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Ranking the Seven Summits

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Tortoise1 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:07 am

To the point about weather I know a finisher who says Carstensz was the most difficult - very wet, slippery, treacherous. Bass and Wells climbed Kosciusdo with their wives, neither of which had climbed anything. But I subscribe to the Bass first theory - great accomplishment anyway you look at it.

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby uwe » Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:59 pm

Congratulations, RobertKay.
Not only are you a climber, I would add mountaineer, alpinist, adventurer, and one of the lucky to have good fortune to give them all a go and the spirit to go at it again. (And a flatlander to boot - said in a loving way of course. :) )
Best of luck.

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby SteveBonowski » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:30 pm

Hi Alan. Interesting that you mention Pat Morrow (a Canadian climber). Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp some years ago to celebrate Morrow as being the first to climb the 7 Summits. Problem is, he wasn't. As I heard it, he climbed the wrong summit of Elbrus (easy to do if you're doing the generally frowned-upon action of trying to climb it in bad weather). By the time he got back to Russia, Gerry Roach had climbed Elbrus, thus becoming the 2nd person, after Dick Bass, to do the 7.

Morrow indeed created Carstenz as the "highest in Oceania," and went & did it, so he could claim the status of being the 1st person to do the 7. A number of guiding companies picked up on it. The issue is that while Mr. Morrow may have fooled Canada Post, he doesn't fool his fellow mountaineers. But, as I said, while I have seen only slide shows of the climb of Carstenz by Gerry Roach, Glenn Porzak, and Mike Browning, Carstenz is a worthy climb. The "penis gourds" also are hilarious.

As an aside, I ran into Dick Bass on top of our Mt. Yale in summer, 2001. He is a Yale grad and was in Colorado to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the university. I asked him what he thought about the controversy. He just smiled and said: "New Guinea is an island, not a continent."

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby jbchalk » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:45 pm

SteveBonowski wrote:As an aside, I ran into Dick Bass on top of our Mt. Yale in summer, 2001. He is a Yale grad and was in Colorado to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the university. I asked him what he thought about the controversy. He just smiled and said: "New Guinea is an island, not a continent."


Steve, great story there. I like it.

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Gabriel » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:20 pm

Morrow followed the Messner list because in his words " I'm a climber not a collector." The highest summit of Australasia is a true mountaineers objective. Morrow was first in completing the Messner list.

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Alan Arnette » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:43 pm

For you Steve!
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby Scott P » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:18 pm

Morrow indeed created Carstenz as the "highest in Oceania," and went & did it, so he could claim the status of being the 1st person to do the 7. A number of guiding companies picked up on it.


Carstenz (perhaps more correctly Puncak Jaya) was actually thought of as a continental summit long before Marrow climbed it. As mentioned though, it depends on what part of the world you live in.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby falcon568 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:16 pm

I've never gotten the seven summits idea. There are indeed several very difficult peaks on the list; completing all of them requires dedication, skill, and logistical know-how, but the prestige of completing the list is more or less a commercial fabrication. It is not that highly regarded in the dedicated mountaineering community. Certainly it doesn't rank highly on Messner's lengthy list of achievements. Why spend money on the latter half of the seven summits list when you could be pursuing more challenging peaks and pushing yourself to maximize your mountaineering potential? Any 8000m peak tops that half of the list, as well as any of the 50 Classic N American Climbs, or numerous other peaks/ventures around the world. I'm not highly experienced and only have 1/7 summits (Denali) under my belt, but I don't plan on touching any of the other seven summits aside from maybe Everest. I'd instead love to get down to Peru for something like Alpamayo or get over to the Himalayas for the vast opportunites there. My 2 cents...
"Of course, inside each one of us is the ambition to reach the summit, to realize that you are stronger than obstacles, that it is within your power to do something uncommon and indeed impossible for most people. But one must be prepared to face those obstacles..."-Ed Viesturs

