Volcanic Seven Summits

United States/Argentina/Iran/Mexico/Russia/Tanzania, Other
Page Type Page Type: List
Sign the Climber's Log

https://www.summitpost.org/the-great-barranco-wall/2261The "other" seven summits

It's becoming more and more popular to tick off the highest mountains on each continent, more well known as the Seven Summits. There's another seven summits - the volcanic equivalents (V7S). It hasn't become as popular as the normal Seven Summits and an educated guess is it'll never be. By comparison it's an easier task to bag the volcanoes as you neither have to deal with an 8000m peak (Everest), nor pay extortionate fees for climbing Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia. On the other hand you still have to have the cash to go to Antarctica and of course visit all the planet's continents. Many climbers like volcanoes and some of the arguments for this preference includes:

  • The prominence. A volcano is often a lone mountain not attached to a range.
  • They're beautiful to look at. Perfect cones with a picturesque appearance.
  • Some volcanoes has mesmerizing craters, which makes the summit even more interesting.
  • There are very few technically difficult volcanoes and therefore they are usually a reasonable object for all sorts of climbers and trekkers.

    Remarks about classification etc.

    Ojos del Salado map Ojos del Salado
    I could never imagine this page would be so difficult to set up. All lists of the V7S I've seen have been in perfect agreement with each other. It now seems like they may be wrong in not only one but two places. I.e. I may have to challenge the official V7S lists. I have choosen to go 100% geo-politically on this page. Some comments and explanations about the mountain classification on this page.

  • Kazbek and Aragats are situated in Georgia respectively Armenia. Both countries belong to Europe.
  • The Canarian Islands belong to Spain, therefore Teide is included.
  • There may be some higher volcanoes in the Caucasus, which in that case would qualify for the top five list. There are no doubt or discussion about the status of number one; Elbrus, is the highest volcano in Europe. Asia
  • Turkey and Russia are both politically split between two continents. Ararat belongs to the Asian part of Turkey. Kamchatka to the Russian equivalent, that's why K. Sopka and Kamen are to be found in the Asia list.
  • I have emailed John Seach about the volcanoes in Kunlun, China. His answer was: Kunlun in Tibet is the highest volcano in Asia. It is higher than Damavand, and has even erupted more recently. The altitude is confirmed to be about 5810m, which is about 200 meters higher than Damavand. Oceania
  • I disagree with including Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the Oceanian category. Hawaii is a part of the USA, which in turn is a part of North America. I have choosen to leave Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the list, as this seems to be general consensus.
  • I have not been able to dig up much about Giluwe, the highest volcano in Oceania. Therefore Mauna Kea will still be attached to the V7S list, until someone submits Giluwe. General info about the page
  • I have choosen to include a list of the highest five volcanoes on every continent. Why? Because there isn't any source on Summitpost that specifically list volcanoes and I thought this may be of interest.
  • If you have any info about high volcanoes on Papua New Guinea and/or in the Kunlun and Tian Shan, please let me know.

    South America

    Ojos del Salado Ojos del Salado
    Map of Ojos del Salado Map of Ojos del Salado
    Ojos del Salado 6887m Argentina/Chile An active stratovolcano which sometimes shows activity (fumaroles). Also there was an unconfirmed minor gas and ash eruption in 1993. Last known eruption 700 AD ±300 years. First Ascent: Justyn Wojsznis and Jan Szczepanski 1937. Basic info: Ojos del Salado is the highest volcano on earth. It's located right at the Argentinian/Chilean border and it can be climbed from both countries. The approach is longer and much harder on the Argentinian side, but you don't have to deal with some semi-technical climbing, which can be a problem for unexperienced climbers trying out the Chilean option. There's no peak fee on the Argentinian side, but there's on the Chilean. More information - Go to Ojos del Salado's main page!  The five highest volcanoes in South America.
    1. Ojos del Salado - 6893m - Argentina/Chile
    2. Pissis - 6785m - Argentina
    3. Bonete Chico - 6759m - Argentina
    4. Tres Cruces Sur - 6748m - Argentina/Chile
    5. Llullaillaco - 6739m - Argentina/Chile


    Peaks in the area. No image available of Ka-er-daxi Peaks in the area. No image available of Ka-er-daxi
    Google Earth image of the area. Google Earth image of the area.
    Vulkan/Ka-er-daxi, in Ashi Shan, 5810m China Pyroclastic cone First Ascent: Most probably unclimbed. Basic info: Ka-er-daxi or Vulkan is very obscure volcano in the heart of the Kunlun Shan on the Tibetan High Plateau in China. I don't know anything about the peak and no one seems to either. Location: 35°30'33"/80°11'06". For much more information - Go to Vulkan's main page! The only info I have found. Here and here. Recent information, handed over by some Chinese friends indicates there are some even higher volcanoes in China. More about this soon, if it can be confirmed these peaks are of volcanic origin.

