Since explorers set out to discover the world, driven by an innate human curiosity to discover parts unknown, the 7 continents and the highest peaks have captured our imaginations.
Carstenz Pyramid, with Peter, George and Alexander Hillary – setting out for the heights. Photo: Robert Mads Anderson
Who wouldn’t want to have the excitement of flying from Punta Arenas, Chile to Antarctica – with a friend summing it up with – ‘I’m not even there yet and I want to come back.” Or climbing up into the Valley of Silence, through the Western CWM on Everest as the sun rises over the summit ridge 2,000 meters above you?
Dick Bass completed the 7 summits in 1985, closely followed by Patrick Morrow completing the 8 summits a year later. Ever since they were first climbed, the 7 Summits have always been as much about the cultural journey, traversing the globe and reaching the peaks, as the mountains themselves.
Ed Webster climbing out of the ‘Jaws of Doom’, Everest Kangshung Face.
And even with many now climbing the standard well-trodden routes, it is and will hopefully always be, a very grand adventure. The 7 Summits allow each of us to experience the world and its magnificent geography, the team we climb with and the people that live in the countries we visit, while personally touching the top of each continent.