This actually may be a more difficult task than you expected! The “official” Seven Summits are a highly debated topic in the world of mountaineering. There are actually two schools of thought and it depends on whether you include all of Oceania or only mainland Australia as a continent, which results in either Puncak Jaya or Mount Kosciusko, respectively. As of June 2016, 409 people have climbed seven of the eight peaks on either of the two lists, the youngest being 15, and the oldest 75! Here are all the contenders on the “Seven” Summits list, from lowest to highest. Some of these mountains take months and rigorous training to summit while others can be done in a week or even a few hours!
So, which ones do you want to climb?
(If it’s Kilimanjaro or Elbrus you’re in the right place!)
Elevation: 2,228 mContinent: Australia COUNTRY: Australia
Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain on mainland Australia, however, if you take into account all of Oceania, Puncak Jaya in Indonesia is technically the higher mountain. Many climbers who want to climb all the Seven Summits do both to cover all bases. Compared to climbing the other Seven Summits, climbing Mount Kosciuszko is pretty easy. There’s a chair lift that takes hikers of all skill levels up most of the way up, at which point they only have to walk 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to reach the peak. The hike can be completed in a few hours!
Elevation: 4,884 MContinent: Oceania COUNTRY: INDONESIA
Puncak Jaya, also known as Carstensz Pyramid, is the highest peak in the Oceania region (which is comprised of Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia). It is part of the Sudirman Mountain Range in the western central highlands the Papua Province on the island of New Guinea, making it the tallest island peak in the world. Many overlook this mountain as one of the seven summits because although it resides on the continent of Australia, it is politically governed by Maritime Southeast Asia.
2 Vinson Massif
Elevation: 4,892 MContinent: Antarctica
Mount Vinson is the highest mountain on the vast continent of Antarctica. It is located on the southern part of the main ridge of the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. Although this mountain isn’t a technical climb, it is one of the most difficult of the seven summits. It’s only 750 miles from the South Pole, making it the windiest, wildest, and most freeeezing trek to the top. If you climb In the summer, it’s not exactly sizzling, but at least there are 24 hours of sunlight to help your scramble to the summit!
3Mt. Elbrus, Russia
Elevation: 5,642 mContinent: EuropeCOUNTRY: RUSSIA
Located in Russia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano in the Caucasus Mountain range that separates Europe from Asia, one of the most rugged mountain ranges in the world. Although Elbrus is technically located in Russia, it is only a few miles from the country of Georgia. From the mountain’s summit, one can gaze upon Europe, Asia, and the Middle East! Because of its ambiguous location, some climbers claim that Mont Blanc in France is the tallest peak in Europe, although Elbrus is the preferred! Its crater is filled with ice and snow and the mountain still retains its conical shape, so basic knowledge of ice, snow, rope, and self-belay techniques are suggested for summiting.
Interested in reaching the summit of this amazing mountain? Check out our Upcoming Elbrus Adventures and Elbrus Gear Guide with everything you’ll need to succeed!
Elevation: 5,895 MContinent: AfricaCOUNTRY: TANZANIA
Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, and has the highest peak in Africa: Uhuru Peak at 5,895 meters. While classified as a mountain, Kilimanjaro is actually made up of three volcanic cones that were formed by the Great Rift Valley: Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo.Even though it is located near the equator, there’s a glacier on top (which, sadly, has shrunk in size by more than 80 percent since 1912). Kilimanjaro is one of the least technical climbs of all Seven Summits, and its five different climate zones make the trek a wonderfully rewarding and challenging hike.
Interested in conquering Kili and experiencing the world famous warm Tanzanian hospitality? Check out our Upcoming Kilimanjaro Adventures and Kilimanjaro Gear Guide with everything you’ll need to succeed!
Elevation: 6,194 MContinent: North AmericaCOUNTRY: USA
Denali (formerly also known as Mt. McKinley) is the highest mountain in North America. The Athabaskan Natives named the mountain Denali, which means "high one" and in 1896 a gold prospector renamed the mountain Mount McKinley after U.S. President William McKinley (although he never visited!). The mountain was officially established as Denali in 2015. Some consider Denali to be the highest peak of all Seven Summits because it is taller than Mount Everest by almost 1,800 m when measured from base to summit. (That said, most consider the trek to Everest Base Camp as part of the Everest climb.)
Elevation: 6,962 MContinent: South AmericaCountry: Argentina
Aconcagua is not just the highest mountain in South America, but also the highest in the Western Hemisphere! It’s located in the Andes mountain range in Argentina, and is visible 100 miles off the coast in the Pacific Ocean. Most of the hiking routes to the summit are pretty straight forward and don’t require technical climbing skills for crossing crevasses or ascending up steep walls. However, the easier routes take much longer, between 11-20 days for an average climber. Because many people rush this trek and do not consider changes in altitude and weather, Aconcagua has one of the highest death tolls of the world’s highest peaks.
Elevation: 8,848 MContinent: AsiaCOUNTRY: Nepal/China
Mount Everest, the boldest, baddest, and by far the most difficult of the Seven Summits, stands on the crest of the Great Himalayas of Southern Asia, on the border of Nepal and China in previously owned Tibetan territory. The Tibetans worship it as “Mother Of The World” and believe it to have magical powers. Despite its spiritual value, it is the most expensive hike because of all the gear and crew required to summit, with permits starting around $10,000. The climb to Everest Base Camp takes eight days alone, and summiting can take many months depending on the weather!
Interested in seeing this majestic mountain with your own two eyes? Join us in staying in local tea houses as we trek to Everest Base Camp and check out our EBC Gear Guide with everything you’ll need to succeed!
In Seven Summits Tags seven summits, can you guess, richard bass, reinhold messner, vinson massif, aconcagua, kilimanjaro, elbrus, everest, mckinley, denali, puncak jaya, cartenz pyramid
Here at WHOA travel,adventure is a way of life. We look at everyday as an opportunity to walk on the wild side,explore new things,challenge ourselves, and high five all the other awesome women on this crazy journey we call life!Thanks for stopping by +we hope to adventure with you soon!Allison + DanielleCo-founders + Chief Adventurers