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The Seven Summits are the highest mountain of each of the seven continents. Summiting all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge, first postulated as such in the 1980s by Richard Bass (Bass et al. 1986). The Seven Summits include the following mountains: Everest (Asia), Aconcagua (South America), McKinley/Denali (North America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Elbrus (Europe), Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Kosciuszko (Australia).

The desire to stand on the highest point on each of the seven continents has fired the imagination of climbing enthusiasts from around the globe. This amazing feat, known as the Seven Summits, demands much of the climber – traveling to remote and exotic corners of the world, scaling the heights of mountain giants such as Everest and McKinley, and overcoming extreme weather conditions and hostile environments for long periods over many years.

Climbing the Seven Summits is a huge challenge which demands determination, commitment, fitness and risk. It is also a major milestone in my life, representing a challenge undertaken, adversities faced, and experience shared in an often unpredictable environment. These challenges are an excellent training and learning ground for leadership development, team building and coaching.

A sunny day on Denali – Still motivated and in good spirit!

As of January 2012, only approximately 340 climbers have climbed all seven of the peaks. My aim was to climb all of the Seven Summits by supporting local organizations and communities. To date I have successfully climbed six of the Seven Summits: Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, McKinley/Denali, Aconcagua, Vinson and Kosciuszko. In May 2011, I have climbed up to 8,600m/28,380ft on the Everest North side, 250m/825ft short of the summit. For all climbs I have used the support of local guides.

Heavy packs and lots of snow on the way up to Denali high camps…
I have sumitted Vinson on November 26th, 2011. For this climb I had to rely on an international logistic company since there are no locals (beside penguins) in Antarctica.

© 2011. Urs Bernhard. All Rights Resrved.

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