Seven Summits Journey

“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit
is the answer to the mystery why we climb.”
~ Greg Child
 

Many years ago, it all began with a dream to climb Kilimanjaro!

Although an avid hiker, at the time that was the only big mountain I dreamt of climbing.  It was # 7 on my “Living To Do List.”

Then on Friday, 13th July 2012, I reached the summit of Kilimanjaro after what can only be described as the longest day and the most grueling night of my life, climbing through the darkness of an African night heading towards the summit.

By the time you are standing on the summit, you are cold, numb from really feeling anything, low on energy and just plain exhausted. But on the inside you are dancing to the beat of a thousand drums, you are smiling so hard your face might crack from the cold and even thought your feet are shuffling along, you are dancing inside your hiking boots.

There really are no words to describe the things that touch your spirit deep within when you push yourself and reach new heights and the bonds that have formed with the once strangers you climbed with.

The entire journey was life changing.

That journey to stand on the top of Kilimanjaro lit a fire deep within my soul.

And so my dream grew.

Now I, along with a team of 3 fellow South African’s, now dream of standing on the top of all Seven Summits, which are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Summiting all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge and this journey will be an epic mountaineering adventure of challenge, perseverance, and excitement.  It is a journey that will take us from the plains of Africa to the polar glaciers of Antarctica, to the thin air of the Himalayas. It will take us on a journey to reach these beautiful peaks spanning to the far reaches of the globe and will have us standing on each continent of the world.

seven-summits-map

The Seven Summits

The Seven Summits are:

  • Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania
  • Europe: Elbrus (5642m) in Russia
  • Australia: Mount Kosciuszko (2228m) in Australia
  • Antarctica: Vinson Massif (4897m) in Antarctica
  • South-America: Cerro Aconcagua (6959m) in Argentina
  • North America: Mt McKinley / Denali (6194m) in Alaska, USA
  • Asia: Mount Everest (8850m) in Nepal

There is a dispute as to whether Mount Kozciuszko should in fact be replaced with Carstensz Pyramid (4884m) in Indonesia, where it is argued that the continents should be determined based on tectonic plates and therefore Carstensz Pyramid, located on the island of Papua, which belongs to the Australian continent.  The question of which mountain should be considered the highest mountain for the Australian continent continues to split the mountaineering community and the two views are now generally referred to as the Bass List and the Messner List, with both accepted as the official Seven Summits.

To date, only around 334 people have climbed the Seven Summits with approximately 30% having climbed both Mount Kosciuszko and Carstensz Pyramid.

This journey will take us a few years to complete and is a feat that relatively few have attempted and even fewer succeeded. It is a lofty but obtainable goal and our next big ultimate dream, as it is of many mountaineers.

Scaling the highest points on each continent is more than accomplishing a checklist of mountains; the Seven Summits is going to be an adventure of a lifetime!

Given the significance of the challenge we want to make it more than just about us.  Specifically, in our personal capacity and separate from our funding for this trip, we will be using our Seven Summits Challenge as an opportunity to raise money and awareness in support of those living in South Africa with the life-threatening illness, Cystic Fibrosis, for which there is currently no cure.

Every individual that we manage to excite, inspire or intrigue on the 40 665 metres between here and standing on all Seven Summits will get us that little bit closer to a mission accomplished.

If you, as an individual or a company, would like to partner with us as we reach for our dream of standing on all Seven Summits please email us on walking4air@gmail.com where would be delighted to see how we can best work together.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: