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NZ-led Seven Summits expedition reaches final days

May 11, 2005

World records tumble as NZ-led Seven Summits expedition reaches final days

Leading New Zealand high altitude climber and expedition leader Guy Cotter today became the fourth Kiwi ever to reach the peak of the highest summits in all seven continents. Cotter guided British climber Annabelle Bond to the top of the icy-cold 6194m Mt Denali.

Bond,36, becomes the youngest woman in the world to conquer all Seven Summits and she has achieved the feat the fastest out of any women. In doing so she raised funds for the Eve ovarian cancer charity appeal. 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). ``This has been a long climb, but quite satisfying,’’ Cotter said from the summit of Denali today.

``We reached the summit soon after midday (NZtime) and it was very cold. But it feels most worthwhile after some long days holed up in heavy snow and icy conditions. ``It has been really challenging as it’s so cold, so it’s definitely not a walk in the park. I always treated this one with as much respect as any other big mountain I’ve been on.”

Others in the expedition party included 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.


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