(CNN) – In 1986, American businessman Richard Bass became the first person to climb the “Seven Peaks”, the highest peak on any continent, to enter the record books. That list includes some of the most prestigious mountains in the world: Denali in Alaska, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and of course Mount Everest.
But mountaineers are not the only ones who let the record rest. For many mountaineers, it is a seven-second summit – aka the second highest peak on each continent – a more significant achievement.
The rest, however, is anything but the name of the house.
The Ojos de Salado (“salty eyes”) on the Chile-Argentina border is the tallest volcano on Earth. Mount Tire in Antarctica is relatively easy to climb by mountaineering standards, but the challenges of reaching the white continent and coping with its weather conditions mean that only a dozen climbers have been able to reach that peak.
Only one person has officially climbed all seven other summits, but there is no hot on his heels to complete the set. And that’s not what most people think a mountaineer looks like – she’s a seven-year-old mother who lives in Utah and didn’t start climbing until she was thirty.
Threw the challenge
Meet Jane Drummond. Drummond is always athletic, and he likes a challenge.
With her 40th birthday on the horizon in 2020, she decided to take her hiking skills to the next level.
That year, she hired a climbing coach with the goal of climbing Nepal’s Ama Doublem.
But after completing it, the coach presented a new challenge – the Seven Second Summit. “He said, ‘You have seven children, seven continents,'” she recalls.
But mountaineering requires much more than physical training. Kovid threw the whole world into chaos – all of a sudden, Drummond had to send his children home to school, and travel became impossible due to the closure of the international border.
So far, she has climbed Diach-Tau, Mount Kenya, Mount Tyre and most recently Mount Logan in Canada. K2 is scheduled for summer 2022.
Drummond’s quest to climb the Seven Seconds Summit has become a bit of a long project due to some disagreements over which peaks are considered to be the official seven.
If you consider the continent to be the only country in Australia, the other peak is Mount Townsend in the state of New South Wales.
But for geographers who consider Australia and Oceania to be part of the continent, the second summit is Sumantri in Indonesia’s western Papua province. To make sure her record is undisputed, Drummond plans to climb both.
Drummond in Mount Kenya climbing action.
Because it’s there
In a pertinent story, someone once asked researcher George Mallory why he was so eager for the summit of Mount Everest, the mountain that finally claims his life.
“Because he’s there,” he replied.
Although it is not clear if Mallory actually uttered those words, they have long been a touchstone for other climbers who struggle to explain why risking their lives and limbs to climb the world’s most challenging mountains.
Drummond agrees. She loves to climb mountains for acting. But she also knows that the record means something.
“If I had a Guinness World Record, my kids would really think I’m the coolest,” he laughs.
She also wants to address some of the inequalities that exist in the small, rare world of mountaineering. For years, the image of the mountaineer was like that of Reinhold Messner or Edmund Hillary – bearded, serious, snow-axed white men from Europe or North America.
Mountaineering can be exceptionally dangerous. People can die from altitude sickness, falls and cold. But it’s not just the mountains that provide the challenges.
At the Sumantri base, two rival tribesmen are at war over who owns the mine. And due to the ongoing conflict in Russia, many airlines have canceled flights to the country, which means that reaching Dykh-Tau is challenging.
It is also expensive and time consuming.
It only costs 11,000 to get a permit to climb Everest. It does not include airfare, local transportation, gear and guide fees.
Also, some of the world’s highest peaks can take weeks or months to climb due to the adaptation process.
For Drummond, being a woman on the mountain is an asset, not a weakness.
“There are definitely people who reach out against the mountains like a mountain against me,” she says.
“For me, the experience of being with a mountain is a lot more. If you go to Everest and you are in the Himalayas, I think that mountain range is very feminine. It is very loving. It is enormous. It is. Beautiful people. Incredible. They respect life. They pray before climbing a mountain. “
Her climbing has also become a way to connect with her children, who are 9 to 15 years old. Some have joined him in the climb, while others prefer to hangout on the lower ground.
But they are all watching their mother advance her goal. Drummond has used his mission as a way to encourage children in their own lives.
“We’ll see Mount Everest,” she tells him during the homework session, “but first you’re going to do your math.”