Why do the mountains compel us so much? Their Beauty, Grandeur, Danger or simply “Because it's there?” There are many explanations but one thing is for sure, if you hear the call, you must climb. People around the world have their different reasons for climbing and also different objectives along the way . No matter what they choose, they set lofty goals which require much preparation, physical and mental.

Climbing to the top of the world’s Seven Summits – the highest point on each of the seven continents – takes these goals to the extreme. And extreme is putting it mildly. Only about 500 people have achieved the feat since the idea of doing so was first conceived in the 1950s.

In spite of (or because of) the myriad challenges associated with climbing the Seven Summits, it remains one of mountaineering’s most coveted objectives. A substantial portion of those who do achieve the feat go on to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam by reaching the North and South Poles as well.

History of Climbing the Seven Summits

Richard Bass

The first person to complete the Seven Summits was the American businessman, Richard Bass, who climbed Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Elbrus (Europe), Mount Vinson (Antarctica) and Mount Kosciuszko (Oceania/Australasia) in 1983. He completed the feat two years later after reaching the summit of Everest.

The famed Italian mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, was the second person to climb the Seven Summits, after reaching the top of Antarctica’s Mount Vinson in 1986. 

Reinhold Messner

However, Messner argued that the Carstensz Pyramid, located on the island of New Guinea, was taller and more technical than Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko and should be included instead (though for the sake of posterity, he climbed both).

As a result of the disagreement, there are now two variations of the Seven Summits – the Bass List and Messner List. However, six of the seven peaks are the same and Mount Kosciuszko is a very easy, non-technical climb so many followers of the Messner List climb it anyways.

How to get started

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Mountaineering, in general, is a fun and healthy way to get out of doors and explore the natural world. 

However, few people are prepared to make one of the Seven Summits (with the exception of Mount Kosciuszko), their first mountaineering experience.

Heading to the top of the world’s continents requires dedication and years of training and, like any other sport, it is best to start small before working up to bigger challenges. 

Aspiring mountaineers should consider booking trips to beginner mountaineering destinations. These are mountains that are generally fairly high in altitude (3,000 metres/10,000 feet or more) and are usually glaciated. Among the most popular examples are Mount Baker, in Washington state, Gran Paradiso, in north-western Italy, and Lanín Volcano, on the Argentine-Chilean border.

Peaks such as these are selected by experienced mountain guides because they have all of the same obstacles and features of the Seven Summits – glacier travel, crevasses and a substantial change in altitude – just on a much smaller scale.

From here, would-be conquerors of the Seven Summits can matriculate to tougher peaks. As their mountaineering skills continue to grow so too will the strength and endurance required to haul gear, climb steep inclines and travel continuously for hours at a time without much rest. 

Once intermediate-level climbs, such as taking on Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border or Mount Rainier, also in Washington state, become routine, climbing the Seven Summits come into reach.

What to bring on a mountaineering trip to the Seven Summits

Once climbers are both technically and physically prepared to climb one or more of the Seven Summits, the next step is to bring all of the correct gear. 

While equipment lists will change based on the mountain and the guide service, below is a checklist of basic mountaineering gear that will be required on most of the Seven Summits (Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro and Mount Kosciuszko require no technical climbing gear). 

Climbing and camping gear

  • 20 to 60-litre climbing pack
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Carabiners
  • Belay device
  • Climbing harness
  • Rope
  • Avalanche rescue gear
  • Crevasse rescue gear
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Four-season tent
  • Thermal sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • First aid and toiletries
  • ID card, visas and necessary permits

Footwear

  • Gaiters
  • Hiking socks and liner socks
  • Mountaineering boots
  • Street shoes or sandals for base camp

Headwear

  • Lots of Neck Gaiters (also known as Buffs)
  • Mountaineering goggles
  • Mountaineering helmet
  • Knit cap
  • Category 4 sunglasses (for snowy conditions)
  • Sunhat

Clothing

  • Base-layer bottom and top
  • Softshell pants and hard-shell pants
  • Softshell jacket, mid-layer top and hard-shell jacket
  • Lightweight insulated jacket
  • Insulated down parka
  • T-shirts, shorts and trousers for base camp
  • Nightwear and underwear (long underwear is preferable for camping on mountains)
  • Liner gloves and mountaineering gloves

Eating and drinking

  • One-litre water bottle
  • Water purification tablets and/or a Steripen
  • Backpacking stove and fuel
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • Energy snacks
  • Hot drink mix
  • Collapsible water container
  • Thermos
  • Biodegradable soap

Remember, some guides will provide some or all of the necessary equipment, while others will not. It is always best to ask the guide for a checklist before packing for an expedition.