"When I was a child, I felt there was something I had to find before I died. I imagined it as some lost, golden country, glittering on the other side of the mist across our neighbor's fields, hidden within the shadows behind our stone wall—some place beyond the fixed patterns of society, the grey chronology that led inexorably to death. In my twenties, on my first free solo, the light seemed to shatter through me, and the sky pour down the rock. Like so many climbers, immersed in that sudden, radiant awareness of now, I've had that brief and total conviction that each moment is both fleeting and eternal"-Katie Ives

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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby RobertKay » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:44 pm

falcon568 wrote:I've never gotten the seven summits idea. There are indeed several very difficult peaks on the list; completing all of them requires dedication, skill, and logistical know-how, but the prestige of completing the list is more or less a commercial fabrication. It is not that highly regarded in the dedicated mountaineering community. Certainly it doesn't rank highly on Messner's lengthy list of achievements.


Everyone has their own goals and interests and that is what makes us each unique and what makes the world interesting. How incredibly boring it would be if we all shared the exact same goals and passions. Climbing, skiing and hiking are all unnecessary pursuits when considered from a purely intellectual viewpoint. They are expensive, dangerous and non-productive but we love them. Some people enjoy rock climbing (indoors or outdoors), others like ice climbing, still others enjoy mountaineering but far more in numbers than any of these groups is the amount of people who just enjoy a fun hike. Most of Colorado's 14ers are simple hikes. Why do that? They aren't particularly high, challenging or remote and Messner certainly wouldn't be impressed but we all enjoy them immensely!

The point is we climb for personal enjoyment and the key word is "personal". Climbers need to learn to accept each other's passions and pursuits and stop all the judging. It is frustrating trying to explain your reasons for climbing to a non-climber. It is far more frustrating trying to explain it to a fellow climber. I guess I shouldn't care but I can't help myself.

It is also disingenuous to compare the casual enthusiast with Reinhold Messner, one of the greatest, luckiest and most naturally gifted climbers of all time. I don't know who the "dedicated mountaineering community" is but if they don't like someone's goals, then screw them! People typically climb for purely personal reasons, not to gain favor with some group or another. There is too much controversy and ego in climbing. It is simply a sport and we aren't saving lives. Just learn to enjoy what you are doing and appreciate what others enjoy.

As an aside, the great irony about Carstensz Pyramid is that it is on the Pacific tectonic plate, not the Australian plate! You have to appreciate that part of the debate.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby TK » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:19 pm

RobertKay wrote:
falcon568 wrote:I've never gotten the seven summits idea. There are indeed several very difficult peaks on the list; completing all of them requires dedication, skill, and logistical know-how, but the prestige of completing the list is more or less a commercial fabrication. It is not that highly regarded in the dedicated mountaineering community. Certainly it doesn't rank highly on Messner's lengthy list of achievements.


Everyone has their own goals and interests and that is what makes us each unique and what makes the world interesting. How incredibly boring it would be if we all shared the exact same goals and passions. Climbing, skiing and hiking are all unnecessary pursuits when considered from a purely intellectual viewpoint. They are expensive, dangerous and non-productive but we love them. Some people enjoy rock climbing (indoors or outdoors), others like ice climbing, still others enjoy mountaineering but far more in numbers than any of these groups is the amount of people who just enjoy a fun hike. Most of Colorado's 14ers are simple hikes. Why do that? They aren't particularly high, challenging or remote and Messner certainly wouldn't be impressed but we all enjoy them immensely!

The point is we climb for personal enjoyment and the key word is "personal". Climbers need to learn to accept each other's passions and pursuits and stop all the judging. It is frustrating trying to explain your reasons for climbing to a non-climber. It is far more frustrating trying to explain it to a fellow climber. I guess I shouldn't care but I can't help myself.

It is also disingenuous to compare the casual enthusiast with Reinhold Messner, one of the greatest, luckiest and most naturally gifted climbers of all time. I don't know who the "dedicated mountaineering community" is but if they don't like someone's goals, then screw them! People typically climb for purely personal reasons, not to gain favor with some group or another. There is too much controversy and ego in climbing. It is simply a sport and we aren't saving lives. Just learn to enjoy what you are doing and appreciate what others enjoy.

