Urs Bernhard
leadership development and executive coaching
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seven summits
The Quest for the Seven Summits
My Journey
Seven Summits (The Summary)
Seven Summits (The Mountains)
My next Challenge... Everest
Mount Everest Expedition
Vinson Massif Expedition
Reaching the summit is optional
My Blogs
Everest Expedition 2015
Everest Expedition 2013
Everest Expedition 2012
Everest Expedition 2011
Antarctica Expedition 2011
The Seven Summits (The Mountains) »
Everest - Asia ( Height: 8,848 meters or 29,028 feet )    
Everest - Asia   At 8,848 m/29,028 ft Mount Everest is the world's highest peak. Even the trek to Base Camp is arduous. Climbers aiming for the summit must survive the extreme conditions of the 'Death Zone' and perform great feats of endurance. I am planning to use the North Col Route. Technically, it is more challenging than the South side but it does not have the ice fall danger. Another appealing aspect of the Everest North Ridge route is that it offers a view of Everest virtually the whole route from base camp. In May 2011, I have climbed up to 8,600m/28,380ft on the North side of Mount Everest, 250m/825ft short of the summit. In April 2012 I broke two ribs in Tibet on the way to the mountain and had to turn back.

Climbing Goal: 2013.

Aconcagua – South America ( Height: 6,962 meters or 22,840 feet )
Aconcagua, which translates as "Stone Sentinel" is 6,962m/22,840 ft, making it the highest mountain in the Americas and the highest mountain outside of Asia. This spectacular mountain is surrounded by numerous peaks over 20,000 ft. and the surrounding lowlands (up to 13,000 ft.) consist of beautiful desert landscapes with a large diversity of flora and fauna. I have experienced Aconcagua’s strong winds and the extreme cold at high altitude several times, but finally was able to enjoy the summit view.

Summit: February 9, 2010.
  Aconcagua – South America

McKinley/Denali – North America ( Height: 6,195 meters or 20,320 feet )
McKinley/Denali – North America   Mt. McKinley, or Denali, meaning the "Great One," in the native Athabascan language, was my number three of my Seven Summits. Mt. McKinley rises steeply from its base at just over 2,000 feet above sea level to over 20,000 feet, a gain in elevation which is greater than Mt. Everest. Good weather is definitely a key success factor during the long climb to the summit of Denali. We were lucky and made it to the top as one of the last expeditions in July 2009. What an experience, and all the heavy loads were forgotten.

Summit: July 8, 2009.

Kilimanjaro - Africa ( Height: 5,963 meters or 19,340 feet )
Mount Kilimanjaro rises majestically from a rolling plain close to the Indian Ocean from hot savanna to a barren and frigid 3-1/2 mile high peak. It's the highest mountain in Africa and one of the largest free standing mountains in the world. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a must-do challenge for almost every trekker and mountaineer in the world. Uhuru Peak, how the top of the volcano is called, was my first of the Seven Summits. It is really an unique experience to hike through such a rich vegetation (banana trees, rain forest, high steppe, high desert) and end up in the snow of Kilimanjaro.

Summit: March 21, 2005
  Kilimanjaro - Africa

Elbrus – Europe ( Height: 5,633 meters or 18,481 feet )
Elbrus – Europe   Mt. Elbrus is the highest point of Europe. The Caucasus Main Range is considered to be a border between Europe to the North and Asia to the South. Two main Mt. Elbrus summits are about 11 km (6.8 miles) to the North from the Main Range, inside European territory. Western summit 5633 m and Eastern summit 5621 m with the Saddle elevation 5416 m. It was a great experience to visit this remote area near Chechnya and climb the “Top of Europe”. Looking across the Caucasus Range into Georgia was quite amazing.

Summit: September 4, 2006.

Vinson Massif - Antarctica ( Height: 4,897meters or 16,067 feet It is also 13km (8 miles) wide )
Vinson Massif, at 78°35'S, 85°25'W is 21km (13 miles) long and 13km (8 miles) wide. It lies on the southern part of the main ridge of the Sentinel Range. Named for Carl G Vinson, a Georgia congressman and a major force in 20th century US Antarctic exploration, it was first climbed in December 1966 by a combined group from the American Alpine Club and the National Science Foundation. It has been an extraordinary trip to one of the most remote, windiest and coldest places on earth. I am so grateful that I was able to do this. This was an experience which I will remember for the rest of my life.

Summit: November 26, 2011
  Vinson Massif - Antarctica

Kosciuszko – Australia ( Height: 2,228 meters or 7,310 feet )
Kosciuszko – Australia   Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain on the flattest and smallest continent. A thoroughly uninspiring peak, Kosciuszko gets a lot of abuse, particularly from those who claim that the Australia/Oceania continent's rightful contribution to the "Seven Summits". The challenge on this mountain was definitely not technical nature or altitude, but orientation since I got caught in a white out during my descent.

Summit: October 8, 2012