For the last 6 months or so I’ve been working on putting together an e-book with detailed information on everything you need to know on climbing the 7 Summits. I was planning on releasing it a month ago and selling it for $4 or $5 bucks. Something kept holding me back though.. I couldn’t work out what it was. Today I finally realised why, I would feel like a hypocrite.
I’ve always been adamant about never taking advice from someone who hasn’t done what it is they are advising about.. I’ve always learned most from biographies, where the author has truly lived what they are writing. That I find, is where the best lessons lie. Now here I was, going to do exactly what I have been against my whole life. I was writing a guide on how to climb the 7 Summits, when I haven’t accomplished the goal myself.. Therefore, I’ve decided against the idea of publishing the ebook.
Instead, I will upload all the information that I’ve spent countless hours researching to my site, 100% free. All the info is from experts and only the most credible sources, with links where appropriate. Instead of charging, I simply ask that if you find the content worthwhile, consider donating a few dollars to the 7 Summits Project. All proceeds will go towards funding education projects in Nepal (and all donations are tax deductible 😉
I’ll put all the stuff up over the next few weeks so hopefully you’ll find some use for it and all that time I spent doesn’t go to waste!
From WA TODAY..
Mr Hudson will take to a treadmill and “climb” the height of Mount Everest at a charity event on August 15 and 16.
He will complete the stunt as part of the annual Save the Children book sale held at UWA’s Hackett Hall. Members of the public are invited to walk on a treadmill alongside Mr Hudson and donate funds to be used for education projects in Nepal.
Kili Fact: A frozen leopard was found on the summit ridge as immortalised in Hemingway’s Snows of Kilimanjaro. What it was doing there can only be guessed at, potential food sources had stopped over a vertical kilometre below. There have been reports of other local animals ascending high on Kilimanjaro, none which tops that impressive feat however.
Swahili is the national language of the highlighted region above.
|Example Training Schedule|
|4 MONTHS OUT||3 MONTHS OUT||2 MONTHS OUT||1 MONTH OUT|
|TUE||CARDIO: 40m||CARDIO: 50m||CARDIO: 1 hour||CARDIO: 1:15|
|THUR||STRENGTH||STRENGTH||STRENGTH END||STRENGTH END|
|FRI||CARDIO: 40m||CARDIO: 50m||CARDIO: 1 hour||OFF|
|SAT||OFF||HIKING: 3 hours||HIKING: 4 hours||HIKING: 5 hours|
|SUN||OFF||OFF||OFF||HIKING: 5 hours|
Kili Fact: The oldest person ever to summit Mt Kilimanjaro was 87-year-old Frenchman Valtee Daniel. There goes your excuse..
|Day||Marangu 6-Day||Machame 7-day||Rongai||Lemosho|
|1||Arrive in Moshi||Arrive in Moshi||Arrive in Moshi||Arrive in Moshi|
|2||Start: Moshi->Moshi Gate->MandaraElevation: 1,400m->2,699mDistance:10km (6 miles)||Start: Moshi->Machame Gate->Machame CampElevation: 1,400m->2,979mDistance:13km (6 miles)||Start: Moshi->Rongai Gate->Simba CampElevation: 1,400m->2,750mDistance: 9km (||Start: Moshi->Londorossi Gate->Mti MkwubaElevation: 1,400m->2,895mDistance: 6km (4 miles)|
|3||Start: Mandara->HoromboElevation: 2,699m->3,699mDistance: 13km (8 miles)||Start:Machame Camp->Shira PlateauElevation: 2,979m->3,787mDistance:8km (5 miles)||Start:Simba Camp->Kikelewa campElevation: 2,750m->3,600mDistance: 17km (||Start:Mt Mkwuba->Shira Camp 1Elevation: 2,895m->3,505mDistance: 8km (|
|4||Rest Day||Start:Shira Plateau->Barranco CampElevation: 3,787m->3,856mDistance: 11km (7 miles)||Start:Kikelewa Camp->Mawenzi CampElevation: 3,600m->4,330mDistance: 7km||Start:Shira Camp 1-Moir HutElevation: 3,505m->4,200mDistance: 11km (7 miles)|
|5||Start:Horombo->Kibo HutElevation: 3,699m->4,699mDistance: 13km (8 miles)||Start:Barranco Camp-> Karanga CampElevation: 3,856m->3,978mDistance: 5km (3 miles)||Start:Mawenzi Camp->Kibo HutElevation: 4,330m->4,695mDistance: 8km (||Start:Moir Hut->Lava Tower->Barranco CampElevation: 4,200->4,630m->3,976mDistance: 10km (6 miles)|
|6||Start:Kibo Hut->Summit-> Horombo HutElevation: 4,699m->5,895m-> 3,699mDistance: 23km (14 miles)||Start:Karanga Camp->Barafu CampElevation: 3,978m->4,633mDistance: 5km (3 miles)||Start: Kibo Hut->Summit-> Horombo HutElevation: 4,695m->5,895m-> 3,690mDistance: 23km (14 miles)||StartBarranco Camp->Karanga CampElevation: 3,976m->3,995mDistance: 5km (3 miles)|
