• Ash

7 Summits - the quandry


October passed, I ticked off Mount Vinson, but I always knew there was going to be a bit of work to do on a little 'definition' issue!


The 7 continents is not that easy to define, it's a bit historic, Greek history to be precise!


The continent that Australia is on, Oceania has a clearly highest peak - Jaya Peak (Pyramide Carstensz) at 4,884 metres. But on the main land mass of Australia is Mount Kosciuszko at 2,228 meters. So, why even split out the two peaks?


In the infographic above, we split Asia and Europe as continents, giving two peaks, Chomolonga (Everest) and Elbrus. But, in continental plate terms, the Eurasian plate has them both, so we would lose Elbrus. Whilst there are more than seven continental plates, I need to come up with a general definition that works for significant peaks. There is a bit of a list and difference between Mountaineers. Bass and Messner, who first looked at this type of list. Neither accepted the Ural mountains defining any difference between Elbrus and Mont Blanc, but both split Chomolonga and Elbrus. Messner then recognised Oceania as separate to Australia and so the 7(8) summits list became over 4000m.


So, my compromise is to slot both Australia and Oceania together (at 7112m) in to March.


This means my second month, November, challenge is Elbrus at 5642m.


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