If you’re an avid mountaineer, you’ve probably always wondered about the highest mountain on each continent. Whether it’s for bragging rights or just curiosity’s sake, knowing the answer is important if you want to feel like a true adventurer. Below, we’ll go through each continent and explore its tallest peak. We’ll also take a look at what makes these mountains special—and why they get our vote as some of the most impressive peaks in the world!
The world’s highest mountain is Mount Everest, which stands at 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level. Located in Nepal and China, this peak was first climbed by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 before being named after George Everest (1790-1866), Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1865. The name “Everest” comes from a Tibetan word meaning “Goddess of the Sky.” The second highest peak in Asia is K2 or Chogori (28,251 ft/8406 m), located partway between Pakistan and China on the border between Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan where it straddles Baltistan-Skardu Districts with most activity out of Skardu Valley because access requires crossing glaciers that are safer during winter months when temperatures are low enough for ice travel but high enough for snowmobiles as well as helicopters; however some trekkers still prefer summertime access because they want an easier trek through green valleys rather than having to cross glaciers while carrying heavy loads on their backs!
The second highest mountain in the Americas, Aconcagua is also the tallest outside of Asia and its highest peak in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s also one of three mountains (along with Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro) that stand taller than 8,000 meters above sea level. The mountain was first summited by a European in 1897; since then it has been climbed by more than 100 people each year on average (though not all are successful). The most popular route involves trekking up one side and down another over several days; though if you’re looking for something more challenging, there are routes that involve climbing straight up or down vertical walls–only recommended if you have plenty of experience!
Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, is the highest peak in North America. It stands at 6194 meters (20320 ft), making it about 500 m higher than Aconcagua in South America and 700 m lower than Mount Everest. Mount McKinley was named after the first man to climb it: William McKinley, who later became President of the United States from 1897 until 1901. However, before this time the mountain was known by its native name Denali (which means “the high one”). In 1896 a gold prospector named Frank Densmore decided that he wanted to rename the mountain after himself; however his plan failed because he didn’t have enough money or prestige to do so legally.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. It’s located in Tanzania, which makes it one of only three out of seven summits that are part of a country other than where you live (the other two being Aconcagua and Mount Everest). The dormant volcano has six peaks: Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo being its most famous peaks; while Meru and Umbwe make up its less visited ones. The summit itself sits at 19,340 feet above sea level.
Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe. It’s also Russia’s highest mountain and the highest mountain in the Caucasus. With an elevation of 5,642 meters (18,510 feet), Elbrus sits on a border between Russia and Georgia. The mountain was first climbed in 1829 by Russian officers who were surveying their country’s border with Georgia at that time. Today it attracts climbers from all over the world who want to reach its summit; however, only about 10% actually succeed doing so since weather conditions can be extremely harsh at this height–temperatures range from -40 degrees Celsius (-40 F) during winter months (December-February) to +20 C (+68 F) during summertime peaks (June-August).
Vinson Massif is a massif in Antarctica, located between the Sentinel Range and the Heritage Range. Its highest point is Mount Vinson (4,892 meters or 16,050 feet), named after Carl Vinson, a US congressman who helped establish the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mountain was first climbed on December 13th 1966 by William H. Bassett and James Burchfield Jr., who were part of an expedition led by Richard Byrd (1888-1957).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of the seven summits, and maybe even learned something new. I certainly did! If you’re interested in learning more about the history of mountaineering or the Seven Summits themselves, please check out my other posts on those topics.