1| Mount Everest (8,848 m/29,029 ft)

Towering high above the border between Nepal  and Tibet (China), Mount Everest is the crown jewel of the Seven Summits. Rising to an elevation at which commercial jets fly, Everest is the tallest mountain in Asia and of course; the world and as a result the most frequently climbed 8000er. 

While the world’s highest peak is not considered to be among the toughest 8000ers to climb, Everest is by far the most challenging of the Seven Summits. 

Challenges of climbing Everest

Mount Everest is not an overly technical mountain, with climbers only needing to have intermediate-level snow and ice climbing abilities and previous experience with ladder and fixed-rope climbing.

The real challenge presented by Everest is the cold and especially the altitude. Once a climber has reached 8,000 metres (26,200 feet) above sea level, they are officially in the death zone. At these elevations, there is about one-third the amount of oxygen in the air as there is at sea level and everything becomes more difficult – eating, sleeping, walking, climbing and decision making.

It is also harder for the body to perform basic metabolic functions that keep it warm, which is why cold is the other main challenge. With an average temperature at the top of -40 °C (-40 ºF), keeping warm is imperative to a successful ascent.

How to get there

Mount Everest sits at the very heart of the eastern Himalayas and as a result there are no paved roads on the Nepalese side of the border. 

Instead, climbers will fly into Kathmandu and meet the guide there. From the capital, another domestic flight is taken to Lukla. From here, it takes about two weeks to trek to base camp.

From the Tibetan (Chinese) side of the border, it is possible to drive almost to the base camp. Climbers will either arrive in Lhasa or Kathmandu before transferring over the border. 

Due to strict entry restrictions in Tibet (both a Chinese visa and a separate Tibetan visa are required), the north route up Mount Everest is taken far less frequently.

Routes to the top

The South Col Route from Nepal is the most popular route to climb Mount Everest. The northeast ridge route, from the Tibetan (Chinese) side of the border is both more technically challenging and logistically difficult.

The South Col Route begins from the Mount Everest Base Camp. Over the course of the first couple of weeks of the expedition, climbers will acclimate by climbing up to Camp I (6,065 m/19,900 ft) and Camp II. 

The section between Base Camp and Camp I is known as the Khumbu icefall and is one of the most dangerous portions of the whole climb. To overcome the icefall, climbers will need to traverse a series of seracs, crevasses and shifting blocks of ice.

Once at Camp I, climbers will make their way up the Western Cwm to Camp II (6,500 m/21,300 ft), which sits at the base of the Lhotse Face. From Camp II, climbers ascend a series of fixed ropes up the Lhotse Face until arriving at Camp III (7,470 m/24,500 ft).

Between Camp III and Camp IV (7,920 m/26,000 ft), climbers will traverse the Geneva Spur – an anvil-shaped rock formation – and the Yellow Band, both of which require climbing up fixed rope.  

Camp IV sits on the South Col and is where the death zone begins. From here, climbers will begin the summit push at about midnight, making a 1,000 metre (3,300-foot) vertical ascent that involves climbing through deep snow and along exposed ridgelines. 

On the other side of the mountain, the northeast ridge route is considerably shorter as a paved road leads most of the way to the base camp (5,180m/16,990 ft). 

After acclimatising, climbers will ascend the eastern medial moraine of the Rongbuk Glacier to reach Camp II (6,100 m/20,000 ft). From here, climbers continue to ascend to the base of the north col, where Camp III (6,500 m/21,300 ft), also known as advanced base camp, is set up.

To reach Camp IV, climbers will ascend a set of fixed ropes to climb the glacier that leads up onto the north Col. and continue ascending the rocky north ridge to reach Camp V (7,775 m/25,500 ft).

From Camp V, climbers ascend the north face of Everest diagonally, arriving at the base of the Yellow Band and setting up Camp VI (8,230 m/27,000 ft). 

Starting at midnight the following morning, climbers will ascend the three steps of the summit pyramid, using a mix of scrambling and climbing ladders before arriving at the summit ridge and continuing on to the top.

