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Seven Summits expedition reaches final days

World records about to tumble as Seven Summits expedition reaches final days

Leading New Zealand high altitude climber and expedition leader Guy Cotter is about to become the fourth Kiwi ever to reach the peak of the highest summits in all seven continents.

Cotter is guiding a British climber Annabelle Bond, toward the top of the 6194m Mt Denali and they hope to reach the summit at the weekend.

The seven summits are Mt Everest (Asia), Carstensz Pyramid or Mt Kosciuscko (Australasian continent), Denali-Mt McKinley (North America) , Aconcagua (South America), Elbrus (Europe), Vinson Massif (Antarctica) and Kilimanjaro (Africa).

``We hope to summit in 4 days time. It’s great to be back here in Alaska. It’s probably the most physical of all of the seven summits,’’ Cotter said from the slopes of Denali today.

``It’s early season and really challenging as it’s so cold, so it’s definitely not a walk in the park. I’m treating this one with as much respect as any other big mountain I’ve been on.”

Others in the expeditions party include Mark Sedon, a mountain guide and cameraman from Wanaka and Greg Benatar from South Africa. New Zealanders Rob Hall and Gary Ball completed the Seven Summits in a world record breaking seven months in 1990. The other New Zealander to complete the seven highest peaks on the seven continents is John Gluckman. Cotter took over Adventure Consultants high altitude expedition company in 1996 after Hall died near the summit of Everest nine years ago this month.

Cotter has gone on to climb four 8000m peaks and has twice stood on top of Everest. Bond is attempting to conquer the Seven Summits and set two world records for the Eve Appeal ovarian cancer charity. Bond will become the youngest woman to ever complete the Seven Summits and she hopes to be the fastest by doing them all in one year. Ends Copyright 2005 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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