The remotest peak on earth and the quest for the 7-2-7 Challenge
by STAFF WRITER
pic by ARTHUR MARSDEN
Adventure and mountains have been an integral part of the lives of Vaughan and Arthur for as long as they can remember. Both mountaineers have spent the last 25 years travelling to some of the most beautiful and remote places around the globe. In that time, they have visited over 30 different countries, and every continent multiple times from the dense jungles of Papua New Guinea, to the arid rocky desert of Iran, to the dramatic snow-capped mountains of Alaska.
The initial motivation was new experiences, adventure, and to climb, but soon it became evident that – almost subconsciously, as an incidental goal – they were being drawn to pursue the Seven Summits. The Explorers Grand Slam (the combination of the Seven Summits and the Polar Challenge) followed and, finally, the Seven Volcanic Summits, to complete the 7-2-7 challenge.
Mountain statistics were significantly different when Vaughan and Arthur began climbing all those years ago. Between 1953 and the end of 2000, Everest had only been summited by 1383 people. By the end of the 2019 climbing season, the number had reached 4833. The Explorers Grand Slam was only completed for the first time by David Hempleman-Adams in 1998. Currently, less than 70 people share this extraordinary feat, and to date, only 20 people have completed the Seven Volcanic Summits.