The Seven Summits
What are the Seven Summits?
It was Frank Wells, CEO of Disney and Dick Bass (who Mark met prior to his passing), owner of Snowbird and a Texas Oilman who had a dream to create this “mystical” Seven Summits challenge.
The challenge was as straightforward as it was difficult - climb the highest mountains on each of the world’s seven continents. No one had ever scaled all Seven Summits. It would be a first, a feat that had eluded the world’s best mountaineers.
Mark has now completed all Seven Summits in the Spring of 2021 by climbing to the top of Mt Everest on May 23rd. He is only one of two NFL Players who have accomplished this feat. It took Mark 9 years to complete the 7 due to a world wide shut down during Covid 19 and then had to re-do Denali as he was pushed back by minus 80 degree weather in 2017.
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Mt Everest 29,032 ft
Everest is the highest peak in Asia which stands at an astounding 29,032’(just grew 2 feet) Mt. Everest is over 60 million years old and was formed from the Indian tectonic plate pushing up and against the Asian plate. Lying on the border of China and Nepal, there are multiple routes to both summits. Mark climbed on the south side which borders Nepal.
Mt Vinson | Elevation: 16,066 ft
Mount Vinson Massif: The highest mountain on the continent of Antarctica is Mt Vinson Massif, peaking at 16,066 ft (4,897m). It’s no surprise this mountain is known as the coldest of the Seven Summits due to its location and harsh, dry environment.
Denali | Elevation: 20,320 ft
Also known as Mt. McKinley, Denali is the tallest mountain in North America, rising 20,320 ft (6,194m) above sea level. Some mountaineers believe Denali is more challenging than climbing Mt. Everest because it towers almost 18,000 ft about the surrounding tundra, giving it more vertical rise than Mt. Everest.
Aconcagua | Elevation: 22,841 ft
The highest mountain in South America is Aconcagua, standing tall at 22,841 ft (6,962m). Perched in the Andes Mountain Range between Chile and Argentina, this mountain tends to be underestimated for its difficulty and grueling ascent. Aconcagua is also the tallest mountain in the world outside of the Himalaya Mountain Range.
Mt. Kosciusko | Elevation: 7,310 ft
Mt. “Kozzie” is the tallest mountain in Australia, with an elevation of 7,310 ft (2,228m). Located in New South Wales, this is the easiest of the Seven Summits as it is a simple walk to the summit and back.
Mt. Elbrus | Elevation: 18,510 ft
The tallest mountain in Europe is Mt. Elbrus, at 18,510 ft (5,642m). Located in the Caucasus Mountains on the border of Georgia and Russia, this mountain is essentially climbed in one big push from basecamp.
Completed: 2013, 2017
Mt. Kilimanjaro | Elevation: 19,340 ft
The tallest mountain in Africa is Mt. Kilimanjaro, topping out at 19,340 ft (5,895m). Located in the country of Tanzania, this mountain is special because you travel through 5 different climatic zones beginning in the jungle and ending on a glacier atop an inactive volcano.