|7||Start:Horombo Hut->Marangu GateElevation: 3,699m->1,900mDistance: 23km (14 miles)||Start:Barafu Camp->Summit-> Horombo HutElevation: 4,699m->5,895m-> 3,699mDistance: 23km (14 miles)||StartHorombo Hut->Marangu GateElevation:3,690m->1,400mDistance23km (14 miles)||Start: Karanga Camp->Barafu CampElevation: 3,995m->4,673mDistance: 4km (2 miles)|
|8||Depart Moshi||Start:Horombo Hut->Marangu GateElevation: 3,699m->1,900mDistance: 23km (14 miles)||Depart Moshi||StartBarafu Camp->Summit->Mweka CampElevation: 4,673m->5,895m->3,068mDistance: 19km (10 miles)|
|9||Depart Moshi||Start:Mweka Camp->Mweka GateElevation: 3,o068m->1,640mDistance: 10km (6 miles)|
*Sourced from Ultimate Kilimanjaro
A bit of debate has arisen since the 7 Summits was first ‘popularised’ as to whether Mt Elbrus was technically the highest mountain in Europe, the other opinion being Mt Blanc. It is located in the Caucasus Mountain range which stadlles the border between Europe and Asia, although it has been fairly well confirmed by geographers that it is within the European borders. The Caucasus also divide Russia from the middle East. The border with Georgia lies some 30km south of Mt Elbrus.
Somehow or another, Mt Elbrus has roots in both Greek and Persian mythology. In Greek legend, Zeus chains Prometheus to the mountain as punishment for stealing fire from the gods and showing it to humans. Zeus then sent a long-winged eagle to consume his liver (the gods were a rather harsh bunch..) before the hero heracles intervened, killing the eagle and freeing Prometheus.
There is a cable car system built prior to 1976, set-up on the south side of the mountain. This takes skiers and climber right up to 3,650m (12,500 feet) where they either continue on up if they’re climbing or turn around and come back down if they happen to be on skis. There is also a large snow plow used quite often on the south route, taking climber from the barrel huts right up to 4,800m.
A unique feature of Mt Elbrus is the barrel huts sitting up at 3,800m. There are 9 in total, accommodating 6 people each. The barrel huts are used as an acclimatisation point, perched only 50m above the ski lifts and summit bids are often made from this spot (A climb of over 1,800 vertical metres). Each hut has an electric heater, electric plugs and lighting, absolute luxury for a high altitude mountain setting.
There was a hut built in 1932, ‘Priut 11,’ a few hundred metres higher up that accommodated an additional 120 people. This was burned down in 1998 when a climber knocked over his gas cooker, causing a little chaos.
The name ‘Elbrus’ comes from a mountain in Persian mythology Hara Berezaiti from which was derived the Alborz (Don’t ask me how..). This then turned into Elbrus. The local people of the Caucasus, the Balkars, called the mountain Mingi-Tau which translates to “resembling a thousand mountains” or “Eternal mountain”. In ancient Greek it was known as Strobilus meaning “pine cone”, based on the shape of the summit.
The region is certainly no stranger to conflict, 6 separate wars have taken place in the area since 1998.
Only 100km away from Mt Elbrus lies Chechnya, a source of much civil unrest over the past couple of decades. There were 2 Chechen wars throughout the 90’s in which the region was placed under direct control of Moscow. Chechen nationalists have been launching guerrilla attacks ever since. While there have been targeted attacks by Chechen militants in the past, the area is heavily patrolled by troops and considered relatively safe.
Russias pleasant relations also extend south to Georgia, another source of ongoing conflict. This is certainly less of a threat to tourists however.
In 1997, Russia adventurer/madman Alexander Abramov decided it was a good idea to try and drive a Land Rover to the top of Mt Elbrus. They started off driving up to the barrel huts at just under 4,000m where by the vehicle decided it wasn’t having any part in the shenanigans and started to literally fall apart. Undeterred, Abramov and his 10 man team spent the next 43 days winching and hauling the vehicle up, making multiple trips make down to collect parts. Amazingly, on September 13th, they actually managed to drive the vehicle onto the summit, a new a world record as the ‘highest mountain climbed by a vehicle’. One of the team then decided he’d try and drive it back down, promptly losing control and bailing out. The Land Rover still sits on the mountain today.
Like Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Elbrus is an inactive volcano. There are several lava flows on the mounain which apparently ‘look fresh’ as well as a couple of hundred square metres of volcanic debris. Not to fret though, it last erupted around 50 A.D. Fingers crossed..
