7 Summits concept and history
The concept of Seven Summits originated from a project two american businessmen, Dick Bass and Frank Wells, dreamt up in the mid-eighties. Eventually Dick Bass succeded with the help from professional mountaineers in scaling the seven highest summits on the seven continents. In the outset neither Bass or Wells was mountaineers. They shared a dream and learned on the way to accomplish their dream seeking knowledge, advice, and leadership from professional mountain guides.
From then on the ascent of the highest peak on the continents has been known as the Seven Summits and in the spirit of Wells and Bass it if often adventures persons rather that mountaineers who undertake the challenge.
The seven summits consist of the seven highest summits on the seven continents. In Europe it is Mount Elbrus 5692m in the Caucasus region of Russia, Africas highest mountain is Kilimanjaro 5895m in Tanzania, in Asia the worlds highest summit is Mount Everest 8848m, in Northamerica it is Denali 6194m, or Mount McKinley, as it was also called, Southamerica is crowned by Aconcagua 6962m, Antarticas loftiest peak is Mount Vinson 4897m, and finally Australia has a little summit called Kosciuszko 2229m.
But there is a dispute weather Australia as a continent is what people usually consider Australia, or if it is rather Oceania including New Guinea. If the Australian continent is actually Oceania the highest summit is Carstensz Pyramid 4884m. Because of the dispute there are 8 seven summits and accordingly two list of the seven summits. The Kosciuszko list and the Carstensz list, or the Bass list and the Messner list, as they are also called named after their proponents.
Mont Blanc 4807m was normally considered to be Europe's highest mountain but since seven summits was invented the glory has been Elbrus' even if a similar discussion, as the one between Australia and Oceania, about the borders of the continents of Europe and Asia could be legitimated on geographically arguments.
To do the seven summits is not only a challenging, physically and mental task beyond the normal, looked at as a mountaineering feat, but also a logistical puzzle and economical costly affair.
The logic of the affair and the interest and craving for new records has also made Seven Summits a record matter. Who can do the whole thing fastest? Today Seven Summits has become a mixture of a mountaineering challenge and a logistically challenge. Each list has its own recordholder and of course the combined list is also possible. Who can do the 8 Seven Summits fastest?