How do you tackle the Seven Summits?


Quick Answer

Tackling the Seven Summits is a mountaineering achievement that involves climbing the highest peak on each continent. Mount Kosciuszko in Australia and Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa can be walked up. Mount Elbrus in Europe and Mount Aconcagua in South America are slightly more difficult. Vinson Massif in Antartica is moderately challenging but very remote, and Mount McKinley in North America and Mount Everest in Asia are both dangerous peaks.

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Full Answer

The costs of attacking each of the Seven Summits vary. Elbrus is usually the cheapest to summit, while Everest requires expensive equipment and expedition support and merely getting to Mount Vinson costs thousands of dollars. Any climber wishing to complete all seven climbs should expect to spend a substantial amount of money.

There is a second list of summits that uses geologic continent divisions rather than political ones. In this list, Mount Kosciusczko is replaced by Puncak Jaya in Indonesia. This is a much more remote peak than the Australian mountain and much more technically challenging. Climbers who opt to include this peak can expect to spend considerably more money on that leg of the Seven Summits.

A few climbers have extended the challenge by attempting to climb the second-highest peak on each continent. This list includes K2 in Asia, Ojos del Salado in South America, Mount Logan in North America, Dykh-Tau in Europe, Mount Kenya in Africa, Mount Tyree in Antartica and either Puncak Mandala or Mount Townsend for Australia and Oceania. Almost universally, these mountains represent more difficult climbing challenges than their higher counterparts. As of 2012, no more than 10 people have reached the summit of Mount Tyree.

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