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Author Topic: Sean Wisedale leaves for last and easiest of the 7 summits  (Read 5832 times)


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The time has finally come for filmmaker Sean Wisedale to become the first South African to climb the Seven Summits* – the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.

This achievement will add his name to a prestigious list of only 75 mountaineers worldwide who have accomplished this feat.

Having conquered six of the Seven Summits since 1998, only Kilimanjaro in Tanzania now remains in the Discovery Seven Summits Quest.

Wisedale will leave on Saturday, 14 February 2004 and will be accompanied by a group of journalists to document the moment when he reaches the summit of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest freestanding mountain.  

Wisedale’s interest in mountain climbing was triggered when he accompanied Derek Watts and Cathy o’ Dowd to Mount Everest in 1996 to make a documentary about the mountain. He then climbed Mount Vinson in Antarctica in 1998, Aconcagua in South America in 2001, North America’s Mount McKinley in 2002 and Mount Everest in May 2003 as part of the Discovery Everest Expedition.

The dream of climbing the Seven Summits then slowly became a reality for Wisedale. Sponsored by Discovery, he climbed Russia’s Mount Elbrus in August 2003 and Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia during October 2003.

Compared to the other mountains, Kilimanjaro should be a formality for Wisedale, but he says that the mountain is still a great physical and mental challenge. It is an experience that takes climbers from a tropical rain forest to permanent ice caps in just five days.

On a press conference held this morning, Wisedale said that temperatures vary from cold mornings, bright sunlight at midday, cool mist, rain or even snow in the afternoon and it can drop below freezing at night. “The challenge is the altitude, especially on summit day when you ascend 1 100m from high camp to almost 6 000m and then descend to 3 100m in a period of about 16 hours. Fitness is therefore essential.”

According to Wisedale, prospective climbers should be able to run 5km or

walk 10km comfortably. “Climbers should start training approximately six weeks before departure and one of the best exercises to prepare is stair climbing and a few long hikes on weekends to get used to the equipment.”  

Wisedale said the thought of becoming the first South African to climb the Seven Summits is overwhelming. “It’s been my dream ever since I started mountain climbing. I realised this was the ideal environment for me to combine my passion for the outdoors with my love of filmmaking.”

Suzanne Stevens, general manager of strategic marketing at Discovery, wished Sean good luck on his adventure. “We have followed Sean’s steady progress and admire his courage and determination. He exhibits the values Discovery holds dear in terms of pioneering spirit and reaching new heights. This will also be a phenomenal achievement for South Africa and an inspiration for everyone to realise their dreams.”



Hans Venter

Corporate Communications Consultants (Pty) Ltd

Johannesburg, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 783-8926 Fax: +27 11 783-7608 Cell: 083 365 5152

E-mail: hansv@corpcom.co.za hansv@corpcom.co.za

On behalf of: Suzanne Stevens – Marketing General Manager


Contact: (011) 529 2888

Date: 10 February 2004

*The Seven Summits are:

Mt Everest
8 850 m

Mt Aconcagua
South America
6 960 m

Mt McKinley or Denali
North America
6 194 m

5 895 m

Mt Elbrus
5 642 m

Mt Vinson
4 897 m

Carstensz Pyramid
4 884 m

"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche


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kind of ironic how he climbed all of them, but the most accessible and easiest one.


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Sean Wisedale climbed the 7 summits!
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25 2004, 00:15 »

As to be expected Sean has summited Kilimanaro the 19th, making him the first South African to climb the 7summits!

Sean's file is nearly complete and can be found at his statistics page here

Read more about him on his profile page and in this article from which the following quote is taken:
So close for Harris, Disney
Wisedale is not the first South African to aim for the seven summits. In May last year, Alex Harris and Sean Disney were desperately unlucky not to bag their seventh when a long unbroken run of bad weather was the only thing that kept them from reaching the top of Everest.
Wisedale was filming the Discovery Everest 2003 expedition, and was able to join another expedition crew for a last summit attempt after the rest of the South African team were finally forced to abandon their quest.

On May 30, Wisedale conquered the tallest peak - and by far the most exacting in terms of time, expense and general logistics – immediately putting him at an advantage over Harris and Disney, who had needed only Everest to become the first South Africans to climb the seven summits.
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
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