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Seven Second Summits

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Title: Seven Second Summits  
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Subject: Seven Summits, Seven Second Summits, Mount Kenya, Mount Logan, Puncak Mandala
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Seven Second Summits

Location of some Seven Second Summits. In this map, Puncak Trikora is indicated though Puncak Mandala is widely recognised as the taller summit.[1]

The Seven Second Summits are the second highest mountains of each of the seven continents. All of these mountain peaks are separate peaks rather than a sub-peak of the continents' high point.

Austrian mountaineer Christian Stangl became the first person to successfully climb the "Second Seven Summits".[2]

Stangl climbed all possible candidates for the Second Seven Summits quest (K2, Mt. Logan, Ojos del Salado, Batian, Mt. Tyree, Dych Tau, Dufourspitze, Sumantri, Ngga Pulu, Puncak Trikora, Puncak Mandala and Mt. Townsend) to exclude any errors and to satisfy all geographers. He finished the quest on January 15th 2013 and was certified by Guinness World Records on September 17th 2013. Later he also completed the Challenge for the Triple Seven Summits.[3][4][5]

The Second Seven Summits are considered by many mountaineers and geographers as a much harder challenge than the traditional Seven Summits.


  • Seven Second Summits definitions 1
    • The Bass and Messner list 1.1
  • Difficulty versus Seven Summits 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Seven Second Summits definitions

The definition of continent is a matter of some dispute among mountaineers seeking to complete this challenge.

The main ridge of the Greater Caucasus range is generally considered to form the boundary between Europe and Asia. In that case, Mount Elbrus (5,642 m (18,510 ft)) situated some 10 km north of the continental divide, is the highest mountain in Europe. Excluding the Caucasus Mountains, Mont Blanc (4,808 m (15,774 ft)) would be Europe's highest mountain.

The Australian continent is defined as comprising the mainland of Australia and proximate islands on the same continental shelf, including Tasmania and New Guinea. In the convention of the seven continents, one of the continents is the region of Australasia, which includes for example the mountainous islands of New Zealand. For both the geological and conventional continent, New Guinea's Carstensz Pyramid (4,884 m (16,024 ft)) is the highest summit. When considering a continent as a continuous landmass surrounded by oceans, mainland Australia would be its own continent, with Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 m (7,310 ft)) as its highest summit.

The Bass and Messner list

The Second Seven Summits list follows the Seven Summits list created by Richard Bass ,[6] who chose the highest mountain of mainland Australia, Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 m), to represent the Australian continent's highest summit. Reinhold Messner proposed another list (the Messner or Carstensz list) replacing Mount Kosciuszko with Western New Guinea's Carstensz Pyramid, which is part of Indonesia (4,884 m).

Following the Bass list, Mount Townsend is the second highest summit (2,209 m) in Australia. According to the Messner list, Puncak Mandala (4,760 m) on New Guinea is the second highest of the Australian continent.[1][7] Heights of mountain peaks in West Papua are poorly established, and Puncak Trikora has been listed as the second highest summit on the island, but SRTM-data do support a higher elevation for Mandala.

Both lists count Mount Elbrus as the highest peak in Europe. This makes Dykh-Tau (5,205 m), located in Russia, the second highest summit in Europe. Those who consider Mont Blanc to be the highest mountain in Europe would consider Monte Rosa (4,634 m), located in Switzerland, to be the second highest summit.

Seven Second Summits (sorted by elevation)
Peak Bass list Messner list Elevation Prominence Continent Range Country
K2 8,611 m (28,251 ft) 4,017 m (13,179 ft) Asia Karakoram Pakistan / China
Ojos del Salado 6,893 m (22,615 ft) 3,688 m (12,100 ft) South America Andes Argentina / Chile
Mount Logan 5,959 m (19,551 ft) 5,250 m (17,224 ft) North America Saint Elias Canada
Dykh-Tau 5,205 m (17,077 ft) 2,002 m (6,568 ft) Europe Caucasus Russia
Mount Kenya 5,199 m (17,057 ft) 3,825 m (12,549 ft) Africa - Kenya
Mount Tyree 4,852 m (15,919 ft) 1,152 m (3,780 ft) Antarctica Sentinel -
Puncak Mandala 4,760 m (15,617 ft) 2,760 m (9,055 ft) Australia (continent) Jayawijaya Indonesia
Mount Townsend 2,209 m (7,247 ft) 189 m (620 ft) Australia Snowies Australia
Comparison of the heights of the Seven Second Summits with the Seven Summits and the Eight-thousanders.

Difficulty versus Seven Summits

Alpinism author Jon Krakauer wrote in Into Thin Air [8] that it would be a bigger challenge to climb the second-highest peak of each continent instead of the highest.

In Asia, K2 (8,611 m) demands greater technical climbing skills than Everest (8,848 m), while altitude-related factors such as the thinness of the atmosphere, high winds and low temperatures remain much the same.

In Africa, the summit of Mount Kenya (5,199 m) is a rock climb, while Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) can be ascended without any technical difficulty.

In North America, some sources consider Mount Logan a more difficult climb than Denali, although the climbing and outdoor recreation website Summitpost considers Logan no more difficult than Denali, because it is neither technical nor steep.[2].

In South America, Ojos del Salado involves a short scramble while Aconcagua is just a walk.[9]

In Europe, Dykh-Tau is a considerably harder climb than Mount Elbrus.[10]

In Australasia, the continent's Second Summit on the Bass list, Mount Townsend, is more challenging than Mount Kosciuszko, but still just a walk-up.[11] The normal route on the highest peak of the Messner list, Carstensz Pyramid, is technically difficult (UIAA grade V+). Puncak Mandala, however, is extremely challenging with respect to the approach route, which is arguably the more significant problem in climbing the New Guinea peaks. There have been perhaps only two successful approaches (and climbs) reported.[12]

In Antarctica, Mount Vinson presents little difficulty beyond normal challenges of Antarctica (the guiding company Adventure Peaks rates the ascent at PD/AD on the Alpine scale), but Mount Tyree requires technical climbing and it has been climbed by a total of ten people since its discovery.

See also


  1. ^ a b See for example the lists at peaklist,, and
  2. ^
  3. ^ British Mountaineering Council: Christian Stangl completes the Triple Seven Summits (english)
  4. ^ Three records for Austrian Alpinist Christian Stangl (english)
  5. ^ Stangl Completes Triple Seven Summits by Dougald MacDonald, Climbing (USA) 8/28/13
  6. ^ Bass, Dick; Frank Wells; Rick Ridgeway (1986). Seven Summits.  
  7. ^ Several other summits of Mount Carstensz besides Carstensz Pyramid, like Ngga Pulu (4,862 m) and Carstensz East (4,820 or 4,840 m) are higher than both Mandala and Trikora, but because of their low prominence (200-300 m) and isolation (2.2-2.6 km) these are usually not regarded as separate mountains.
  8. ^ Krakauer, Jon (1997). Into Thin Air. Villard.  
  9. ^ John Biggar: The Andes - A Guide for Climbers, ISBN 0-9536087-2-7
  10. ^ Bender: Classic Climbs of the Caucasus
  11. ^ Geehi Bushwalking Club: Snowy Mountains Walks ISBN 0-9599651-4-9
  12. ^ Puncak Mandala at the gunung bagging website

External links

  • Peak Bagger
  • Climbing Carstensz Pyramid, Papua Indonesia
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