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Seven Summits Facts

The highest mountains of each of the seven continents

  • The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents.
  • They are regarded as the toughest challenges for mountaineering.
  • It was first postulated as such and achieved on April 30, 1985 by Richard Bass.
  • Highest mountain in the Australian mainland is Mount Kosciuszko, 2,228 metres (7,310 ft) above sea level.
  • In Europe, the generally accepted highest summit is Mount Elbrus (5,642 m/18,510 ft) in the Caucasus.
  • Other highest peaks include Mount Everest of Himalayas in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania from the Africa, Ellsworth Mountains from Antarctica, the Alaska Range in the North America and Andes of South America.
  • Richard Bass, a businessman and amateur mountaineer, the author of the book Seven Summits, is considered the first to cover all the seven peaks.
  • Reinhold Messner revised Bass's list by using the broader definition of Oceania and including Carstensz Pyramid rather than Australia's Mount Kosciuszko.
  • Pat Morrow is the first to have met the Messner's challenge. He is also the first to complete all eight summits from both lists.
  • As of January 2010, approximately 275 climbers climbed all seven of the peaks from either the Bass or the Messner list. About 30% of those have climbed all of the eight peaks required to complete both lists.
  • In May 2002, Susan Ershler and her husband, Phil, became the first married couple to climb the “Seven Summits” together.
  • The first person to complete Seven Summits without the use of artificial oxygen on Mount Everest is Reinhold Messner.
  • In 1990, Rob Hall and Gary Ball became the first to complete the Seven Summits in seven months.
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