Preparation and training

Regardless of which of the two main routes is taken to the summit, participants will need to spend close to a year physically preparing for the ascent. This includes plenty of climbing conditioning and cardiovascular training, to get the body used to climbing at high altitude as well as generally strength and stamina training.

Most guides also recommend climbing another of the 14 8000ers found in Nepal. Among the most popular are Cho Oyu, roughly 20 kilometres (12 miles) west of Everest and Dhaulagiri I, in central Nepal. 

Quick facts:

  • Continent: Asia
  • Location: Nepal, Tibet (China)
  • Duration: 2 months
  • Climbing season: April to May
  • Estimated cost: $45,000

2| Aconcagua (6,961 m/22,838 ft)

Situated in the heart of the Andes Mountains, along Argentina’s western border with Chile, Aconcagua  is the highest peak in South America plus both the Southern and Western Hemispheres as well as the second highest of the Seven Summits. 

In spite of its massive size, Aconcagua is considered to be one of the easiest of the Seven Summits to climb. No technical mountaineering skills are required to reach the top via the normal route. For more advanced climbers, however, there is a more technical way up as well.

Challenges of climbing Aconcagua

While the technical difficulty on Aconcagua is quite low, the altitude and cold weather are the factors that make climbing the mountain the most difficult. Injuries related to altitude sickness and the cold are, unfortunately, not uncommon during the climbing season.

In order to mitigate the effects of altitude sickness, most guides recommend spending 20 days trying to climb the peak, with various days spent climbing up and down the side of the mountain to acclimate properly.

How to get there

After arriving in Mendoza, climbers will meet with the guide and transfer to the base camp at Plaza de Mulas, which is located 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of the provincial capital. The vast majority of trips to the summit of Aconcagua start from here. 

Routes to the top

The main route up Aconcagua is known as the normal route and follows the northeast ridgeline all the way up the mountain. The route can be hiked with only a few sections of scrambling involved.

There are five camps in between the base camp and the summit, which are used during the acclimatization period. On summit day, most climbers head from the fourth camp up to the top and back down again. 

For more advanced climbers, the Polish Glacier Traverse route is quite popular. Starting from the Vacas valley, the route ascends via the far steeper southern face of the mountain and requires a mix of technical snow, ice and rock climbing. Most climbers spend about 17 days ascending and descending via this route.

Preparation and training

Preparation is key to successfully summiting Aconcagua. Climbers should spend at least two months prior to the ascent improving endurance, leg and core strength and stamina. Climbing conditioning will also be important as climbers will be required to haul some of their own gear up the peak, so climbers should head out on plenty of hikes.

While no technical mountaineering skills are needed to climb the peak, it is good to take a basic winter mountaineering skills course in order to learn self-arrest techniques, glacier travel skills and how to travel as part of a roped team.

Quick facts:

  • Continent: South America
  • Location: Argentina
  • Duration: 20 days
  • Climbing season: November to March
  • Estimated cost: $2,000

3| Denali (6,194 m/20,322 ft)

Situated in the heart of the Alaska Range, Denali  is one of the largest mountains on Earth. Along with being the tallest peak in North America, it is also the third most prominent. 

Challenges of climbing Denali

Due to its remote location, climbing the mountain requires a massive logistical effort. Climbers will need to pull sleds full of technical gear, food, camping equipment and clothing from the base camp up and down the mountain to the high camps. 

Once on the mountain, even the easiest route to the summit requires technical snow, ice and glacier climbing skills. Would-be climbers will need a combination of some rope skills, avalanche safety training and know how to use an ice axe as well as crampons. 

How to get there

Located about 290 kilometres (180 miles) north of Anchorage, in southern Alaska most trips to Denali begin with a local flight into the national park, usually close to the base camp of the respective route.

Routes to the summit

Overall, there are four different routes that are most commonly used to climb the peak. The easiest of these routes is West Buttress, which also makes it the most commonly climbed route. 

The West Buttress route starts from the Kahiltna Glacier and steadily ascends the mountain. While there are no overly technical sections on this route, an intermediate level of snow and ice climbing is required. Most of the route is exposed, which makes it challenging when hauling the gear up to the high camps. Overall, this route presents the lowest level of danger from crevasses and avalanches.

Another popular route on the western side of Denali, include the West Rib. This route is far steeper and slightly more technical than the West Buttress. Its main appeal is that it is far emptier than the other route. However, the West Rib offers very few retreat or escape points, making it far more dangerous during bad weather or an avalanche.

