Do you have a lot of money, plenty of time on your hands, a lot of endurance and enough hubris to fill up the Marianas Trench? If you said “yes” to all of these things, then maybe you’ve gotten it into your head to climb the highest mountain peaks on every single continent in the world – and not just the most “popular” peak of them all, which is Mount Everest.
I learned that the “Seven Summits Bucket List” was a thing when I read the Jon Krakauer book Into Thin Air a few years ago, which chronicles the events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Many of the climbers involved in that expedition had already “bagged” some of the other highest peaks in the world. Yes, “peak bagging” is a term (not to be confused with “tea bagging”). Richard Bass was the first person to “bag” all seven peaks in April, 1985.
Sadly, some folks die while trying to “bag” all of the summits, like Yasuko Namba of Japan, who died while summiting Mount Everest in 1996 when she was 47 (holy shit that’s MY age). She was the second Asian woman to climb all seven of the world’s highest peaks and at the time, she was the oldest woman to have climbed Mount Everest (that record has since been surpassed by a woman named Anna Czerwinska of Poland who summited Everest at the age of 50). Namba’s husband funded an expedition to haul her body off the mountain in 1997, thus preventing her from being one more than 200 corpses still sitting on Mount Everest today. Some of those corpses are even used as landmarks (example “Green Boots”). Think a mountain riddled with dead bodies is…gross? Well then think about something even more disgusting – all of the piles of fecal matter (so much shit…so much shit), trash and oxygen canisters littering this garbage dump of a mountain (seriously Mount Everest is super gross, but I digress)… Read more about that here. Don’t read it while you’re eating!
Without further ado:
List of the World’s Highest Summits on Each Continent
- Mount Everest, 29,029 feet (Asia, Himalayas)
- Mount Aconcagua, 22,838 feet (South America, Andes Mountains)
- Mount Denali, 20,322 feet (North America, Alaska Range)
- Mount Kilimanjaro, 19,341 feet (Africa)
- Mount Elbrus, 18,510 feet (Europe/Russia, Caucasus Mountains)
- Mount Vinson, 16,050 feet (Antarctica, Sentinel Range)
- Mount Kosciuszko, 7,310 feet (Australia, Snowy Mountains)
Whenever you get into the heights of mountains, there is always debate – sea level? What about peaks that begin on the ocean floor (yada yada)… So it’s worth nothing that Mount Kosciuszko is the highest peak on the mainland of Australia, but not the highest peak if you count all of the land masses encompassing Oceania. So let’s not forget about Puncak Jaya, which is 16,024 feet high and located in Indonesia on Australia’s tectonic plate (specifically on the island of Papua).
So if you think climbing Australia’s puny Mount Kosciuszko (which is essentially a “walk” and can be done in about four hours) in addition to Vinson, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Denali, Aconcagua and Everest is “enough” to qualify for having climbed the “Seven Summits?” Well, I’ll just let the Chotchkie’s boss Stan from Office Space do the talking…
What are you waiting for? Hire a sherpa and climb Puncak Jaya right now! Because you’re not about just doing the “bare minimum!”