Many a mountaineer has set his/her sights on conquering the world’s highest mountain – Mt. Everest. 

A select few have gone beyond that goal – to climb the highest mountains on each of our world’s continents, an impressive feat! As of 2016, more than 400 people have successfully climbed the highest summits in the world. 

There are two very popular lists – by Dick Bass and Reinhold Messner, who disagree upon which should be the highest peak for Australasia. 

Let’s take a look at the world’s highest mountains: 

Asia – Mt. Everest

Mt. Everest, Photo by Pavel Novak [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
The tallest mountain in Asia is Mt. Everest. Mt Everest lies on the border between Nepal, and Tibet. It stands at an altitude of 8,848 metres above sea level.

The mountain was first conquered by Sir Edmund Hillary, and the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

The Southern route is the most commonly used route by climbers even though it is slightly more riskier than the Northern route.

As of 2016, more than 4500 people have had a successful summit on Mt. Everest, with some of them having summited the mountain several times.

 

Africa – Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Photo by Chris 73 [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mt. Kilimanjaro is not only the highest mountain on the continent of Africa, but is also one of the highest volcanoes in the world. Mt. Kilimanjaro stands at a height of approximately 5,895 metres above sea level.

It is also the tallest freestanding mountain in the world.

It was first climbed by Hans Meyer, and Ludwig Purtscheller in 1889.

 

North America – Mt. McKinley/Denali

Mt. Denali, Photo by Frank K. from Anchorage, Alaska, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mt. Denali is the tallest mountain on the North American continent. It stands at an altitude of 6,190 metres above sea level, and is located in the Alaskan range of mountains in Alaska, USA.

The most popular route to its summit is via the ‘West Buttress’, which was first explored in 1951. It is also the easiest and the least technically demanding route on this peak.

 

South America – Mt. Aconcagua

Mt. Aconcagua, Photo by Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mt. Aconcagua is not only the highest peak on the South American continent, but it is also the highest mountain outside of the Himalayan range. It is situated on the border between Argentina and Chile.

Mt. Aconcagua stands at a height of approximately 6,962 metres above sea level.

The mountain’s northwestern route is considered one of the highest non technical ascents in the world. As a result, many climbers ignore the effects of altitude and climate which is the reason why this mountain has such a high death toll.

 

Antarctica – Mt. Vinson

Mt. Vinson, Photo by Christian Stangl [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mt. Vinson is the highest peak on Antarctica. It is situated in the Ellsworth Mountains on the Sentinel Range. It stands at an altitude of 4,892 metres above sea level.

Mt. Vinson was first summited in 1966 by climbers from  the American Alpine Club. Since then, approximately 1200 people have climbed this mountain.

 

Australasia – Mt. Kosciuszko

Mt. Kosciuszko, Photo by Troy Thomas [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mt. Kosciuszko is the tallest mountain on the continent of Australasia according to Dick Bass’ version of the list. It stands at an altitude of 2,228 metres above sea level.

Mt. Kosciuszko is one of the easiest climbs on this list.

 

Australasia – Mt. Puncak Jaya/Mt. Carstensz Pyramid

Mt. Puncak Jaya, Photo by Alfindra Primaldhi [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
According to Reinhold Messner, an Italian mountaineer, Mt. Puncak Jaya is the highest peak if you include all of Oceania, and not just Australasia(Australia+New Zealand). Mt. Puncak Jaya resides on the island of New Guinea in Indonesia, and stands at an altitude of 4,884 metres above sea level.

Most climbers prefer to climb both Mt. Kosciuszko, and Mt. Puncak Jaya in their quest to conquer the 7 summits.

Mt. Puncak Jaya is a much more challenging peak to overcome, and is also the tallest island peak in the world.

 

Europe – Mt. Elbrus

Mt. Elbrus, Photo by LxAndrew [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mt. Elbrus is considered the highest peak on the continent of Europe according to both the Bass and Messner lists.

It is located in the Caucasus Mountain range, bordering both Europe, and Asia. Mt. Elbus is approximately 5,642 metres above sea level in height.

Its Western summit is slightly higher than its Eastern summit, and is often the more preferred one amongst climbers.

 

Europe – Mont. Blanc

Mont. Blanc, Photo by Tangopaso [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Some people disagree with Mt. Elbrus being the highest mountain in Europe, given that its location is so near to the border of Asia. In that case, some climbers think of Mont. Blanc as being the highest mountain in Europe.

Mont. Blanc is located between the borders of France, and Italy, and is the highest mountain in the Alps at an altitude of 4,810 metres above sea level.

 

Before we go:

 

What do you think of the Bass and Messner lists? Which one do you prefer? Do let us know about your choice via email. Until then, see you soon!

 

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