home-main
Sharing's caring! Share this awesome article with your friends, you know u wanna...
Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Google+
Google+
0Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest
0Share on StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon
0

What Are The 7 Summits?

So what are the 7 summits? Well, the 7 summits are the 7 highest mountains on each continent. It’s a huge dream of lots of climbers, adventurers and explorers to summit the highest point on each continent in their lifetime. I’ve managed 2 (the easiest ones of course – Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and Elbrus, Russia).

Less than 150 people in history have completed the 7 summits, and only 20 to have done the 7 summits + North Pole & South Pole (and no one in history for that + every country in the world!)  yet for some strange reason these 7 summits are something that I’ve set as my new ridiculous goal, considering I’m barely a trekker, let alone a climber.  But life is short, and the only way to achieve big things is to set big goals, so let’s give it a crack. I’m currently 34 years old (June 2018) and I’m aiming to complete this before I’m 40. But enough about me, let’s have a look at the 7 Summits and what they represent.

First of all, what are the 7 summits, in order of height:

1) Asia:  Mount Everest, Nepal, 8,848 m (29,029 ft)

Mount Everest Nepal
Mount Everest Nepal

How long does it take? 

The short answer is approximately 2 months, maybe a little less, 6-8 weeks.  Climbers start arriving at the mountain’s base camps in late March. On the more popular south side, base camp is at around 5,300 metres and sits at the foot of the icefall, the first major obstacle. Clients now acclimatise by climbing nearby, ‘smaller’ peaks. The next major staging post is Camp 2 (Advanced Base Camp), at the mouth of the Western Cwm.

From there you continue to Camp 3 and Camp 4 on the South Col. Sherpas rarely stay at Camp 3, since it is exposed to rock fall. Summit day, usually a date in mid May when temperatures are warmer and winds milder, actually begins at around midnight. Climbers aim to be on the summit in the morning, with plenty of daylight left to get down before nightfall.

After acclimatisation is complete, the actual summit push from Base Camp and back lasts about a week.

How hard is it?

10/10. Mount Everest death rate is about 1.3% or so ,but thankfully dropping every year. It’s both technical and physically gruelling, a minimum of 6 months fitness training is recommended.

Climbing Season:

You would start end of March and aim to Summit mid-to-late May

Approximate Cost:

$40,000USD to $65,000 is pretty standard. You can pay up to $100k for extra sherpas, extra tents/space/oxygen etc, but most struggle by on a thrift $50k! The fee to the Nepalese Government is $11k+ alone. Once you pay $50k+ you’ll most likely be with a Western guide along with local Sherpas, less than $50k and it will more likely be a local operation.

Success Rate in 2018: 

Mount Everest success rate is roughly 50%

 

2) South America: Aconcagua, Argentina, 6,961 m (22,838 ft)

Aconcagua Argentina
Aconcagua, Argentina

How long does it take?

Climbing Aconcagua takes approximately 3 weeks, a little less if you’re already acclimatised.

How hard is it?

7/10. The second highest summit on the 7 Summits, it’s not technical at all, but the serious altitude and fitness can play a part. Fitness training is required, a minimum of 6 weeks hard training.

Between 2001 and 2012, of the 42,731 mountaineers who sought to reach Aconcagua’s summit, 33 died. This gives a fatality rate of 0.77 per 1,000 or 0.077%.

Climbing Season:

Officially, the climbing season is between November 15th and March 31st of every year. Due to weather though, it is best to climb Mount Aconcagua between late November and late February.

Approximate Cost:

It ranges from $3,000USD to $6k

Success Rate in 2018: 

Around 40% (estimates range from 30% to 50%)

 

 

3) North America: Denali (Mount McKinley), USA (Alaska), 6,194 m (20,322 ft)

Denali (Mount McKinley)
Denali (Mount McKinley)

How long does it take?

2/3 weeks, normally around 16 days.

How hard is it?

7/10. It requires some technical climbing, but nothing too heavy, but strong fitness is required.

32,000 people have attempted Denali with a death toll of around 100 (0.003%)

Climbing Season:

Early May to Late June

Approximate Cost:

$7,000USD to $12k

Success Rate in 2018: 

Around 50%

 

4) Africa: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, 5,895 m (19,341 ft)

At the Summit of Kilimanjaro
At the Summit of Kilimanjaro

How long does it take?