Now, there is a lot of debate amongst certain circles as to what really constitutes the ‘7 Summits’, a label given to climbing the highest peak on each of the 7 continents.
The original 7, first achieved by Dick Bass back in 1985, includes Mt Kosciuszko, on the presumption that Australia was a continent in its own right. Since I was largely inspired by the book written about Bass and his pursuit of the summits (see right), I opted to go with Kosciuszko as well. Being an Australian probably played a part as well, we like to think of ourselves as a continent (only country/continent around, we’ll take that one).
Having now ‘climbed’ Kosciuszko, I can see why the debate came about. It’s not really in the same league as the other 6 on the list. It’s a bit of a push to even call it a mountain.. Not to bash Kozi too much but its practically one quarter the height of Mt Everest, the highest on the list. That being said, it’s on the list and was still an enjoyable excursion for me. I think it would be a completely different experience (in a good way) in winter when some serious snow can fall.
We flew over to Sydney airport, rented a car and made the 6 hour drive out to Thredbo, a ski town at the base of the snowy mountains and our destination, Mt Kosciuszko. Car hire is really the only option outside of winter months, as the regular bus service is cancelled. The drive from Sydney is long and tedious, I would recommend flying into Canberra if you are inclined to make the journey to Thredbo. I’ve heard it can be absolutely packed during ski season, however we went in March and it was pretty much dead.
We got into town a little late so checked straight into our hostel and made haste to get started. It was a pretty uneventful walk up, a solid hike on a beautiful autumn day. Blue, my mate from Deadat30 fame joined me for this one, as did Patty, future chairman of the Reserve Bank. Blue decided to buy a 6-pack as we were stocking essentials for the trek and that is all he talk with him.. He walked up one of the 7 Summits with a beer in one hand, his other carrying the other 5 (gives you an idea as to the level of exertion required). I’m sure he originally had the intention of sharing around a few once we got the top. By the time we made it, there was 1 left..
When hiking, it’s important to bring a friend that can act as a stable surface when you need to put your beer down.This friend has the perfect head and zen-like concentration. No, he’s not available for hire.
We reached the top just before dusk and spent about an hour buggering round, waiting for the sunset. It was well worth the wait, the colours and cloud cover created a pretty spectacular scene.
The mountain god reveals himself..
We made our way in the dark which was a bit more interesting. Since the mountain god has a sense of direction equivalent to a Malaysian airlines flight, he ended up getting lost on the way down. We considered leaving him there but figured he may summon a storm or avalanche to take us out.
The cloud cover that created such a beautiful sunset meant there was no moonlight to guide us, so it was practically pitch black. Luckily, I had a head torch and a torch app installed on my phone so we managed to find our way. We sprinted the last section back to town, hoping to catch the pub open for a quick parmie and beer. We were in luck.
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In terms of mountains worldwide, Australia’s largest is in fact, a midget. Standing only 2,228 metres, it’s around a quarter of the size of Mount Everest. As the chart below demonstrates..
Although Kosciuszko was included in the original 7 Summits list, first completed by Dick Bass in 1985, there has been a lot of debate since as to whether it should in fact, be included. It all comes down to whether you consider Australia to be a continent in its own right, or whether it is part of the more encompassing ‘Oceania’. If you prefer the latter option then Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea would be the true member of the 7 Summits. Being a circumstantial patriot, I consider Australia a continent and therefore have elected to climb Mount Kosciuszko. (The fact that it is substantially easier and cheaper had no influence on my decision..)
Polish explorer Count Pawel Edmund Strzelecki was the first to summit the peak, way back in 1840. Why isn’t it called Mt Strzelecki? Because this selfless fellow decided to name it after Polish hero General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a prominant figure in the American revolution. The Australian mountain supposedly looks like the sight in which General Kosciuszko was buried.
The mountain has many rare species of alpine plants, animals, and endemic flowers, which are not found anywhere else in the world. The park is also home to 40 percent of the bird species in New South Wales. UNESCO declared the Kosciuszko National Park as a World Biosphere Reserve in 1997, due to the various species of flora and fauna found in this region.
The only place in the world you’ll find these little furballs. This is a Mountain Pygmy Possum and they are found solely within a 10km radius of the Mount Kosciuszko region.
The mountain was originally named Mt Townsend and the first Mount Kosciuszko was located nearby. Throughout the late 1890s and early 1900s a number of measurements showed that Mt Townsend was higher than Mount Kosciuszko. To ensure that Kosciuszko remained the name of the tallest mountain, the New South Wales government exchanged the names of the mountains in 1910. Personally, I think Mr Townsend should feel a little ripped off with that exchange..
Up until 1974 you could drive your car right up to the summit. The road was closed due to ‘environmental concerns’.