mount Everest is considered to be one of the most adventurous journeys in the world today. First climbed by a New Zealander named Sir Edmund Hillary, the 29,0289 ft summit lies at the exact border point of Nepal and China. Climbing Everest is becoming more popular every year and true mountain adventurers are becoming upset with the ability for extremely wealthy people to buy guided tours to the summit that don’t require crucial mountaineering skills.

Vinson Massif – Antarctica
Lying in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Montains, the Massif rests at 16,050 feet. Recruited by the American Alpine Club, Nicholas Clinch was the first person to lead a group to the summit of this frozen peak. The distance from civilization makes this one of the most difficult of the seven summits to climb.

Elbrus – Europe
Living in Russia near the border of Georgia, Mt. Elbrus is a controversial choice for the tallest mountain in Europe. Its proximity to the Asian border makes some consider Mont Blanc to be the tallest mountain in continental Europe. Despite the debate this 18,510 ft mountain is a spectacular trek in a relatively unknown region of the world.

Kosciuszko – Australia
The tallest mountain in continental Australia is also up for debate as one of the seven summits of the world. As it only rises to a mere 7,310 feet many consider Carstensz Pyramid of Papau New Guinea to be a better choice as it is technically part of the ‘Oceania Continent’ which includes Australia. However, the original Seven Summits list included Koscioszko, which is by far the easiest of this list’s famous peaks.

Be sure to check out some Swiss Army Knives before you attempt a summit of any of these peaks.

By Alex Vere Nicoll