The "Seven Summits" are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents.
Aconcagua, South America
With its cone-shaped peak rising at 6,962 m (22,841 ft), Cerro Aconcagua holds the title as the highest mountain in the Americas and the highest mountain outside Asia. Located in the Andes mountain range of Argentina, Aconcagua is the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres.
McKinley, North America
At the Denali National Park in the US state of Alaska lies the 20,320 ft (6,194 m) Mount McKinley or Denali (its Koyukon Athabaskan name meaning “The Great One”). The majestic mountain, which has extremely cold weather with temperatures as low as -75.5 °F (−60 °C) and wind chills as low as −8.1 °F (−22 °C) is the highest mountain in the North American continent.
Rising prominently at 5,895 m (19, 341 ft) in north-eastern Tanzania, the snow-capped Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro is not just an ordinary mountain, it is the world’s largest stratovolcano with three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Though it appears to be dormant, the volcano has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater on the main summit of Kibo.
Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak stands at 5,642 m (18,510 ft) on its western summit and 5,621 m (18,442 ft) in its eastern summit. It is an inactive volcano found in the western Caucasus mountain range in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia, Russia, near the border of Georgia.
Elbrus’ earliest name was Strobilus, Latin for ‘pine cone,’ from the ancient Greek strobilos, meaning ‘a twisted object’, a botanical term that describes the shape of the volcano’s peak.
Puncak Jaya, Australia (Oceana)
Mount Carztenz or Carstenz Pyramid, more commonly known as Puncak Jaya holds the record as the highest mountain in Indonesia, the highest on the island of New Guinea and the highest on the continent of Australia (Oceana). At 4,884 m (16,024 ft), it is the highest point between the Himalayas and the Andes and the highest island peak in the world.
The name Puncak translates to ‘peak’ or ‘mountain’ and Jaya means ‘victory’, ‘victorious’ or ‘glorious’.
Vinson Massif, Antarctica
Rising about 1,200 km (750 mi) from the South Pole, Vinson Massif is the highest mountain in the continent of Antarctica. The mountain is about 21 km (13 mi) long and 13 km (8 mi) wide with Mount Vinson at 4,892 m (16,050 ft) as its highest point. The beautiful mountain was named after Carl Vinson (also the namesake of an aircraft carrier), a United States Georgia Congressman who was a key supporter of funding for Antarctic research.
Mount Everest, Asia
It is called by different names in different dialects, including Qomolangma Peak, Mount Sagarmatha, Chajamlungma, Zhumulangma Peak and Mount Chomolungma. But around the world, it is famously known by one name: Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the planet. Rising proudly at 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level, Mount Everest is located on the border between Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, and Tibet, China and is part of the Himalaya range in Asia.
For centuries, Tibetans called the mountain Chomolungma, meaning: mother goddess of the universe. In 1865, it was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society.
From well experienced mountaineers to novice climbers, Everest attracts climbers of all levels, all willing to pay large amount of professional mountain guides to complete a successful climb in addition to the required expensive permit to climb costing up to US $25,000 per person.
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