7 summits and other mountain stuff > Polls

What is the 7th summit: is it Carstensz, Kosciuszko or Mt Cook??

<< < (18/18)


--- Quote from: Dave on May 19 2004, 20:31 ---Historically the word continent means a continguous land mass. Think of the sayings; "the continental United States" (not including Hawaii), "the australian continent".  People in the UK would often say that he or she is "on the continent" when they travelled to Europe.
Certainly here in australia we refer to Continental Australia, ie Tasmania is not on the Australian continent.

I've never come across a grouping which includes islands as part of continents; I suspect this is a new trend, so there now is SOME reference to the UK being part of the Continent of Europe. 

But really really really really the reason this is being argued is that Kosciousko is too boring to be included.  Come ON!

--- End quote ---

There is another reason: it's so much fun to see the Ozzies get pissed off about it:)

By continent it is K.  Since the exact phrase "Seven Summits" comes from Dick Bass and he used the Encyclopedia Brittanica at the time he climbed to define the seven, then "Seven Summits" should be K.  According to how he chose, if the oceans drained and Guinea then connected to Australia by land bridge, then it would change to C.  Our planet is ever changing and I have no problem with the 7 changing as the planet does over thousands, perhaps millions of years.  I don't think we should change the definition of continent to mean tectonic plate, or then we will have 15 continents (or more). 

By tectonic plates it is C.  However, by tectonic plate, there would be many more than 7 summits to conquer.  Those talking about tectonic plates saying that it excludes Denali/Elbrus probably have not seen a diagram of the plates.  There are 7 major plates and many other minor ones and I can pretty much make them fit the seven defined by those choosing C.  African (Kilimanjaro), Antarctica (Vinson), South America (Aconcagua), North American (Denali), Eurasian (Elbrus), Australasia (Carstensz) and Indian (Everest).  However, this replaces the major Pacific plate with the smaller Indian plate and leaves out many other small but significant plates (Pacific, Arabian, Caribbean, Scotia, Nazca, Cocos and Juan de Fuca).  Also it begs the question, is Everest on the Indian or Eurasian plate, is Denali on the North American or Pacific Plate and is Aconcagua on the South American or Pacific plate as they are each formed by the interaction between the plates.  In any case, if we are to define by plates we should end up with 15 summits (possibly more) and perhaps one of you can be the first to accomplish that feat!!!! 

Likewise, if we are to use the "land bridge thousands of years ago" reasoning, then Denali gets excluded as NA/SA were connected same with Elbrus and Kilimanjaro and the list becomes C, E, V, A....only 4 summits.  In fact it was all connected at one point in the earths history, so we just get Everest, 1 summit.

Once you start changing the definition, the whole concept can be changed and perhaps end up with something different than 7 summits.  I plan to climb them both because I like to see the world, climb mountains and challenge myself; but the more I think about it, the more I think K is the 7th as originally defined and C is changing the definition which brings into question the whole idea of 7.

BTW, I love how the C list is defined as the Messner list, though Pat Morrow was the first to climb it and Messner took the time to climb K before he finished the 7 (both versions) on Vinson.  And when Pat Morrow did the Messner version he said 'Being a climber first and a collector second, I felt strongly that Carstensz Pyramid, the highest mountain in Australasia … was a true mountaineer’s objective.'  Funny, I've never heard of a continent called Australasia, that's the name of a tectonic plate.  Also, I'm beginning to think that the 7 are a collection that won't necessarily appeal to the mountaineering professional.

Hey Robert!

I think that the issue has been discussed at length here and at a lot of other places, but the major argument against K is, in my humble opinion, that every pieces of land on this planet should be part of a continent. It doesn't make sense that Hawaii or the Carribean or Papua should be excluded from a continent. And if you include all of the islands into continent, than one of the indicator is the tectonic plates, it's not the only indicator but it is a strong one. And that is why the island of Papua is part of Oceania (that's the name of the 7th continent, it's been used in French for a very long time, Océanie).


Yes, discussed at length and I just read through it all.

That each piece of land on this Earth should be part of a continent does not fit the definition of Continent.  "Continents are understood to be large, continuous, discrete masses of land, ideally separated by expanses of water."  Then again, Europe does not fit this definition, unless we are to let "ideally" slip to nothing.  Never made sense to me as a kid in school either.  Changing the definition to meet geological discoveries (to me) is wrong, and if you do that, surely the first thing to drop is Europe from the list of continents.  It is what it is.  If we are to include continental shelf or beyond, or all islands, or tectonic plates, then that is a different word with a different definition.

Besides, I just can't figure out what continent Hawaii would be part of....Pacifica?  Then we gotta climb Mauna Kea, the 8th summit.  See what I mean, you change the definition of Continent and then you get more (or less) summits.  And that is alright, but a different challenge.  Some have changed definitions to include C, but not applied the same reasons to the rest of the world so they can still have 7.

(This reminds me of my girlfriends brother in Hawaii telling me that Mauna Kea is the worlds highest mountain because it rises from the sea floor.  I said that the definition of highest is measured from sea level, but he insisted.  So I told him that the highest is Chimborazo in Equador because it is farthest from the center of the earth.  See what happens when you change the definition)  And with that, I'm adding Mauna Kea and Chimborazo to my list of things to do.


[0] Message Index

[*] Previous page

Go to full version