The Seven Summits, the highest mountains on the seven continents of the world, are a popular tick-list for mainstream peak-baggers but the Second Seven Summits, the second highest mountains on each continent, are a more worthy goal for serious climbers. All of the Second Seven Summits are separate peaks and not sub-peaks or spurs of the higher Seven Summits.
Second Seven Summits are Tough
While the top Seven Summits are not insignificant peaks, climbing most of them is relatively easy, especially since Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, and Kosciusko are basically walk-ups. The Second Seven Summits, however, are genuine challenges with lots of difficult and rarely-climbed peaks on the list, including K2, Mount Logan, and Mount Kenya.
K2, rarely climbed compared with Mount Everest, is technically difficult and has horrendous weather. Mount Kenya is a rock climb. Mount Logan, similar to Denali, is remote and cold, while Mount Tyree is harder to climb than Mount Vinson. At the bottom of the list, as on the Seven Summits list, are two peaks—Puncak Trikora and Mount Townsend. Which one you climb depends on if you consider Australia or Oceania the seventh continent.
No One has Climbed the Second Seven
The challenging Second Seven Summits are, as of 2010, an unachieved climbing goal. No one has yet climbed all of the Second Seven Summits. So if you’re a darn good mountaineer and you’ve got lots of free time and a big sponsor or huge bank account, then go for the gusto and become the first climber to knock off the Second Seven. Who ever does succeed in climbing the Second Seven is going to be a real climber and not a poser guided to the summits.
The Second Seven Summits
The Second Seven Summits, the highest second peaks on each of the seven continents are from highest to lowest:
- Asia: K2 28,253 feet/8,612 meters (Pakistan/China)
- South America: Ojos del Salado 22,614 feet/6,893 meters (Chile/Argentina)
- North America: Mount Logan 19,551 feet/5,959 meters (Canada)
- Europe: Dykh-Tau 17,076 feet/5,205 meters (Russia)
- Africa: Mount Kenya 17,057 feet/5,199 meters (Kenya)
- Antarctica: Mount Tyree 15,919 feet/4,852 meters
- Australia: Mount Townsend 7,247 feet/2,209 meters (Australia) OR
- Australasia/Oceania: Puncak Trikora 15,518 feet/4,730 meters (Indonesia)