The Volcanic Seven Summits

Attempting to summit the tallest mountains this world has to offer is a popular activity amongst the elite adventurers of this planet. Climbing the notorious ‘seven summits’ is an achievement of incomparable magnitude, however it is becoming more and more common with advances in technology. A lesser-known challenge for alpine adventurists is the ‘volcanic seven summits’ or the highest volcanoes on each of the seven continents. In Europe and Africa the highest mountain actually is a volcano so there is some slight overlap with the ‘seven summits’ however these magma filled beasts present an entirely new challenge for climbers. Not an activity for the feint of heart, here’s the list of the volcanic seven summits.

Ojos del Salado – Chile
Located at a gargantuan 22,615ft, Volcano Ojos del Salado is the highest point in Chile. The beast is located on the border of Argentina and is actually the second highest mountain in both the Western and Southern hemispheres. To reach the summit of the volcano it is mostly a long hike, but the last scramble could require ropes depending on the conditions. A pair of Polish climbers first climbed it back in 1937.

Mount Davamand – Iran
The highest volcano in the continent of Asia is located in the heart of the Middle East. Residing in Iran near the Caspian Sea, Mount Davamand rises to a respectable 18,406ft. The volcano holds a sacred place in Persian mythology and is located in the middle of the famous Alborz mountain range.

Mount Giluwe – Papau New Guinea
At 14,327 ft, Mount Giluwe is the second highest mountain in Papau New Guinea. A part of the Australian subcontinent, this mountain is considered to be a very ancient volcano that has eroded significantly over the last 220,000 years since its last eruption. An Australian was the first human to reach the summit back in 1934.

Pico de Orizaba – Mexico
The third highest mountain in North America and biggest in Mexico, Pico de Orizaba is a stratovolcano of epic proportions. Living at 18,491 ft the volcano is currently dormant and the last eruption dates back to the 19th century. Two American military men were the first people noted with reaching the summit way back in 1848.

Mount Sidley – Antarctica
Antarctica isn’t usually a place people think about when pondering the existence of volcanoes, but if you actually look into it a rather large volcano exists there. Mount Sidley rises to 14,058ft and is almost completely covered in snow at all times. A New Zealander who was working with a group of scientists in the area was the first person to summit the beast and not until 1990.

Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
Also a part of the traditional ‘seven summits’ Kilimanjaro is a huge volcano, which rises to 19,341ft. It is composed of three large volcanic cones and is considered to be the largest freestanding mountain on the planet. A team of one German and one Austrian were the first men to climb the famous volcano all the way back in 1889.

Mount Elbrus – Russia
As this looming volcano lives so close to the Europe-Asia border there is some debate on whether this mountain can be considered Europe’s highest volcano. It is also included in the ‘seven summits’ list of the highest mountains on earth and at 18,510 ft, it is a massive volcano. It literally only stands a few feet higher than Mount Davamand of Iran, which makes it the largest volcano in the Eurasian continent.

By Alex Vere-Nicoll