Fatal Attempts


Chicagoan’s Who Have Completed the Grand Slam*


June 23, 2019 Grand Slam Completed


What is the Explorer’s Grand Slam?

The Explorers Grand Slam or Adventurers Grand Slam is an adventurers challenge to reach the North Pole, the South Pole and all of the Seven Summits. The Seven Summits are defined as the highest mountain peaks of each of the seven continents.



Miles Vertically Climbed


Average Temperature at Poles


The Poles 





Photo Cred: Andy Cole


The 7 Summits


Mt. Kiliminjaro

Is the highest mountain in Africa, with the summit at 19,340 feet. It lies in Tanzania on the eastern side of the continent, close to the equator and a short distance from the border with Kenya. Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro allows you to experience 5 distinct climate zones, from hot and arid equatorial conditions at the base, to arctic conditions at the summit. The first recorded summit was by a German, Hans Meyer, in 1889.



Is the tallest mountain in South America, and also the highest in the Western Hemisphere, with the summit at 22,841 feet. It is also the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. It sits within Argentina near the border with Chile. Despite its height, Aconcagua is considered a safe mountain to climb, as the routes are non-technical, although the lack of oxygen at high altitudes can cause problems. The first recorded summit in modern history was in 1897, by a Swiss climber Matthias Zurbriggen.


Mt. Elbrus

Is the highest mountain in Europe (not Mt Blanc as is commonly thought) with the summit at 18,510 feet. It lies in the Caucasus mountain range in Russia, close to the borders of Georgia and Armenia. A cable car has been built by the government that runs from the base of the mountain to around 12,000 feet, which makes the climb much more accessible. The first ascent of the summit took place in July 1874 by an English climber, Crauford Grove, and a Swiss guide, Peter Knubel.




Also known as Mt McKinley, Denali is the highest mountain in North America, with the summit at 20,320 feet. It is situated in Alaska in the United States, in the Denali National Park. Denali has some of the worst weather in the world on a year-round basis, and is also generally acknowledged to be one of the most difficult of the Seven Summits, of which it is also the most northerly, lying at 63° N. It was first climbed by the Americans Hudson Stock, Harry Karstens, Harper and Robert Tatum on 7 June 1913.


Vinson Massif

Is the highest mountain in Antarctica, with the summit at 16,050 feet. It is also the most southerly of the Seven Summits, lying at 78° S, and the coldest, with temperatures falling to -90°F. It lies in the Ellsworth Mountain range near the Antarctic Peninsula, and is in territory administered by Chile under the Antarctic Treaty. It is very hard to get to, as the only access is by ski plane from Punta Arenas in Chile, which is only able to fly occasionally due to the weather. It was first climbed in 1966 by an American team of Barry Corbet, John Evans, William Long and Pete Schoening.

Photo cred: Steve Moffat


Carstensz Pyramid

Carstensz Pyramid is the only technical “rock” climbing of all the 7 Summits with the actual summit at 16,024 feet. Carstensz Pyramid sits in Irian Jaya which comprises the western side of the island of New Guinea located in Indonesia. The bare, rocky and near-vertical slopes of Carstensz Pyramid rise above the lush jungle environment that cans start off extremely hot and humid. One way to go is the Sugapa route that traverses rugged jungles, forests and alpine terrain for almost 80 km. Patrick Morrow was the first person to finish the Seven Summits with the Carstensz variation.

Photo Cred: Mike Roberts

Mt. Everest (April 2019)
Is the tallest mountain on earth and the highest in Asia, with the summit at 29,035 feet. It lies on the border between China (Tibet) and Nepal in the center of the Himalayan mountain range. Due to its size, it is buffeted by the jet stream with winds reaching speeds of over 100 mph, and this, combined with the avalanches, glaciers, ice-rivers and altitude, make this the most difficult of all the Seven Summits to climb. It was first successfully climbed on 29 May 1953 by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay


Help Support Lurie Children’s!