7 Summits

Despite, or perhaps because of, being fewer, lower, and much, much easier, the 7 summits are probably better known as a mountaineering objective than the fourteen 8000ers.

The Seven Summits comprise the highest peaks on each of earth's seven continents.

These are:

  • Asia - Mt Everest, 8850 metres
  • South America - Aconcagua, 6962 metres
  • North America - Mt McKinley, 6194 metres
  • Africa - Kilimanjaro, 5895 metres
  • Europe - Mt Elbrus, 5642 metres (not Mt Blanc)
  • Antarctica - Vinson Massif, 4897 metres
  • Australia - Mt Kosciusko, 2228 metres. (Note that for reasons that probably relate to the extremely low altitude and lack of any technical difficulty of Mt Kosciusko, some claim that the highest peak for this region should be Carstenz Pyramid, 4884 metres, in Irian Jaya for the 'continent' of 'Oceania'.)

Altitude comparison between the fourteen 8000ers and the 7 summits

Altitude comparison between the fourteen 8000ers and the 7 summits

One of the major differences between the fourteen 8000 metre peaks and the seven summits is that all of the Seven Summits are regularly guided by commercial expeditions due to their overall lack of technical difficulty.  This includes Mt Everest, which although the highest peak in the world, offers two routes - one on its south side (Nepal) and one on the north (Tibet) - which are both non-technical and subject to little objective danger.