Seven Summits

United States/Argentina/Australia/China/Indonesia/Nepal/Russia/Tanzania, North America/South America/Africa/Europe/Asia/Oceana/Antarctica
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The Summitpost pages about the Seven Summits are all (but one) of good quality and therefore, I don't find much reason of writing a novel sized page about the peaks. I have choosen to only include the most fundamental info, so climbers interested in the project get a basic idea what it's all about.

On this page you'll find:

  • Brief info about the project.
  • A photo of each peak.
  • The altitude.
  • Difficulty of the peak.
  • Difficulty of the access.
  • Costs.
  • Location.
  • Season to climb.
  • A link further to the main page of each mountain.

    If the interest has been awoken and you want to know more about any of the Seven Summits - please go further to the mountain pages.


    The glacier near Uhuru Peak
    Glaciers on Kilimanjaro

    What is the Seven Summits?

    It's the highest mountain on each continent.

    The challenge

    Do you like to climb?
    Do you like to travel to exotic places all over the world?
    Do you like tick lists and peak bagging?
    If you answer these questions with a "yes" - this may be the ultimate challenge for you. It is for a quickly growing number of alpinists from all over the world. The trophy of summiting the highest peak on every continent had become immensely popular and the mountains of the list sees a lot of climbers coming every year.

    Can I climb the Seven Summits?

    The seven summits peaks are quite easy, technically speaking and therefore even non-super human climbers have a fair chance of succeding with the task. What it really takes to be one of the few who actually tick off the whole list is among other things:
    Patience, time, quite a lot of cash/good sponsors, a long-term drive and of course some basic mountaineering skills.
    It's also of great advantage if you easily can cope with and adopt to foreign cultures and have at least some prior travel experience. Many mountaineers easily summit the first four, but after that it starts to get a bit more difficult. Everest is both high and expensive, Carstenzs Pyramid is very expensive and so is Vinson.

    Why eight peaks on the list?

    This ongoing discussion about which peak to climb has lead to the quite paradoxal list of the Seven Summits - it has eight!
    Indonesia is not a part of Oceania, politically speaking, but it is geologically. That's why some consider Puncak Jaya the right peak to climb. Some are of the opinion Australia is a continent and don't count the rest of the islands which have higher peaks. That's why Mount Kosciusko is included. Some climbers advocate Mount Cook on New Zeeland to be the right peak to climb and there are other alternatives. I have no real opinion on the matter and have choosen to include eight peaks on this page, as a huge majority consider Puncak Jaya or Kosiusko to the mountain to climb.

    The eleven summits.
    Have a look at this interesting page with thoughts about the highest peaks of each continent.
    The (Eleven)Seven Summits.

    Who was first?

    The first person to climb what some call the 'true' seven summits (Puncak Jaya version) was Pat Morrow in 1986. The other variation was first climbed by Dick Bass in 1985 and he was therefore the first person to complete the task, even if some people consider it the fake or easy version of the seven summits.

    How many has made it all the way?

    The list of summiteers is growing all the time and the most reliable and most frequently updated source is the one found on On the same site you can also find out who was the fastest, slowest, oldest etc.

    Asia - Everest

    Northeast Ridge, West Ridge...

    Asia - Everest 8850m - China/Nepal

    Located on the border between China and Nepal in the heart of the main Himalayan range.

    The Climb
    At almost 9000m there's not much oxygen, it's very cold and the winds can be real killers. These factors are more of a threat to the climbers than the technical difficulty of the peak. The Khumbu ice fall is notorious for dangerous crevasses and collapsing seracs. Everest may not be one of the more difficult peaks over 8000m, but no one should ever think it's an easy climb. The hardest of the seven summits.

    The Cost
    You'll have a hard time to find a package below $5000. The costs for gear is highest for any of the peaks on the list, as you can't do with anything but the top end stuff. The costs of flying to China or Nepal is also quite an expense.

    South side: Difficult. Good flight connections. A national flight and a long trek to BC. A difficult and dangerous ice fall.
    North side: Moderate. Ok flight connections. Two-three days drive to BC.

    Everest is climbed at all seasons, but the monsoon period. The normal months are April, May, June, September and October.

    South America - Aconcagua

    6:30 am January 1, 2006....

    South America - Aconcagua 6962m - Argentina

    Argentinas highest mountain in the central parts of Los Andes.

    The Climb
    A walk up in terms of technical difficulty. Long slopes of gravel and scree takes you to the summit on the normal route. Frequent storms dumps lots of snow on the peak and the walk on scree can over night change to one on snow and crampons. Aconcagua's altitude of almost 7000m is not to forget about and many climbers fail to reach the summit because they don't spend enough time on proper acclimatization. Bad weather is another common cause for not making it all the way.

    The Cost
    The peak fee is approx. 750$, high season/normal.
    Good gear is needed and the costs of flying to South America is usually quite high. All other expenses are by choice. Many climbers use base camp services, help by mules and guides.

    Good flight connections. A days drive and a two day trek to BC.

    A huge majority of climbers tries to summit Aconcagua during the South American summer months. December, January, February and March.

    North America - Denali/McKinkley

    Denali, June 2004 - Flying...

    North America - Denali/McKinley 6105m - United States

    Situated in the wilderness of Alaska. Belongs to the Alaskan Range.

