North face of Mt. Everest (© P. Gatta)
Almost 30 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.
7 Summits map (Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Philippe Gatta has finished the Challenge on March 30th 2008. He has climbed each summit on his first attempt.
|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)|
Makalu seen from Mt. Everest (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Everest (© P. Gatta)
Aconcagua (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Aconcagua (© P. Gatta)
Mount Foraker seen from Denali's Camp 5 (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Denali (McKinley, © P. Gatta)
Kilimanjaro (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Kilimanjaro (© P. Gatta)
Elbrus, West and East summits (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Elbrus (© P. Gatta)
Mount Vinson seen from base camp (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Mount Vinson (© P. Gatta)
Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) (© P. Gatta)