Australian Steve Plain has become the fastest climber to scale the highest peaks in seven continents, taking 117 days for a feat known as the “Seven Summits”, his expedition company in Nepal says.
The 36-year-old from Albury claimed the record after climbing for more than seven hours to reach the 8,850 metre peak of Mount Everest after setting out from the final South Col camp at an altitude of 8,000 metres on Monday.
“He has set the record of climbing Seven Summits in the shortest time of 117 days,” Ishwari Paudel, an official of the Himalayan Guides hiking company that handled logistics for Plain, said on Monday.
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 $US11,000 ($A15,000) 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.