The Seven Summits, as they are popularly known, may be the highest mountains on each continent – but they are not the toughest climbs by any means. The second highest peaks on each continent pose a much higher challenge to the average climber.
As the second highest, these mountains are not as popular as their higher cousins, and thus, not many people have climbed them.
Let’s take a look at the second highest summits on each of the Earth’s continents:
Asia – Mt. Godwin Austen / K2
The second tallest mountain in Asia is Mt. Godwin Austen, also popularly known as K2. Mt K2 lies is the highest point in the Karakoram range of Asia. It stands at an altitude of 8,611 metres above sea level. The mountain’s first successful attempt came in 1954 during an Italian expedition to the Karakoram range. K2 is also very technically difficult to climb – even more so than Mt. Everest, and has a very high fatality rate.
Africa – Mt. Kenya
Mt. Kenya stands at a height of approximately 5,199 metres above sea level at its highest point. The first successful ascent of Mt. Kenya occurred in 1899, by three climbers named Sir Halford John Mackinder, Josef Brocherel, and Cesar Ollier.
North America – Mt. Logan
Mt. Logan stands at an altitude of 6,190 metres above sea level, and is located in the Saint Elias range of mountains that span the Western Coast of the Northern American continent.
It is about 200 metres shorter than Mt. Denali, and is the highest peak in Canada. Mt. Logan is considered more difficult to climb because of its remote location in Yukon territory.
It is possible that Mt. Logan may very well be the highest peak in Northern America one day. This is because Mt. Logan is located in an area that undergoes active shifts in its tectonic plates – which has led to its ever rising height.
South America – Mt. Ojos del Salado
Mt. Ojos del Salado, the second highest peak in Southern America, is located on the border of Argentina and Chile. It stands at an altitude of 6,893 metres above seal level. Mt. Ojos del Salado is much tougher to climb than its higher cousin – Mt. Aconcagua.
Antarctica – Mt. Tyree
Mt. Tyree, at an altitude of 4,852 metres above sea level, is the second highest peak in Antarctica. It is a highly technical climb, and as such has only been summitted less than 10 times.
Australasia – Mt. Townsend
If we go by the Bass list, Mt. Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in Australasia. Mt. Townsend is a close second at 2,209 metres above sea level. Mt. Townsend is relatively tougher than its higher cousin when it comes to conquering its summit – owing to its rough terrain.
Australasia – Mt. Puncak Mandala
For those who consider the Meissner list where Mt. Puncak Jaya is the highest peak in Oceania, it is Mt. Puncak Mandala who holds the honour of being second highest.
Mt. Puncak Mandala stands at an altitude of 4760 metres above sea level, and is the highest point in the Jayawijaya Range of Indonesia.
Europe – Mt. Dykh-Tau
If we consider Mt. Elbrus as the highest peak in Europe, its slightly shorter cousin Mt. Dykh-Tau is then considered as the second highest peak in Europe. It stands at an altitude of nearly 5205 metres above sea level, about 200 metres shorter than Mt. Elbrus.
However, Mt. Dykh-Tau, unlike its higher cousin, Mt. Elbrus, has difficult routes leading to its summit.
Europe – Monte Rosa
As in the case of the world’s 7 Highest Summits, those who consider Mont. Blanc as the highest mountain in Europe believe that the second highest mountain in Europe is Monte Rosa. It is located between Italy and Switzerland.
Monte Rosa stands at an altitude of 4634 metres above sea level at its highest peak, Dufourspitze.
Before we go:
Do you think the Second Seven Summits are worth a try? Some people say that the Second Seven Summits are even tougher than the world’s highest Seven Summits! What do you think? Do let us know about your choice via email. Until then, see you soon!