The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Summiting all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge, first postulated as such and achieved on April 30, 1985 by Richard Bass.
There has been a bit of controversy surrounding which mountains make up the seven summits. In Europe, Mt Blanc is thought by many to be the highest point, arguing the Caucasus range where Elbrus is located is, in fact, in Asia.
Even greater debate surrounds Mt Kosciuszkos inclusion as Australia’s highest peak. Many consider a peak in New Guinea ‘Carstensz Pyramid’ to be the highest on the continent ‘Oceania’. It is indeed more difficult than the ant-hill representing Australias highest point. Being Australian however, and not looking for any further difficulty in this challenge, I’ve chosen Kosciuszko.
The first to scale all 7 (choosing Kosciuszko) was an American businessman and amateur mountaineer by the name of Dick Bass. His goal was completed when he scaled Everest on April 30, 1985. There was a book written about there tumultuous journey..
“Their goal was to climb the highest mountain on each of The seven continents. It was an imposing list: Aconcagua in South America, Everest in Asia, McKinley in North America, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Vinson in Antarctica, Kosciuszko in Australia… no one had ever scaled all seven Summits. To do so would be an accomplishment coveted by the World’s best mountaineers.”
—Rick Ridgeway, from The Seven Summits, by Dick Bass, Rick Ridgeway, and Frank wells (1988)