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How about reaching the highest points of all countries of the world during my lifetime?

This modestly grand idea first popped into my head back in 1996, when we reached the highest point of Romania, Moldoveanu Peak. It was the third highest peak of a country in three years (before Romania there were Norway and Poland), and while sipping beer in the evening we came up with the idea to set foot upon the highest summit of all countries in the world. The idea was great but for me it really began to materialize in 2004, when after a long break I once again stood at the highest peak of a country. This time it was Slovenia.

By now I have attained the highest peaks of 77 countries. Year-by-year, it looks like this:

1990 – Estonia
1994 – Norway
1995 – Poland
1996 – Romania
1997 – Latvia
2004 – Slovenia
2005 – Finland, Sweden
2006 – Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, Hungary (plus Latvia and Poland for the second time)
2007 – Spain, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece (plus Hungary for the second time)
2008 – UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Austria, France, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania
2009 – Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Vatican, Malta, San Marino, Portugal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Italy, Switzerland (plus Hungary for the third time and France for the second time)
2010 – Island, Cyprus, Iran, Egypt
2011 – Mexico, Guatemala, Morocco, Lithuania, Japan, South Korea, Oman, Singapore
2012 – Australia, Malaysia
2013 – Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Tyrkey
2014 – El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba
2015 – Argentina, Chile
2017 – Vietnam, Hongkong, Thailand, Cambodia, Bahrein
2018 – Cabo Verde, Uruguay, Paraguay

According to my list, there are 206 countries in the world after South Sudan gained its independence in 9th of July 2011 and I still have 129 peaks to reach. If I wanted to say on my 60th anniversary that I have been to all of them, I’d have to reach the highest peaks of an average of 7 countries every year. Sounds nice. And realistic.

By the way, I’m not creating illusions that I’ll definitely be able to pull this off. I know that the list includes 3 of the absolute highest peaks in the world (Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga), the world’s highest unclimbed mountain (Gangkhar Puensum – 7570m, the highest summit of Bhutan) and such awe-inspiring mountains as Naušak in Afghanistan, Pobeda in Kyrgyzstan, Khan-Tengri in Kazakhstan, Denali in Alaska, Šhara in Georgia, Mount Cook in New Zealand and Puncak Jaya in Indonesia. And quite a few more.

And I know that it’s difficult to get into some countries, and from some countries it may be tricky to get out. And in some other countries, instead of getting lunch you may become someone’s lunch.

And yet – even if I don’t make it to all of these summits, I hope to set foot on each country of the world. And this motivates me too. Honestly.

 

Quick Top 10 Lists/Peaks

Most Complete Lists
List# Done% Complete
Europe UN Member High Points4393.5
Core Europe Country High Points4387.8
Central America Country High Points685.7
Europe High Points with Iberian Substitution4183.7
Europe Country High Points4279.2
The Volcanic Seven Summits571.4
Europe High Points - Inclusive Grab Bag4368.3
Seven Summits - Continental Landmass High Points457.1
Europe Country Most Prominent Peaks2750
Quadrant High Points250
Highest Peaks Climbed
PeakElev-mLocationAscent Date
Aconcagua6962Argentina2015-02-14
Ojos del Salado6893Argentina/Chile2015-02-28
Kilimanjaro5895Tanzania2013-02-04
Elbrus5642Russia2006-08-29
Pico de Orizaba5636Mexico-Pue/Ver2011-04-03
Damavand5610Iran2010-09-12
Mount Ararat5137Turkey2013-09-11
Mont Blanc4810France/Italy2008-07-04
Monte Rosa4634Switz2009-09-09
Volcan Karisimbi4519Rwanda/Congo DRC2013-02-13
Most Prominent Peaks Climbed
PeakProm-mLocationAscent Date
Aconcagua6962Argentina2015-02-14
Kilimanjaro5885Tanzania2013-02-04
Pico de Orizaba4922Mexico-Pue/Ver2011-04-03
Elbrus4741Russia2006-08-29
Mont Blanc4697France/Italy2008-07-04
Damavand4667Iran2010-09-12
Kinabalu4095Malaysia2012-01-17
Volcán Tajumulco3980Guatemala2011-04-06
Fuji-san3776Japan2011-09-06
Cerro Chirripó3755Costa Rica2014-03-16
P-Index: 66    Link to Peak List sorted by prominence
I-Index: 55    Link to Peak List sorted by isolation
E-Index: 66    Link to Peak List sorted by elevation

     
    



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