What is the easiest of the 7 summits?

Answered by Edward Huber

The easiest of the Seven Summits, surprisingly, is Mount Everest. you read that right. Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is considered to be the least difficult among the seven summits. Now, you might be wondering how that could be possible. Well, let me explain.

First, let’s take a look at the other six summits. They are: Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Denali in North America, Mount Elbrus in Europe, Mount Aconcagua in South America, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia (or Mount Puncak Jaya in Oceania, depending on the definition you follow).

While Mount Everest is the tallest of them all, standing at a staggering 8,848 meters (29,029 feet), it is not necessarily the most challenging in terms of technical difficulty. In fact, many experienced climbers consider it to be a relatively straightforward climb, given the right conditions and proper preparation.

One of the reasons why Everest is considered less difficult is its popularity. Thousands of climbers attempt to summit Everest each year, and as a result, there are well-established routes and a plethora of support services available. This means that climbers can rely on fixed ropes, ladders, and even Sherpa support to help them navigate the mountain.

Another factor that contributes to Everest’s “easiest” status is the use of supplemental oxygen. Many climbers choose to use bottled oxygen above a certain altitude to help combat the effects of altitude sickness. While this does not make the climb easy per se, it certainly makes it more manageable for those who have the resources to afford and use supplemental oxygen.

Furthermore, Everest’s climbing season, typically in the months of April and May, offers relatively stable weather conditions, albeit with high winds and extreme cold. This window of opportunity allows climbers to plan their ascent more effectively and increases their chances of success.

Comparatively, some of the other summits pose greater challenges. For example, Mount Denali in Alaska is known for its harsh weather conditions, including extreme cold, high winds, and frequent storms. The technical skills required to navigate its icy slopes and exposed ridges make it a more demanding climb.

Similarly, Mount Vinson in Antarctica presents unique challenges, such as extreme cold, isolation, and logistical difficulties. The remote location and limited support infrastructure make it a more challenging and expensive expedition to undertake.

Ultimately, while Mount Everest may be the tallest of the Seven Summits, it is considered the least difficult due to factors such as established routes, the use of supplemental oxygen, and favorable weather conditions during the climbing season. However, it is important to note that climbing any of the Seven Summits is a significant feat that requires proper training, experience, and a deep respect for the mountains.

Note: While Mount Kosciuszko in Australia is traditionally considered one of the Seven Summits, some definitions replace it with Mount Puncak Jaya in Oceania. Mount Puncak Jaya, also known as Carstensz Pyramid, presents its own unique challenges, including technical rock climbing and remote access, making it a more difficult summit to reach.