The 8 Summit Challenge – Both 7 Summits Lists
21st March 2012
Mount Everest ‘the goddess of the sky’, is the world’s highest mountain at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), situated in the Himalayas on the Nepal – Tibet border. The mountain has many inherent dangers including altitude sickness and weather. By the end of 2010 Everest had claimed 220 lives, and conditions are so difficult in the ‘death zone’ (higher than 8,000 m / 26,246 ft) that most corpses have been left where they fell. Over the years, 1 in every 10 successful climbs has ended in death. You can follow Brett’s expedition to the south side of Everest with live dispatches on the Jagged Globe website:
Brett can be contacted at Everest Base Camp from 10th April on the follow email address:
29th January 2012
Brett summited Mount Vinson, the highest point in Antarctica, on 20th January 2012 at 16.45pm Chilean time (19.45 GMT). He reached the summit in good time, exposed to only light winds of around 10km/h, and in a moderate temperature of -34 degrees Centigrade. This ascent was a great success for team Jagged Globe! That is seven out of seven peaks completed. Brett looks forward to seeing new friends and old on the Jagged Globe Mount Everest expedition. The journey starts on 24th March 2012. Anyone wishing to join Brett on his trek to Everest Base Camp, should please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. and he will be happy to provide details.
8th January 2012
Today (8th January 2012) I travel to Punta Arenas located on the southernmost tip of Chile via Santiago and Madrid. This is the start of my attempt on Mount Vinson in Antarctica, the 7th summit of my 8 Summit Challenge. Vinson Massif is the highest peak in Antarctica and is located above the Branscombe Glacier. It was first climbed on 18th December 1966, but did not see a second accent until 1985. To date over 200 polar travellers have reached the summit. I am expecting the expedition to be affected by severe and changebale weather, storms and extreme temperatures, as the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and dangerous.
Vinson Base Camp is accessed via a flight from the blue-ice runway at Union Glacier Camp, in the southern Ellsworth Mountains. I will then be isolated by 600 miles of ice from my nearest neighbors at the South Pole. From there I hope to ascend Vinson using the standard route and then the West Ridge, traversing the mountain by decending to the east. This usually takes from 5-9 days depending on weather conditions.
Should the expedition prove successful I will attempt Mount Everest, the last of my 8 Summit Challenge, in March-June 2012. The Everest expedition is scheduled to last 73 days.
11th November 2011
Brett reached the summit of Carstenz Pyramid (4,884 metres / 16,024 feet) in Papua on 2nd November 2011, the sixth summit of the 8 Summit Challenge. Due to the political instability of the Timika area the approach route was changed from Ilaga, to Sugapa village at the last minute. The people in the Puncak region where Ilaga is the capital were campagning to elect a new leader on 9th November 2011, and this resulted in serious fighting between the candidates resulting in many deaths. However to get to Sugapa entailed an additional four flights around Indonesia, and nine local road blocks in the Sugapa area had to be negociated over a period of two days before the expedition could proceed into the Papuan rainforest.
10th October 2011:
Brett successfully summited Cho Oyu (8,201 meters /26,906 feet) in the Himalayas on 1st October 2011 at 10am Nepal time along with his climbing partner Nick Talbot and Sherpas Phurbu and Chirring. The summit was attained by leaving Camp 2 at 1.30 am and by using bottled Oxygen to avoid exhausion and frostbite from the extreme temperatures. Two other members of the Team, Cian and Jerome along with leader Matt Markes and Sherpas Pasang and Thundu summited earlier at 8 am that morning. You can read more about this expedition on the Jagged Globe website by clicking here.
Brett is now preparing to leave for the Carstenz Pyramid (4,884 metres / 16,024 feet) in Papua. The Carstensz Pyramid is the most technically demanding of the Seven Summits, and after several route changes the climb will now involve a 120 km jungle trek from the nearest airport Timka. Brett leaves for Bali on 21st October 2011.
15th August 2011:
Brett is now preparing to leave for Cho Oyu (8,201 meters /26,906 feet) in the Himalayas on 26th August 2011, in preparation for Everest next spring. The 45 day expedition will take Brett higher than he has climbed so far and the use of Oxygen will be necessary above high camp on his way to the summit. Cho Oyu is the 6th highest mountain in the world and is a serious undertaking.
