News from the world of climbing just keeps flowing in! Earlier in the week, before the record setting Everest climbs on Wednesday, Aussie Steve Plain quietly completed his last of the “7 Summits” in a record time of 117 days, 6 hours and 50 minutes. Steve’s time beat the record of 126 days set by Polish climber Janusz Kochanski last year. Crazy fast.
The Seven Summits comprise the highest peak on each continent. Plain’s global tour went down in this order:
January 16th Antarctica – Vinson Massive(16,050 ft)
January 28th South America – Aconcagua (22,837 ft)
February 14th Africa – Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft)
February 21st Australia – Puncak Jaya (16,024ft)
March 13th Europe – Mt. Elbrus (18,510 ft)
April 3rd North America – Denali (20,322 ft)
May 14th Asia – Mt. Everest (29,029 ft)
Calling his adventure “Project 7 in 4,” it was Steve’s goal to nail all of the 7 summits in 4 months. Having heard the call of the big mountains on a hike to Everest base camp at age 16, his final inspiration for the trip came in 2014 after breaking his neck and nearly being paralyzed. While swimming at the beach, Steve was dumped into the sand by a wave and knocked unconscious. Doctors said he’d likely end up in a wheelchair. Hell no!
Eleven months later Steve was in the New Zealand Alps taking a mountaineering course. He traveled the world for the next two years racking up “practice” summits in Peru and Nepal. In January 2018 he finally started his record attempt.
In addition to his own climbing goals, Steve was on a mission to raise funds for Spinal Cure Australia and Surf Life Saving Western Australia. At the time of this publication, about $13,000 had been raised. Hopefully news of his record breaking feat will bump that number up in the coming days.