    The five highest volcanoes in Asia.
    1. Vulkan/Ka-er-daxi - 5810m - China
    2. Damavand - 5610m - Iran
    3. Ararat - 5137m - Turkey
    4. Sabalaan - 4811m - Iran
    5. Klyuchevskaya-Sopka - 4750m - Russia


    Map of Kilimanjaro
    Map of Kilimanjaro
    Kilimanjaro 5895m Tanzania A dormant stratovolcano. First Ascent: H. Meyer and L. Purtscheller 1889. Basic info: Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border. It's a lone volcano with great prominence. It attracts lots of climbers every year and is considered an easy non-technical climb. High park fees and tough regulations makes it a moderately expensive venture. For much more information - Go to Kilimanjaro's main page!  The five highest volcanoes in Africa.
    1. Kilimanjaro - 5895m - Tanzania
    2. Mount Kenya - 5199m - Kenya
    3. Mawenzi - 5149m - Tanzania
    4. Mount Meru - 4566m - Tanzania
    5. Ras Dashen - 4550m - Ethiopia


    Map of Elbrus
    Map of Elbrus
    Elbrus 5642m Russia Stratovolcano, active, solfataric. Last known eruption about 50 AD. First Ascent - East Peak: D. W. Freshfield, C. C. Tucker, A. W. Moore and F. Devouassoud 1868. First Ascent - West Peak: F. Gardiner, F. Crauford Grove, H. Walker and P. Knubel 1874. Basic info: Elbrus is a snowcovered peak in the Caucasus. Low temperatures and sudden weather changes can cause problems for climbers, but apart from that, it's regarded as an easy climb. There's a small conservation fee to paid upon arrivel. For much more information - Go to Elbrus's main page! A map of the Elbrus area. The five highest volcanoes in Europe.
    1. Elbrus - 5643m - Russia
    2. Kazbek - 5033m - Georgia
    3. Aragats - 4090m - Armenia
    4. Teide - 3718m - Spain
    5. Etna - 3344m - Italy

    North America

    Pico de Orizaba Pico de Orizaba
    A detailed map of the Orizaba area.
    A detailed map of the Orizaba area.
    Pico de Orizaba 5611m Mexico An active stratovolcano which had its last eruption 1687. First Ascent: Henri Galeotti, Nicolas Funck, Jean-Jules Linden and Augusto Ghiesbreght in 1838. Basic info: The peak is located in central Mexico and rises high above the surrounding area. It's located quite near Mexico City and access is easy. There are no fees or red tape. The peak is an easy target for the experienced mountaineer, but a hard trek for the normal hiker. More information - Go to Pico de Orizaba's main page! The five highest volcanoes in North America.
    1. Pico de Orizaba - 5611m - Mexico
    2. Popocatepetl - 5465m - Mexico
    3. Iztaccihuatl - 5230m - Mexico
    4. Mount Bona - 5005m - USA
    5. Mount Blackburn - 4996m - USA


    Giluwe Giluwe
    Mt Giluwe route
    Route on Giluwe
    Giluwe 4368m Papua New Guinea A very old and highly eroded volcano. Last eruption probably about 30 000 - 40 000 years ago. First Ascent: Unknown. Basic info: This hard to reach volcano is located in the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. Days of travel on bad roads is required, but the climb itself is straight forward and easy. No peak fees or permits. No further information on Summitpost, nor anywhere else on the Web. The only reference I have is Michael Kelsey's book about volcanoes. A map of the route on Giluwe. The five highest volcanoes in Oceania.
    1. Giluwe - 4368m - Papua New Guinea
    2. Mauna Kea - 4205m - USA
    3. Mauna Loa - 4169m - USA
    4. Mt Hagen - 3795m - Papua New Guinea
    5. Doma - 3568m - Papua New Guinea


