KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Australian Steve Plain became the fastest climber to scale the highest peaks in seven continents, taking 117 days for a feat popularly called the “Seven Summits”, after he scaled Mount Everest early on Monday, his expedition company in Nepal said.
Plain, 36, from Albury, Australia, reached the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) peak of the world’s tallest mountain after climbing more than seven hours from the final camp, at the 8,000 m (26,246-foot) South Col, to claim the record.
“He has set the record of climbing Seven Summits in the shortest time of 117 days,” said Ishwari Paudel, an official of the Himalayan Guides hiking company that handled logistics for the climber. Few details of the climb were available.
A Polish climber held the previous record of 126 days to complete the Seven Summits.
Apart from Everest, the six highest peaks are Denali (North America), Elbrus (Europe), Vinson (Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa) and Papua New Guinea’s Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia/Oceania).
More than 340 foreigners, each paying $11,000 (8,110 pounds) for a climbing permit, and their sherpa guides, are at the Everest base camp or other high camps in Nepal.
The peak, first scaled by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, can also be climbed from Tibet, where about 180 climbers are waiting to ascend.
Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Clarence Fernandez