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The Seven Summits And The Seven Summit Challenge

Updated on October 22, 2011

Summit means highest point of anything, the term is used more specifically for the top of the mountains. Seven summits refer to all seven highest peaks of all seven continents.

The term seven summits became popular, because of a challenge laid down by a mountaineer, which asks a climber to succesfully climb all the top seven peaks of the seven continents. The one who completes this challenge is considered to be a Hall of famer among mountaineers.

  • Mount Everest in Asia
  • Aconcaqua is South America
  • Denali (also known as MountMcKinley) in North America
  • Mount Elbrus in Europe
  • Mount Vinson in Antarctica
  • Carstensz Pyramid in Oceania / Australasia.
  • Kilimanjaro in Africa

Here is brief description of all the seven summits:

Mount Everest
Mount Everest

Mount Everest In Asia

Mount Everest is about 29,035 feet, approximately 8850 meters, above than sea level.

The mountain is located in Nepal, Tibet and China; and is a part of the HimalayanRange.

In Tibetan it is called Chomolangma (Goddess Mother of Snows) and in Nepalese this mountain is called Sagarmatha (Mother of the Universe).

Early May, before the monsoon season, it is the best time climb the summit of Everest.


Aconcagua In South America

Summit of Aconcagua is in Andes Range located in the Argentina, South America. In comparison with sea level this peak is nearly 22,841 feet higher (about 6,962 meters).

This peak is considered as the highest one outside Asia. It has many glaciers, among which the glacier Ventisquero Horcones Inferior is the largest one.

Mount Denali
Mount Denali

Denali or Mt McKinley In North America

Denali or mount McKinley, summit is in North America. It has an elevation of approximately 20,320 feet which is nearly equal to 6,194 meters.

This mountain is located in the state of Alaska. It is physically bulkier than the Mount Everest, but Everest is comparatively higher.

The mountain is considered as the coldest one among all the summits with the lowest temperature recorded is -60oC (75.5oF) at the top. The mountain is a centerpiece of DenaliNational Park and Preserve. It is one the most beautiful mountains in the world, yet dangerous.

Mount Elbrus
Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus In Europe

Measuring about 18,510 feet (5,642 meters) above the sea level, Mount Elbrus is the highest summit in Europe and is located near the border of Georgia in Russia.

This mountain is the highest peak of Caucasus Range.

Elbrus is in Pacific Ring of Fire of Russia and is one of the volcanic seven summits.

It is believed to be an inactive volcano but it is thought to be residing on a fault area that is having a supply of magma, from deep below it.

Another interesting fact about the Elbrus is that, it has two peaks of which the western is higher and the eastern is a bit lower.

A Satellite image of Mount Vinson
A Satellite image of Mount Vinson

Mount Vinson In Antarctica

Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica, discovered in 1957.

The mountain is measured to be about 16,067 feet (4897 meters) higher than the sea level.

It is covered totally with ice, like whole Antarctic region. Harsh weather and very low temperature are the main reasons because of which this mountain is not ascended by many climbers like other peaks.

Carstensz Pyramids
Carstensz Pyramids

Carstensz Pyramids In Oceania / Australasia

Carstensz has an elevation of 18,023 feet (4,884 meter) above sea level. It is situated in West Papua and New Guinea and is called Cartensz pyramids.

The  mountain is a famous summit in Oceania (or Australasia).  The main difference between Carstensz Pyramids and other summits is that, unlike others, this mountain is a tropical mountain. 

Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro In Africa

Kilimanjaro is one of the most beautiful and scenic places on the planet Earth situated in the heart of Africa.

This is an inactive volcano with three cones (Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo) located in Tanzania.  It measures about 19,334 feet (5,895 meters) above level of sea. In all the seven summits, this mountain is the fourth highest. 

Seven Summit Challenge

Climbing all the seven summits is called the Seven Summit Challenge. There are two categories of climbers who go for the seven summit challenge, one are those who climb all the above mentioned mountains (this list of summits is called Messner’s list of seven summits) and others are those who climb all seven summits of the Bass’s list (Bass’s list includes Kosciuszko at place of Cartensz Pyramid).

There are climbers who have climbed all eight mountains to completely cover the challenge of climbing seven summits successfully. It is also assumed that many climbers who have completed seven summit challenges have also climbed Mount Blanc in Europe as well.

The total number climbers who have successfully climbed all seven summits is nearly 200 and 30% of these have climbed all eight mountains (completed both the lists) to complete the seven summit challenge without any criticism.

The Seven Summit Challenge


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    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      The videos of seven summits are enjoyable.