The Seven Summits are the highest peaks on each continent, with Mount Everest being the tallest. Only experienced climbers should attempt them. The list includes Kilimanjaro, Denali, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Puncak Jaya, Vinson Massif, and Mount Everest. Some climbers move on to the Second Seven Summits.
The Seven Summits are the highest peaks on all seven continents of the world and a formidable mountaineering challenge. In 2007, fewer than 200 climbers were on the list of those who had successfully climbed them all, including Rob Hall and Gary Ball, who completed all seven in seven months in 1990, and the first woman to climb all seven, Junko Tabei, in 1992. The mountains of the Seven Summits present serious technical challenges and only highly experienced climbers should tackle them.
Usually, the seven peaks are listed as Kilimanjaro, Denali, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Puncak Jaya, Vinson Massif and Mount Everest. This list was compiled by Reinhold Messner, who refined a previous list made by Richard Bass, who also wrote the book Seven Summits. Many climbers who successfully complete the Seven Summits move on to the Second Seven Summits: Mount Kenya, Mount Tyree, Puncak Trikora, K2, Dykh-Tau, Mount Logan and Ojos del Salada. Some climbers have argued that the second set peaks, especially K2, present a much more intense technical challenge than their higher counterparts.
The highest peak of the Seven Summits is, of course, Mount Everest, at 29,029 feet (8,848 meters). Mount Everest is located in the Himalayan Mountains of Asia, and is also sometimes called the “peak of the world” because it is the highest point on Earth. The next highest peak is Aconcagua, located in the Andes of South America between Chile and Argentina. Aconcagua is 22,481 feet (6,962 meters) high. North America is home to the third tallest mountain on the list, Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, located in Alaska with an elevation of 20,320 feet (6,194 meters).
The fourth mountain of the Seven Summits is Africa’s Kilimanjaro, which towers over the Kenyan plains at 19,339 feet (5,895 meters). Eastern Europe’s Mount Elbrus, in the Caucasus, is next on the list, with a height of 18,481 feet (5,633 meters): some people prefer to list Mont Blanc as the highest peak in Europe, not counting the Caucasus as part of that continent. It follows Vinson Massif in Antarctica, with an elevation of 16,067 feet (4,897 meters), and the final peak is Puncak Jaya, also known as Carstensz Pyramid, Indonesia, with an elevation of 16,023 feet (4,884 meters). The latter mountain, which represents Australasia, is disputed: some climbers prefer Australia’s Mount Kosciusko, which is about half the height of Puncak Jaya, but is also located in Australia, rather than Oceania.