Seven Summits

Seven Summits refers to a mountaineering challenge of climbing the highest mountain of each continent.

The term was first used by Richard Bass, who was the first to complete the Seven Summits, summiting Mount Everest on 30 April, 1985.

Bass’ list of Seven Summits included:

  • Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania
  • Europe: Elbrus (5642m) in Russia
  • Australia: Mount Kosciuszko (2228m) in Australia
  • Antarctica: Vinson Massif (4897m) in Antarctica
  • South-America: Cerro Aconcagua (6959m) in Argentina
  • North America: Denali (6194m) in Alaska, USA
  • Asia: Mount Everest (8850m) in Nepal


A year later on 3 December, 1986, legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner completed his Seven Summits, but he replaced Mount Kosciuszko with Carstensz Pyramid (4884m) in Indonesia, arguing that the continents should be determined based on tectonic plates and therefore Carstensz Pyramid, located on the island of Papua, which belongs to the Australian continent, should replace Mount Kosciuszko.

The question of which mountain should be considered the highest mountain for the Australian continent continues to split the mountaineering community and the two views are now generally referred to as the Bass List and the Messner List, with both accepted as the official Seven Summits.

To date, only 334 people have climbed the Seven Summits with approximately 30% having climbed both Mount Kosciuszko and Carstensz Pyramid. This includes mountaineers from over 50 countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark and even Iceland, but to date, no-one from my native Finland.