The Second Seven Summits
The Second-Highest Peaks on each Continent
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The Seven Summits list has become very popular, and over 80 people have climbed all of them now, in the footsteps of Dick Bass and Patrick Morrow. But as of 2012 only one climber (Hans Kammerlander) has claimed completion of this "second seven" list, and his claim is subject to some doubt.
There are two very interesting facts about this list. First is that most all of the summits are clearly separate peaks, often a long distance away from the continent high point. There is little controversy over whether a minor sub-peak deserves the #2 rank - all but one of these peaks has huge prominence and is a clear runner up. Mount Logan is higher than the North Peak of Denali, and Mount Kenya is higher than any Kilimanjaro sub-peaks. The only questionable call is over the Australia/Oceania second highest peak, where Sumantri is pretty close to Jaya/Carstensz and has approximately 350 m/1150' of prominence. (Recent reports are that the snow cover on Ngga Pulu has melted, reducing its height and leaving the rocky summit of Sumantri as the new second highest peak in New Guinea and therefore Oceania).
Another compelling feature of this list is that every peak (again, excepting Sumantri) is generally regarded as harder to climb than its corresponding "Seven Summits" peak. A contributor to this is that these peaks are not as popular, so there is less climber infrastructure in place, but even discounting that factor this list is more daunting. There is serious rock climbing on Mount Kenya, a longer time at high altitude for Mount Logan, the difficulties of K2 speak for themselves, and so on.
A final note: Surveys of peaks in New Guinea can be questionable and other candidates for the second highest peak are Ngga Pilimsit, Mandala, and Trikora, all above 4500 m. Also, Dykh-Tau is only 5 meters higher than Shkara, so the second highest peak in the Caucasus (which, by the rules of the Seven Summits game, is presumably all considered in Europe) is not 100% certain.
Map Showing Location of Peaks
= Peaks climbed by Michael Schwartz = Unclimbed peaksClick on a peak to see its name and a clickable link.
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