The “Seven Summits” concept was coined by Richard Bass as the title of the book describing his quest to be the first man to climb the highest peak on each of earth’s seven continents. I first learned of the “Seven Summits” in 1994, during a climb of Mt. Rainier, Washington 1994. My good friend Ramez (we had been rugby team mates at Harvard Business School) brought the book on our trip and we enjoyed reading it while we spent several days learning to ascend Rainier’s glaciers. Although I found dealing with Rainier’s altitude (14,000’) quite challenging, I got hooked on the idea and decided to make climbing the Seven Summits a life goal.
At first, it seemed way out of reach. In fact, my initial
ambition was to just see how high I could go. I began
my quest in earnest three years later, during a 1997
business trip to East Africa. I extended my stay by
one week to climb Kilimanjaro. Going by myself and
making my own arrangements in Tanzania had all of the
elements of adventure. After that, I was hooked. I
completed my last summit in 2005 with an ascent of
Indonesia’s Carstensz Pyramid (the highest peak in Oceana).
Being number “eighty five” of the Seven
Summiters holds special significance for me, as I graduated
in the class of 1985 from the United States Military
Academy at West Point.