Epic Climbing Accomplishments from each Continent (except Antarctica)

Moun­tain climb­ing is a dan­ger­ous sport that—similar to endurance racing—tests the men­tal abil­i­ty of the climber just as much as their phys­i­cal strength. Moun­taineers are dri­ven peo­ple who are moti­vat­ed by set­ting records, and one of the proud­est accom­plish­ments is to be the first at doing some­thing. Here’s a list of impor­tant moun­taineer­ing firsts from around the world. 

Richard Bass, U.S.A.Bass
The North Amer­i­can rep­re­sen­ta­tive is a major ski resort own­er in the Unit­ed States. But, busi­ness suc­cess wasn’t enough for him, and he want­ed to do some­thing big­ger. He decid­ed to try to climb the Sev­en Sum­mits, the tallest moun­tains on each con­ti­nent. He was the first one to suc­cess­ful­ly accom­plish it.

Edmund Hillary, New ZealandHillary
Mt. Ever­est is the tallest and most famous moun­tain in the world. Sir Hillary became famous by being the first to climb it, along with his Sher­pa helper, Ten­z­ing Nor­gay. There is a great deal of won­der about anoth­er climber, George Mal­lo­ry who may actu­al­ly have been the first to the sum­mit. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Mal­lo­ry didn’t make it back alive, so no one has been able to con­firm this.

Wal­ter Par­ry Has­kett Smith, Eng­landSmith
As the long name hints at, Smith was an upper­class Eng­lish­man with a thirst for adven­ture. He was ath­let­ic, and need­ed some­where to push him­self when he fin­ished school and no longer had com­pe­ti­tions. This led to his inter­est in a sport that didn’t yet exist, and his efforts of find­ing a more sophis­ti­cat­ed way of scal­ing walls while record­ing his results have led many to call him the father of mod­ern rock climbing.

Cathy O’Dowd, South Africa
This adven­tur­ous lady grew up in Johan­nes­burg, and decid­ed to accom­plish her own moun­tain­ous firsts. Ever­est had already been climbed, and a woman had already been to the top, so she decid­ed to do some­thing dif­fer­ent. After sum­mit­ing Ever­est from the south­ern approach, she became the first woman to come back and also tack­le it from the north­ern side.

Park Young-seok, South KoreaSeok
This South Kore­an climber decid­ed to set as many records as he could. How­ev­er, the most impres­sive was being the first to com­plete a True Explor­ers Grand Slam. This feat is defined as sum­mit­ing all of the Sev­en Sum­mits and get­ting to both the North and South Poles, and it’s only been com­plet­ed by a hand­ful of people.

Iván Valle­jo, EcuadorVallejo
Despite hav­ing some amaz­ing moun­tain ranges, there aren’t a lot of notable-record-set­ting moun­taineers to come out of South Amer­i­ca. But, that didn’t stop Valle­jo who man­aged to sum­mit all of the 14 peaks above 8,000 meters with­out using sup­ple­men­tal oxygen.