Since Dick Bass reached the Everest in 1985 and became the first person to climb the highest peak on the seven continents, a controversy has erupted. In 1986, Patrick Morrow reached the summit of the Elbrus, and claimed that he was the first person to climb the Seven Summits, not Dick Bass. Dick Bass claimed that the Carstenz Pyramid in New Guinea, which he summitted years before, was the summit of the seventh continent known as Australasia or Oceania. This included New Zealand, New Guinea, and certain Pacific Island, along with Australia. If this is true, Carstenz Pyramid would be the summit of the seventh continent, not Kosciuszko.
There are several arguments that plea for the Kosciuszko or the Carstenz Pyramid to be the Seventh Summit:
- If one defines the geographic zone that includes Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand and certain Pacific islands, as Australasia or Oceania, then Carstenz Pyramid is certainly the highest peak in Australasia.
- If Australia on its own is a continent on itself, then most regard Kosciuszko as the highest peak, but there are other who consider mountain 2745 metres named as the Big Ben on a small stormy island Heard Island, deep in the Southern Ocean as the Seventh Summit.
- As Carstenz Pyramid lies in the Western New Guinea, also known as Irian Jaya, it politically does not belong to Australia but to Indonesia. And Indonesia is part of Asia.
We will not take any side in this discussion here. From the above, one should be able to draw their own conclusions, and otherwise, why not do what most people do? Climb all the Eight Summits! In this section, we have listed the figures and facts from all the “Eight Summits”.
- 5642m / 18,150ft
- First Ascent: 1874, Grove, Gardiner, Walker, Sottajev and Knubel.
- 4884m / 16,024ft
- Irian Jaya
- Sudirman Range
- First Ascent: 1962, Harrer, Temple, Kippax and Huizenga.
- 5895m / 19,340ft
- First Ascent: 1889, Purtscheller.
- South America
- 6960m / 22,834ft
- First Ascent: 1897, Zurbriggen.