From the southern side of the mountain, it is possible to take the Cassin Ridge all the way to the summit. Considered one of the 50 classic climbs in North America, the route requires a mix of snow, ice and rock climbing to reach the summit with few escape points along the way. As a result, it is best reserved for experienced climbers. 

Prior to the establishment of the West Buttress route, the Muldrow Glacier route was the one most commonly taken to the summit of Denali. While the route only requires intermediate-level snow and ice climbing, it is far longer and more strenuous. On the approach, climbers will need to haul sleds over Denali pass before even beginning to climb the peak.  

Preparation and training

As with climbing any of the Seven Summits, successfully reaching the top of Denali requires plenty of physical and mental strength. 

Most guides recommend climbers spend two to three months physically preparing for the ascent. This preparation includes climbing conditioning as well as improving endurance, stamina and leg and core strength. 

Many guides also recommend climbing in the Cascade Range or Rocky Mountains a few months prior to the trip in order to practice ice, rock and glacier climbing skills.

Quick facts:

  • Continent: North America
  • Location: United States
  • Duration: 3 weeks
  • Climbing season: May to July
  • Estimated cost: $6,000

4| Kilimanjaro (5,895 m/19,341 ft)

Rising above the Eastern Rift Mountains and towering above the varied landscapes of East Africa, Kilimanjaro  is the highest peak on the African continent and widely considered to be the easiest of the Seven Summits (of the Messner List) to climb. 

Along with being Africa’s highest point, Kilimanjaro is also home to an array of different landscapes. Climbers will pass through tropical rainforest, savanna and alpine terrain, all en-route to the summit. 

Challenges of climbing Kilimanjaro

While no technical mountaineering skills are needed to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the mountain presents plenty of other challenges. 

Beginning from about sea level, Kilimanjaro is the fourth most prominent mountain on Earth. As a result, the climbing can be quite steep and altitude is gained very quickly. Properly acclimatising prior to and during the climb can be the difference between success and failure. 

Temperatures also steadily decrease as elevation is gained. While the bottom of the peak is hot and humid the top is frequently below freezing. Coming prepared with all the correct clothing and layers is also crucial to success.

How to get there

Most trips to Kilimanjaro will begin with a flight into Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). Most guides will either opt to meet you here or in the nearby city of Arusha.

From either of these two starting points, climbers begin their expedition to the top of the volcanic massif by transferring to one of the various trailheads inside the national park.

What are the routes?

Overall, there are six major routes that lead from various sides of the massif up to Uhuru, the tallest of Kilimanjaro’s three summits: Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, the Northern Circuit, Rongai and Umbwe.

Of these, the Marangu route has the reputation for being the easiest and is therefore the most commonly used. It is also the only route with the option of sleeping in mountain huts all the way up the peak. However, since the Marangu route is one of the shortest and steepest, it also allows for little time to acclimatise. As a result, the success rate on this route is much lower.

Keep reading: Climbing Elbrus and Kilimanjaro: How the First 2 of the Seven Summits Compare

Instead, the Machame route is generally considered to be the easiest, though taking it is longer and therefore costs more money. The route takes climbers through five different climate zones and while it still has steep sections and requires a high level of physical fitness, it also has the highest rates of success.

Starting from the west of Kilimanjaro, the Lemosho route is one of the more challenging routes and as a result is also among the lesser traveled. The route involves more steep climbing than the others, but yields spectacular views of Kilimanjaro’s diverse landscapes. 

Regardless of the route that is taken, the toughest part of the climb comes at the end. On summit day, climbers begin their steep ascent beside the summit’s glacier before dawn in order to reach the top of Uhuru before midday. 

Preparation and training

Prior to any expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro, it is important that climbers are physically prepared for the ascent. While no technical climbing is needed, the ascent is quite long and steep. 

Most guides recommend spending two months training prior to heading on the trip, including improving endurance, stamina, leg and core strength. It is also beneficial to do some climbing conditioning, if possible, at altitudes above 3,000 metres (10,000 feet). 

Quick facts:

  • Continent: Africa
  • Location: Tanzania
  • Duration: 1 week
  • Climbing season: June to October, January to March
  • Estimated cost: $1,500

5| Mount Elbrus (5,642 m/18,510 ft)

Situated in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains, near Russia’s southern border with Georgia, Mount Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe and also carries the distinction of being the tallest stratovolcano in Europe and Asia. 