You can race up it in 4/5 days if you’re in a rush, but a standard route is 6 or 7 days on the mountain.

How hard is it?

4/10. If you’re a naturally fit person, you should be able to tackle Kili without any prior training. Not technical at all.  30,000 people summit per year, with a death rate of 1 death per 3,333 climbers (0.03%)

Climbing Season:

December to February and June to September. Winter season is generally colder than June-Sep and there is a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit

Approximate Cost:

Between $1500 to $3k depending on luxury levels

Success Rate in 2018: 

70%

 

5) Europe: Elbrus, Russia, 5,642 m (18,510 ft)

At the Summit of Mount Elbrus
At the Summit of Mount Elbrus

*NOTE: Because the location of the boundary between Asia and Europe is not universally agreed upon Mont Blanc (4,810m) is occasionally considered as Europe’s highest mountain.

How long does it take?

Around 5/6 days including base camp, acclimatization, and summiting.

How hard is it?

If you use the transport options on the South Side (cable car and snowcat), 6/10, if not or you summit from the north side, 7/10. Not techincal at all.

In terms of death rate, about 25 die per year, around 0.15%.

Climbing Season:

July and August

Approximate Cost:

From $1,100 to $4k

Success Rate in 2018: 

85% South side (using the snow-cat to carry you to 4,800), 55% North Side.

 

6) Antartica: Vinson, Antartica, 4,892 m (16,050 ft)

Mount Vinson Antarctica
Mount Vinson Antarctica

How long does it take?

Around 15 days from Chile, back to Chile again, and perhaps factor a couple of days delay in with the weather in Antartica.

How hard is it?

7/10. Cold, and physically exerting. Train hard for a minimum of 3 months. Technically, thankfully, not too challenging but extremely cold! Noone has ever died on Vinson (yaaay, finally!)

Climbing Season:

Early December to late January

Approximate Cost:

$30k to $60k including the South Pole

Success Rate in 2018: 

95%

 

7) Australasia: Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid), Indonesia (Western Papua), 4,884 m (16,024 ft)

Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid
Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid) summit

*NOTE: Because the location of the boundary between Australia and Asia is not universally agreed upon Mont Kosciuszko (2,228m) is occasionally considered as Europe’s highest mountain.

How long does it take?

Bali to Bali it takes just shy of 2 weeks

How hard is it?

Quite technical (arguably the most technical of the 7 summits) but mostly fixed ropes, it is quite arduous though so being in good shape is required.

Climbing Season:

All year round.

Approximate Cost:

$13,000USD to $20k

Success Rate in 2018

95%+

 

THOUGHTS

I wrote this summary as much for myself as any of you guys out there. It’s tough to remember the seasons, the exhorbitant prices, the chances of succeeding etc, but now I have a place to look back to. The total cost of the 7 summits? $110,000USD+. That’s a lot of money to save. But big dreams require sacrifice, suffering and a little ingenuity, so I’ll dig out some sponsors I hope, work hard, save as much as possible and let’s see where we end up.

My plan? Kili and Elbrus are done, I guess I’ll go for Aconcagua next. The Denali. Puncak Jaya as number 5, then the big financial efforts of Vinson and Everest to finish. Let’s do it. If any of you guys ever want to join me for these, just let me know and let’s make it happen. Msg me here, or on FB, twitter or Instagram. Just search for ‘onestep4ward’, see you on the summit.

 

sep-icons
teach-blog

So if you’re ready to…..

1) Change your life
2) Travel the world
3) Get paid to travel
4) Create a positive influence on others
5) Be free of offices and ‘real world’ rubbish

Then Sign Up Below and Let’s Get Started!

login-logo

Got a question? Wanna comment? I'd love to hear from you

4 thoughts on “What Are the 7 Summits?

  1. Your post is slightly educational for me.

    I’m not a hiker or tracker, and I don’t have the resources to embark in mountain travel as of now.

    Maybe in 10 years, after I’ve built a physique. 🙂

  2. Kilimanjaro is quite easy to get to, there are many guides available, at least from Tanzania, where we were. But in some seasons the weather is rainy, so it may be quite muddy adventure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow me on Instagram @onestep4ward