Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Australian fastest to scale highest peaks on 7 continents

Australian fastest to scale highest peaks on 7 continents

Four years after enduring an accident that almost left him paralysed, Aussie mountaineer Steve Plain is now the fastest person to reach the top of the tallest mountain on each of the world's seven continents, shattering the previous record by eight days.

Plain finished his ascent of Mount Everest on Monday, completing all seven peaks in just 117 days.

Iswari Poudel of Himalayan Guides Nepal said he got a call from the Everest base camp, confirming Plain's successful ascent to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak at around 7 a.m.

Since January, Plain has climbed Mt Vinson in Antarctica, Aconcagua in South America, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea, Mt Elbrus in Russian Federation, the highest peak in Europe, and Denali in Alaska, North America's tallest. The previous record for the fastest ascent of the seven summits was set in 126 days by Polish climber Janusz Kochanski past year.

A surfing accident in 2014 left Plain with multiple injuries but he recovered to continue mountain climbing. But nitpickers needn't worry: Plain climbed that one as well, just for safe measure.

The Australian climbed six of the seven summits with British climber Gupta who tweeted on Monday: "Hello from the top of the world!"

He said several more are expected to attempt the peak this week.

For this spring season, the government has issued permits for Mt. Everest to 346 climbers divided into 38 teams. While Xia has been described as the second double amputee to scale Everest after New Zealand's Mark Inglis ascended from the Tibet side in 2006, Time reports Ecuador's Santiago Quintero also managed the feat from the Nepal side in 2013.

A group of eight Nepalese Sherpa guides reached the summit on Sunday, fixing ropes and clearing paths for other climbers to begin their ascent to the peak.

However, there is a controversy on which mountains should be among the list of the highest continental summits.

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