I first became aware of the challenge known as the 7 summits about 5 or so years ago. It sat the back of my mind until I came across the infamous book about Dick Bass & Frank Wells, and their pursuit to become the first to accomplish the feat. This awakened my own desire for adventure and as of early last year, I decided that I too wanted to stand on top of some of worlds the tallest mountains.
There are 3 predominant reasons why I chose to take on this challenge.
Firstly, I wanted to raise a large amount of money ($250,000) for education projects in Nepal. Having visited Nepal last year and consequently falling in love with the landscape and it’s people, I knew I had to do something to help. I think Nepal is often overlooked in terms of donations and foreign aid as it doesn’t seem to provoke the same images of poverty as many other regions throughout Asia.
I didn’t realise before I went and saw it with my own eyes, just how bad conditions were for a great deal of the population living there. Fundraising is a pretty competitive market these days and to stand out, you need to provide something which captivates the imagination of potential donors and allows you to then hold that attention long enough to explain why this cause is one worth donating to. I think for Australians in particular (my homeland), the 7 summits holds a lot of intrigue. We don’t really know much or get to experience big mountains or true cold over here so it is a fairly unique opportunity.
It’s also a personal challenge. I wanted to find my limits physically and mentally. The 7 summits was probably a good choice, particularly for a boy from the flat, arid plains of Western Australia.
Finally, as an adventure. A chance to see and experience places I probably otherwise would never have had the opportunity to explore. From the hostile border regions of Russia to the beautiful ice and snow desert of Antarctica.