    The Climb
    The peaks location far up north makes it one of the colder climbs you can find. The winds and weather in this area has to be taken with extreme care and the gear has to be top notch. The route is not technical, but climbers have to be skilled in snow and ice climbing and be used to exposed traverses. Seracc falls and avalanches as well as crevasses makes an attempt of Denali a project for those with mountaineering experience only.

    The Cost
    Airline tickets to Alaska is not on the cheaper end from most parts of the world and a lot have to be spent on good quality cold weather gear. A helicopter flight and park fees also have to be paid for.

    Good flight connections. A national flight and a long trek on glaciers to BC.

    Alaska gets intensiely cold during the winter and the most common summit months are late April to early July.

    Africa - Kilimanjaro

    Kilimanjaro at evening from...

    Africa - Kilimanjaro 5963m - Tanzania

    Located close to the border of Kenya, but all but the foothills are firmly in Tanzania. A lone volcano, not part of any range.

    The Climb
    Kilimanjaro is regarded as the easiest of the peaks (not counting Kociuzsko). It's a very straight forward walk to the summit, without any technical difficulties whatsoever. It's location on the plains of Tanzania, quite close to the ecuator, makes it a warm mountain. There are some glaciers close to the summit and on some of the slopes, but the normal route is usually completely free of snow and ice.

    The Cost
    Very expensive park fees, which includes an obligatory guide, takes a chunk out of the budget. Count on at least 500$. Many climbers also rent porters and use camp services. The good news is the gear section. Normal hiking equipment can be used. Ticket prices to Tanzania are moderately priced.

    Moderate. Good flight connections. A short drive and some days of easy trekking to BC.

    Can be climbed any time.
    January and February are popular months. July, August and September are considered as the dry season and also attracts a lot of climbers. April to mid June tend to be the rainy season.

    Europe - Elbrus

    Moon ladscape view over Mt....

    Europe - Elbrus 5633m - Russia

    A Russian peak close to the border of Georgia. The highest peak in the Caucasus Mountain Range.

    The Climb
    Elbrus is a straight forward climb on snow and ice. There are no technical sections and you can walk to the summit without any mountaineering skills. Unfortunately many climbers underestimate the weather conditions on the peak and Elbrus is claiming lives almost every year. It is regarded as one of the easist of the seven.

    The Cost
    There's no peak fee, but a small national reserve fee has to be paid. Fligths to the area are moderately priced and you can do with normal cold weather gear. The visa for Russia can be expensive for some passport holders and many have to pay additionally for visa support.

    Ok flight connections. A half days drive and ski lift takes you high up on the peak.

    Can be climbed any time, but May to September are the most common period. It can get really cold in the winter.

    Antarctica - Vinson

    The face of Carstensz. The...
    Carstenzs Pyramid

    Antarctica - Vinson 4892m - No country

    Officially not a part of any country as it is located on Antarctica. Ellsworth Range, about a 1000km from the South Pole.

    The Climb
    A cold peak. Period. Ice cold winds and low temperatures are two aspects that Vinson a tough target. There's a small risk for avalanches en route. The climb itself is non-technical, but as it's solely on snow and ice, winter climbing skills is a great advantage.

    The Cost
    Very expensive.
    To reach Antarctica it takes a good sized budget. Packages are sold at about 29 000$. Good cold weather equipment is a must.

    For most nationals, a far away destination. No competition on flights to the peak's BC, therefore expensive.

    December to February. All other months offers very low temperatures.

    Oceania - Carstenzs Pyramid/Puncak Jaya

    Corn anyone?
    Kosciuszko/Tar Gan Gil

    Oceania - Carstenzs Pyramid/Puncak Jaya 4884m - Indonesia


    Indonesia. The central piece of the Puncak Massif.

    The Climb
    The rock peak in the middle of the steaming rain forest of Indonesia is considered to be the most technical of the mountains on the list. It has some steep rock climbing sections and an airy summit ridge traverse, which includes some rapelling. The peak is plagued by bad weather and zero visibility is common on the higher reaches.

    The Cost
    Very expensive.
    You have to have at least a budget of 10 000$ to pay for the package going to this restricted part of indonesia. Flights to and from the country is usually not included in that price. Some money also have to be spent on rock climbing gear, but you can do with quite ordinary clothing.

    Good flight connections. A national flight and a long trek through jungle to BC.

    All year round.

    Oceania - Mount Kosciusko / Tar Gan Gil

    Corn anyone?Kosciuszko/Tar Gan Gil

    Oceania - Mount Kosciuszko/Tar Gan Gil 2228m - Australia

    Belongs to the Snowy Mountains Range in Australia.

    The Climb
    The mountain's low elevation, gentle slopes and temperate climate makes it the easiest of the peaks on the list. It's nothing but hiking, regardless of the season. In winter snow often caps the summit.

    The Cost
    There's a small fee for entering the park, which the peak is located in. Airline tickets may be on the more expensive side for most climbers. Normal hiking gear is all you need for an ascent.

    Good flight connections and about three hours in a car to BC.

    All year round. Usually snow in the southern hemispheres winter months, June to October.

    Recommended resources

  • All you possibly need to know about the Seven Summits:
  • Dick Bass and Frank Wells book about the topic: Seven Summits - the classic
  • Books on the subject

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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gimpilator - Nov 8, 2011 5:10 pm - Voted 10/10

Aconcagua Fees

They raised the rates again this year. It's now 3000 pesos for high season which was approximately 750 US Dollars when I was there in January.


Corax - Nov 14, 2011 10:48 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Aconcagua Fees

Updated! Thanks.

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