After returning, Brett will rest for two weeks before leaving for the Carstenz Pyramid (4,884 metres / 16,024 feet) in Papua. The Carstensz Pyramid is the most technically demanding of the Seven Summits. The climb will involve a 100-km jungle hike from the nearest airport at the town of Timika to base camp. In order to cross the largest gap on the summit ridge, Brett will need to ascend a horizontal line (Tyrolean traverse) of about 20 meters by hanging under a rope at 4,800 meters and pull himself through to the other side. The mountain’s geographical remoteness, combined with government restrictions, political instability in the region and frequent tribal warring, has meant that few people have climbed it since the first ascent in 1962.
13th June 2011: Brett successfully reached the West Peak of Mount Elbrus, the highest point in Europe, 5,642 meters (18,510 feet) at 11.58 local time, 08.58am UK time on Tuesday 12th July 2011 via the North Face of the mountain. Brett summited along with Richard Parks of the 737 Challenge and Matt Parkes who works for the prestigious British Mountaineering Company Jagged Globe.
Brett commented “Once I got to the East/West Summit splitting point, myself and a Russian guide Yury Pavlov, left the group going to the East summit in an attempt to catch Richard up as he was well ahead of us. I knew I was close to realising my ambition to be on the summit with Rich on his last leg of his world first, The 737 Challenge. From this point, we raced to the West Summit in 2 hours 15 minutes, catching Rich and Matt just before they summited. I got some great pics, was the first person to congratulate him outside of his team and my wife Tanja even managed to congratulate him on his ‘World First’ via my Sat phone from the top. Congratulations to Ivan Marcinko and Patrice who also summitted with us, what a great day and number 5 in the bag.”
Although not one of the more technically difficult of the 7 summits, this was a dangerous expedition to undertake. Half of Mount Elbrus is still closed due to terrorist activity. In February the south side of the mountain was shut after terrorist attacks which killed several people. Since then the normal route on Elbrus which goes through the Baksan valley remains closed and extremely volatile. In June militants and one member of Russia’s security forces were killed in another gunfight.
26th June 2011: Brett now leaves for Mount Elbrus 5,642 meters (18,510 feet) in the western Caucasus mountain range in Russia on Sunday 3rd July 2011. Unfortunately Richard Parks is still climbing Denali due to delays caused by frostbite contracted on Everest earlier this year. This means that Richard will probably travel directly from Alaska to Elbrus and climb quickly with acclimatisation gained on Denali. Brett has therefore decided to travel immediately to Russia, joining an expedition to climb the rarely attempted North Face of the mountain. The north side is not used as a major ski resort so therefore it is an area of true beauty and wilderness. North Face VE25 tents will be used from 2,300 meters, and they have just come from the south col on Everest. These are excellent tents, fairly bombproof (they easily coped with 80 mph gusts at 8,000 meters) and accommodate three people. Crevasses will be a serious problem on the first section after 3,800 meters, so the route will follow a direct line to Lenzki Rocks, through the rocks to about 5,400 meters and then drop into the Saddle before making the final ascent to the West Summit. The final day will be long and physically difficult as it is a long way to the top! The summit accent will be around 1,800 meters. High altitude sickness will not be a huge concern as Brett will be attempting to climb up and down in the same day.
10th June 2011:
Brett successfully reached the summit of Denali (Mount McKinley) in Alaska (20,320 feet) at 4am GMT on 1st June 2011 after a fast accent of eleven days. Unfortunately visibility was poor on the summit but the views on the way up were superb. Brett reached the highest peak in North America with fellow climbers Mike, Kim and Jack; returning safely to base camp on the lower Kahiltna Glacier in three days. They descended at night when it was coldest to minimise the risk of falling into crevasses, but this resulted in travelling during intense snow storms where navigation was only possible by GPS. This climbing season has already been marred by several tragedies on Mount McKinley, with six climbers having lost their lives on the mountain since 1st May. Preparations are now underway for Brett to travel to Russia in an attempt to climb Mount Elbrus (18,510 feet) in the Caucasus mountain range within the next few weeks.