    Aerial view of the Mount...
    Mount Sidley
    Mount Sidley 4181m (Marie Byrd Land) Dissected shield volcano with caldera. Dormant, probably extinct. First Ascent: Unknown. Basic info: Mount Sidley is very hard to reach and an expensive flight is the only option, unless you want to try out an over 500km long walk from the sea. High costs in terms of insurances and other fees are also to be taken into account. The climb itself is regarded as easy, though potentially very cold. For much more information - Go to Sidley's main page! A map of the Sidley area. The five highest volcanoes in Antarctica.
    1. Sidley - 4181m - Mary Byrd Land
    2. Erebrus - 3794m - Ross Island
    3. Frakes - 3654m - Mary Byrd Land
    4. Toney - 3595m - Mary Byrd Land
    5. Steere - 3558m - Mary Byrd Land

    External Links

  • An album with Summitpost's best volcano photos
  • More about volcanoes on Summitpost
  • Long lists of the highest volcanoes on each continent
  • A good source for volcano information


    A lot of information comes from SkiMountaineer.com Some of the maps are hotlinked from the site and some of the volcanoes which aren't present on Summitpost yet, are linked to this site.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Scott - Sep 21, 2006 2:04 pm - Hasn't voted

Possible additions and corrections

Asia New surveys put Klyuchevskaya-Sopka at 4835 meters(?). 4750 meters is the elevation for the lower summit. Africa Some of the Virunga Volcanoes are definitely higher than Mount Elgon, though I’m glad the Elgon page is getting some fame. Oceana If I remember right, Mt. Hagen (PNG) is a volcano, therefore should be #4. I’ll check on this and let you know.


Corax - Sep 21, 2006 2:39 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Possible additions and corrections

Thanks for checking out the page and the comments. K. Sopka - where have you found that info? I can't find any sources which confirm what you say about the elevation. You're right about the Virunga Volcanoes. Karisimbi is given at 4507m in Kelsey's book. I just have to verify the elevation and then I'll change the list. Mt. Hagen is a volcano. Thanks for letting me know, I had completely missed that one. The 3795m will give the peak place # 4 on the list.


Scott - Sep 21, 2006 2:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Possible additions and corrections

K. Sopka - where have you found that info? I can't find any sources which confirm what you say about the elevation. I read it from a recent TR from some people that measured the mountain. I'll see if I can dig it up. Apparently the 4750 is just the northern point on the crater rim? Another place is from Mike Kelsey. He estimates the height at around 4900 meters, but he just missed the summit,. so didn't get a measurement (though altimeters are still no 100% accurate of course). He did get however get higher than 4750 meters on the volcano, but was still below the summit. He mentions this in his book if you wanted to take a peek.


Corax - Nov 9, 2008 11:09 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Possible additions and corrections

I read it from a recent TR from some people that measured the mountain. I'll see if I can dig it up. Have you found that TR? Peaklist gives it at 4750m as well. Usually correct info there. Kamchatka and the Russian Pacific islands list.


Scott - Nov 12, 2008 9:24 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Possible additions and corrections

I don't remember which trip report that particular one was from since that was over two years ago. I do vaguely remember that the 4750 meter elevation is a point on the mountain, but supposedly not the highest point (?). This will help though. The Global Volcanism Program which is updated very frequently list the elevation at at 4835 meters, as do several other new sources (also notice that Peaklist also list the links at the bottom of their page to the sites now using the 4835 meter elevation, but Peaklist hasn't been updated since 2004). See here: Global Volcanism Program All reports of recent activity list the below as sources: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), a cooperative program of the Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii 683006, Russia (Email: girina@kcs.iks.ru), Website Experimental and Methodical Seismological Department (KEMSD), GS RAS Russia NASA Earth Observatory also list the elevation as the same: NASA Observatory In fact all sources from obervatories studying the volcano list the elevation of 4835 meters (new sources usually spell the mountain Kliuchevskoi?), except for one 2003 reports from KVERT at 4850 meters. Older sources seem to use the 4750 meter value, but all new ones from the volcano observatories use the higher value. See here for sites about recent activity and which use the value 4835 meters: Recent Volcanic Activity I could contact KVERT and could let you know where the elevation comes from. If anyone speaks Russian (do you by chance?), you may get better results?


Corax - Nov 13, 2008 9:48 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Possible additions and corrections

Thanks Scott. I have mailed some friends for input. I could contact KVERT and could let you know where the elevation comes from. KVERT states the volcano is 4750m on their site. See below. Basically, it's a mess with and I wonder how you can pinpoint an elevation on a highly active volcano? Anyway, I have sent KVERT a mail. KLYUCHEVSKOY VOLCANO; 56° 03'N, 160° 39'E; Elevation 4,750 m CURRENT LEVEL OF CONCERN COLOR CODE IS ORANGE I'll let you know when I have any new info on this.

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