Towering above the surrounding peaks in the range, Mount Elbrus provides plenty of routes for climbers of various levels. A chairlift that sits on one of the mountain’s flanks provides easy access to the starting point of the normal route, while more remote and tougher ascents await on the northern and southern sides of the peak.

Challenges of climbing Mount Elbrus

Climbing Mount Elbrus via the normal route requires some technical rock and snow climbing abilities, rated Grade III. However, the altitude and weather tend to be the most challenging parts of the ascent.

With a total of 4,741 metres (15,554 feet) from the base to the summit, Mount Elbrus is the tenth most prominent mountain in the world and as a result requires climbers to acclimate either before the ascent or on the slopes of the mountain.

Along with its elevation, the weather on Mount Elbrus also presents a challenge. While at higher elevations temperatures generally fall below freezing, the mountain often can become quickly enshrouded in the clouds, which has been known to disorient climbers. Clear skies on Elbrus can quickly become overcast and storms can descend upon the mountain rapidly.

Routes to the summit

Most climbers opt to tackle Mount Elbrus via the normal route, which usually begins from the Garabashi hut or Leaprus hut. 

Due to the cable car, both of these are quite advanced starting positions and may require climbers who have not already done so to spend some time acclimating, usually by hiking to the Pastukhova Rocks.

On summit day, climbers will begin the ascent at around 12 am. The first leg of the trip involves hiking for 1.5 to two hours back up to the Pastukhova rocks. From here, climbers will continue ascending three to four hours to the Saddle and, from here, a final steep ascent of 45 minutes to reach the summit.

Other popular routes up to the top of Elbrus include the Kiukurtliu Route, which is longer and more challenging. Starting beneath the cable car station, the route takes climbers west over one of the mountain’s 22 glaciers and on to Kiukurtliu Pass. 

Just prior to arriving at the pass, climbers will ascend the south spur of the Kiukurtliu Cupola and continue to traverse the broad glaciated saddle. From here, climbers will overcome one more spur before turning northwest and climbing on to the summit.   

Preparation and training

While the ascent is not overly technical, climbers should have intermediate level rock and ice climbing skills as well as previous experience climbing on glaciers. 

Due to the elevation and the amount of climbing required on summit day, climbers should be in very good physical conditions. Most guides recommend spending three to two months prior to the ascent working on climbing conditioning as well as improving endurance, upper body and core strength.

Quick facts:

  • Continent: Europe
  • Location: Russia
  • Duration: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Climbing season: May to September
  • Estimated cost: $1,500

6| Mount Vinson (4,892 m/16,050 ft)

Rising above the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, the Vinson Massif towers over the Ronne Ice shelf near the base of the westerly Antarctic peninsula.

Composed of several summits, the highest of these is known as Mount Vinson - the highest mountain in Antarctica. In spite of being the second shortest of the Seven Summits, Mount Vinson is the eighth most prominent mountain on earth, basically rising from sea level to its summit.

Despite the challenges associated with climbing the peak, it is a truly sublime experience. Few scenes can match the beauty of the pristine and uninterrupted Antarctic wilderness.

Challenges of climbing Mount Vinson

While Mount Vinson is far from the tallest or most technically difficult of the Seven Summits to attain, it presents various unique challenges. 

Its remote location means there is very little infrastructure nearby. All gear needs to be hauled to and from the peak via sleighs over the ice. There is also very little margin for error as emergency services are non-existent on the continent. 

Along with its remote location, the climate is particularly harsh. In spite of having sunlight nearly 24 hours per day during the trip, the temperature rarely rises above freezing and with wind-chill often feels far colder. Storms are also fairly frequent occurrences on the peninsula, with few places well-suited for seeking shelter.

How to get there

Any expedition to Mount Vinson generally begins with a flight into the international airport in Punta Arenas (PUQ), Chile. Most guides will opt to meet up in the city and charter a flight on to Union Glacier in Antarctica. From here, climbers will transfer to the base camp at Branscomb Glacier.

Routes to the top

There is one main route that is used to climb to the summit of Mount Vinson. Starting from base camp, climbers will ascend the Branscomb Glacier until reaching the low camp.

From here, climbers will make a technical ice climbing ascent of a ribbed ice wall before continuing to traverse another glacier toward the high camp, which sits on a flat spot just west of the summit. 