As an aside, the great irony about Carstensz Pyramid is that it is on the Pacific tectonic plate, not the Australian plate! You have to appreciate that part of the debate.


I'm offended that you're taking such offense on my behalf. It's not like he gave his off-leash dog a gun here.

Just as an aside, I routinely fail grad students who don't know how to write IEP goals. If I don't like their goals, they get to rewrite their assignments after I give them critical feedback. If they don't want to rewrite their assignments, they MIGHT be lucky enough to take my class again next year. By definition, those goals are individualized for the student and thus "personal". They still need to be appropriate for the individual.

There is nothing disingenuous or wrong with thinking critically about another person's "personal" climbing goals or discussing their goals. Even with something recreational like climbing, this can be helpful. Looking at these goals in context can help you establish your own personal goals and define things you want to accomplish. It can also help you determine if your goals are realistic given your own circumstances. Nobody will fail you based on your climbing goals. They may say your goals are "stupid," "insane," or "likely to get you killed." You can weigh this feedback based on your own judgement.
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby MountainHiker » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:53 pm

RobertKay wrote:As an aside, the great irony about Carstensz Pyramid is that it is on the Pacific tectonic plate, not the Australian plate! You have to appreciate that part of the debate.

I wouldn't hold to tectonic plates as the ultimate decider on continent high points, or we would have an even more confused picture. It would get way goofier than how many 14ers are there.

This USGS map puts Carstensz Pyramid on the Australian Plate. A quick Google shows most tectonic maps agree. Some maps also show a Bismark Plate between the Australian and Pacific plates. Apparent discrepancies seem to be level of detail. But there's certainly a tectonic plate argument for Carstensz being Australian.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/plate_tectonics/plates.php

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Australian_Plate_map-fr.png
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Re: Ranking the Seven Summits

Postby RobertKay » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:29 pm

TK wrote:I'm offended that you're taking such offense on my behalf. It's not like he gave his off-leash dog a gun here.

Just as an aside, I routinely fail grad students who don't know how to write IEP goals. If I don't like their goals, they get to rewrite their assignments after I give them critical feedback. If they don't want to rewrite their assignments, they MIGHT be lucky enough to take my class again next year.



I'm offended that you're offended that I'm offended that you're offended... This could go on for longer than anyone wishes! I must not have been clear enough in my rant. I (I'm only speaking for myself) am tired of fellow climbers dissing other climber's goals, methods, equipment choices or for using a guide. (He used a rope! He used oxygen! He wore a cotton shirt! For shame!) I'm tired of all the controversy. I am tired of the egos and comparisons with other's accomplishments. I am tired of the naysayers blogging from their mom's basement while having no experience or true knowledge of what they are talking about. And this little thread doesn't even qualify as the tip of the iceberg for this problem. Countless articles are written and published every year by one climber slamming another climber for his personal (non-safety-related) choices or for not being a "true" climber - to be defined as whatever the writer happens to think is the right way to do things. There is no reason for all this angst and turmoil. If someone else's goals don't match yours then be glad, because that is one less person crowding the area you wish to go to. Live and let live and try to remember that climbing is a recreational sport.

Requested feedback regarding goals or techniques is valuable and appreciated, especially in an area that you aren't familiar with. This is very different from the unsolicited insults and over-the-top ego stroking that I am talking about. Most of us (certainly me) are not great climbers; rather we are enthusiasts doing what we are capable of while leading a normal life with family and business obligations. I love being in the mountains in my car, on my motorcycle or bicycle, on foot or skis or even just in my mind and photographs. Ego stroking and/or approval from others has nothing to do with most people's love for the mountains. I will never be Reinhold Messner, but then he will never be me either.

It appears that I won't qualify for your class. We will never know if that's your loss or mine.
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