Philippe Gatta
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The 7 Summits Challenge

North face of Mt. Everest (© P. Gatta).
North face of Mt. Everest (© P. Gatta)

The 7 Summits: Everest, Aconcagua, McKinley, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson, Carstensz Pyramid

Almost 25 years ago Dick Bass and Franck Wells conceived the idea of the 7 Summits. This Challenge consists in climbing the highest mountain of each of the 7 continents. Dick Bass was the first one to succeed this challenge in 1985, but a controversy started a few times later about the actual list of the 7 summits. Depending on the geographical, geologic or geopolitics limits; the highest summit of Europe is either the Mont Blanc (France, 4807 m), or Elbrus (Russia, 5662 m). The polemic is even stronger for 7th summit in Oceania with either Kosciuszko (Australia, 2228 m) or the Carstensz Pyramid (Indonesia, 4884 m).

Today there are two "official" lists of the 7 Summits: Bass' version with Kosciuszko as 7th summit and the Messner's list with the Carstensz Pyramid as 7th summit. In both cases, Elbrus is considered as the top of Europe.

Around 110 climbers have completed Carstensz Pyramid version of the 7 summits challenge. Philippe Gatta is the 7th Frenchmen.


The Map of the 7 summits

7 Summits map.
7 Summits map (Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The list of 7 summits

Philippe Gatta has finished the Challenge on March 30th 2008. He has climbed each summit on his first attempt.

Summit Elevation Continent Range Country Date
Mount Everest 8850m Asia Himalaya Nepal, China 24 May 2007 (story)
Cerro Aconcagua 6962m South America Andes Argentina 5 January 2007 (story)
McKinley (Denali) 6194m North America Alaska Range USA 7 June 2004 (story)
Kilimanjaro 5895m Africa Kilimanjaro Tanzania 7 March 2003 (story)
Elbrus 5642m Europe Caucasus Russia 12 September 2007 (story)
Mount Vinson 4892m Antarctica Ellsworth Mountains   28 December 2007 (story)
Carstensz Pyramid 4884m Australia - New Guinea Pegunungan Maoke Indonesia 30 March 2008 (story)



Photos of the 7 Summits

Makalu seen from Mt. Everest (© P. Gatta)
Makalu seen from Mt. Everest (© P. Gatta)


Summit of Everest (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Everest (© P. Gatta)


Aconcagua (© P. Gatta)
Aconcagua (© P. Gatta)


Summit of Aconcagua (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Aconcagua (© P. Gatta)


Mont Foraker seen from Denali's Camp 5 (© P. Gatta)
Mont Foraker seen from Denali's Camp 5 (© P. Gatta)


Summit of Denali (McKinley, © P. Gatta)
Summit of Denali (McKinley, © P. Gatta)


Kilimanjaro (© P. Gatta)
Kilimanjaro (© P. Gatta)


Summit of Kilimanjaro (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Kilimanjaro (© P. Gatta)


Elbrus, West and East summits (© P. Gatta)
Elbrus, West and East summits (© P. Gatta)


Summit of Elbrus (©P. Gatta)
Summit of Elbrus (©P. Gatta)


Mont Vinson from the base camp (© P. Gatta)
Mont Vinson from the base camp (© P. Gatta)


Summit of Mont Vinson (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Mont Vinson (© P. Gatta)


Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) (© P. Gatta)
Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) (© P. Gatta)


Summit of Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) (© P. Gatta)


Photos of the 7 Summits

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