From the high camp, climbers will ascend the final cwm to the summit proper, before heading back down. Overall, the ascent requires some technical ice climbing, but mostly entails glacier travel. 

Preparation and training

Climbing Mount Vinson requires plenty of training and preparation. While it is perfectly suitable for advanced beginners and intermediate-level climbers, all participants will need to be in excellent physical condition. 

Previous experience using crampons is also required by most guides prior to the start of the trip. It is also helpful to have experience using self-rescue techniques and ice axes, but many guides do not require these skills prior to the trip.

Quick facts:

  • Continent: Antarctica
  • Duration: 3 weeks
  • Climbing season: December to January
  • Estimated cost: $40,000

7a| Puncak Jaya (4,884 m/16,024 ft)

Rising above the tropical rainforests that sprawl over the Indonesian portion of the island of New Guinea, Puncak Jaya – also known as the Carstensz Pyramid – is the highest peak on Oceania / Australasia and the shortest of the Seven Summits of the Messner List.

Due to its remote location, tropical climate and high level of technical difficulty, the massive limestone escarpment is often considered to be the second toughest of the Seven Summits to climb after Everest. 

Challenges of climbing Puncak Jaya

Along with the advanced level of technical multi-pitch rock climbing that is required to reach the summit, Puncak Jaya also presents various logistical challenges. 

The peak is located in the heart of the jungle in Indonesia’s West Papua province on the shared island of New Guinea. A combination of little supporting infrastructure around the peak and political instability in the region has made Puncak Jaya the least climbed of the Seven Summits.

Various types of permits are needed both from federal and local authorities to climb as well. As a result, it is best to go with a local and reputable guiding agency, which will make it easier to cut through the red tape. (You can find those guides right here, on ExpedReview!)

How to get there

Most trips to Punak Jaya will begin with a flight into the remote Illaga region. This is generally the last flight of a three-legged trip, which also includes flying into Bali and then transferring to Timika.

From Illaga, climbers will need to trek for four days to the base camp of the mountain, hauling all necessary equipment and gear. 

Routes to the summit

From the base camp, there is one main route that is used to get to the summit and, as a result, is known as the normal route. 

Starting from the base of the peak, climbers will make a steep multi-pitch ascent (about 75 degrees) interspersed with sections of scrambling until arriving at a ridge line two-thirds of the way to the summit.

Once arriving at the narrow and sharp ridge line, climbers can follow it all the way to the summit. However, the climb along the ridge line can be quite difficult, with wide cracks that will need to be climbed into and out of as well as very loose scree at the very end and top of the summit.

Preparation and training

Aspiring climbers of Puncak Jaya need to be in excellent shape. The approach will involve hiking for four days while hauling all necessary gear. Once on the mountain, climbers will need to be able to ascend for hours at a time with limited places to stop and rest.

For those who plant to climb the peak, spend plenty of time improving finger strength and upper body strength as well as endurance and flexibility. Get out to climbing gyms or outdoor places to brush up on technique as well. 

Once the planning of the trip begins, be sure to bring clothing for all types of weather from hot and sunny days to high winds and even some snowfall at the top. It is also imperative to bring all the usual rock climbing gear, leather working gloves (for the sharp ridge line) and mountaineering boots (for the cold weather at the summit). 

Quick facts:

  • Continent: Oceania / Australasia
  • Location: Indonesia
  • Duration: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Climbing season: December to March, June to August
  • Estimated cost: $8,000

7b| Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 m/7,310 ft)

The shortest of the Bass List of the Seven Summits, Mount Kosciuszko is a modest peak at the heart of Australia’s Snowy Mountains. 

Situated on the border between New South Wales and Victoria, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) south of Canberra, Mount Kosciuszko is an incredibly popular hiking destination in the summer and an even more sought after ski spot during the winter months.

The hiking trail to reach the summit of the peak begins from Charlotte Pass, which sits a few kilometres northeast of the mountain. From here, hikers will walk up to Rawson Pass before making the final ascent to the summit.

No technical gear is needed to climb Mount Kosciuszko and the peak is perfectly appropriate for moderately fit hikers. Of the summits on the Bass List, Mount Kosciuszko is the only one that can be climbed without a guide. To add some extra adventure to this trek we recommend going on a nice day in the dead of winter when it's covered in snow and it can get VERY chilly!

Quick facts:

  • Continent: Oceania / Australasia
  • Location: Australia
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Climbing season: November to May
  • Estimated cost: $250
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