2nd May 2011:
After winter snow and ice climbing in Scotland, and many training trips to Snowdonia, Brett is now ready to leave for Anchorage on 18th May to attempt his 4th of the 8 Summits Challege, Mount McKinley(Denali). Brett is also travelling to the Himalayas on 27th August to join a 45 day expedition to climb Cho Oyu in preparation for his attempt on Everest next year. Cho Oyu rises to an altitude 8,201m/26,906ft and is the 6th highest mountain in the world. Brett has also secured his place with an expedition to Antarctica to climb Mount Vinson from 8th to 26th January 2012.
22nd March 2011:
Brett now continues his challenge with an accent of Mount McKinley [Denali] in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain and one of the most difficult of the 7 summits. Brett is joining an expedition leaving from Anchorage on 20th May 2011 and will tackle the mountain via the West Buttress route. The West Buttress is the classic mountaineering objective in North America and was first pioneered in 1950 by Bradford Washburn.
The West Buttress route begins at 7,200 feet on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. It follows the Kahiltna north before ascending up onto the West Buttress proper. Brett will use a variety of mountaineering techniques to make his way around crevasses and up steep terrain. The route culminates on summit day by following an incredible knife edged ridge to the summit.
6th February 2011: Brett Hammond successfully reached the summit of Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest summit outside of the Hymalayas, on 5th February 2011 at 3.14pm local time. Climbing with Richard Parkes of The 737 Challenge, it was decided to leave directly from camp 2 at 3am due to a deteriorating weather. This resulted in a brutal 12 hour climb and a 17 hour summit day! Brett and Richard summited along with Andy, Diego and Argentinian guide Gianni. Brett commented “It was extremely cold during the climb with good visibility, but unfortunately the weather deteriorated to give poor visibility on the summit. It was an unbelievable experience, I feel privaledged to have stood on the summit of this formidable mountain”.
20th January 2011: Brett Hammond is leaving for Aconcagua [the third of his 8 summits] today, as part of a ten man team attempting to climb the mountain with British expedition company Jagged Globe. Brett has arranged to meet the famous sportsman Richard Parks on the mountain. Richard is attempting the 737 challenge, a race against the clock to complete all 7 summits and 3 poles in 7 months! Richard has just completed the South Pole and Mount Vinson legs of his epic journey, and should be on his way to Aconcagua today. Brett is also hoping to join Richard’s climb of the the last leg of his epic journey, Mount Elbrus in June.
Brett Hammond and the 7 Summits:
This is Brett Hammond’s challenge, to climb the seven summits, the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity. The mountaineering challenge to climb the Seven Summits is traditionally based on either the Bass List (which includes Koszciusko, the highest Australian summit) or the Messner List (which includes the Carstensz Pyramid in Papua, Indonesia). In world history, only 104 climbers have ever climbed all the eight peaks required to complete both lists – The 8 Summits Challenge.
The Seven Summits gives a focus to mountaineers worldwide, but the demands placed on fitness, the physical hardship, the dangers to overcome and the outlay in both time and money are too extreme for most to complete. To summit these eight mountains is an exceptional test of ability and dedication, requiring the mountaineer to travel and climb in every corner of the globe. The ‘Seven Peaks’ have been described as ‘a combined distance of more than 40 vertical kilometres of ice, rock and peril’ which does put the challenge into perspective. The commitment in time and resources needed to succeed, and the level of physical and mental preparation, is truly remarkable. Likewise, overcoming these extreme circumstances depends on the climber’s ability to stay focused, to fight off fatigue and to ensure the task at hand gets completed.
After successfully summiting Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m, 19,341 ft) at 10 am on 29th September 2010 via the Western Breach and Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 metres (7,310 ft) at 2.05pm on 28th November 2010 from Thredbo, Brett Hammond has now joined a 25-day climbing expedition to Mount Aconcagua, a peak of 6,962 m (22,841 ft), located in the Andes mountain range of Argentina. The effects of altitude will be severe as atmospheric pressure is 40% of that of sea-level at the summit. It will be an enormous undertaking, as Mount Aconcagua is plagued by strong winds (100km/hr or greater), extreme cold (wind chill to -40) and snowstorms high on the mountain.
Please join Brett Hammond in raising money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity by sponsoring my climb to the summit of Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas. Donate now to support the valuable work of this UK-based charity with immense benefits to the health and welfare of children worldwide. All the costs of the trip are being met by Brett Hammond personally, or by his commercial sponsors. This means that 100% of your donations go to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. All sponsors will receive an ’8 Summits Challenge’ expedition report from Brett on his return to the UK.