Start with Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest summit in Africa. Of the Seven Summits, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the least difficult to climb. Situated near the Tanzanian border in Kenya, this is a nontechnical ascent ideal for less experienced climbers. Travelers with good physical conditioning and patience can make it to the top with relatively little trouble. Follow a variety of routes that take you through rainforests, moorlands and glacial formations.
Aconcagua is the highest peak in South America, jutting up from the Andes mountains on the border between Argentina and Chile. Roughly 4.5 miles in altitude, Aconcagua is a challenging but nontechnical climb. The ascent can be completed without crampons, but mountaineers should not take this slope lightly. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred in the past, and the mountain can be quite cold and windy. Still, this is one of the more manageable peaks of the Seven Summits. The spectacular views of the Andes mountains are well worth the trek.
Mt. Elbrus is the tallest summit in all of Europe. Surprisingly, it is not part of the Swiss Alps. Rather, it is located in Russia. The mountain was once a volcano and now features twin peaks. The West Summit is the higher of the two, and this should be your goal. Scaling this summit requires moderate climbing skills and great fitness. Steep slopes, snowy terrain and high altitude will test intermediate climbers.
Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley, is the highest summit in North America. Located in the heart of Alaska, this peak is famous for being the coldest mountain in the world. Brutal sub-zero temperatures make it very difficult to scale the 20,000-foot mountain. This is a more technical climb for advanced mountaineers with plenty of experience.
Mt. Vinson is the highest mountain in Antarctica. The base of this peak is 13 miles long and 8 miles wide, forming the single largest part of the Sentinel Mountain Range. The peak was first scaled in 1966. Cold weather and icy conditions make for a challenging ascent. The climb is one of the more technically advanced of the Seven Summits, and should be performed only by experienced mountaineers.
The Carstenz Pyramid is the highest mountain in Oceania, the collection of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Located in the central highlands of the Papua Province in Indonesia, the Carstenz Pyramid is the tallest island peak on the planet. With warmer temperatures, the peak is free of ice, and scaling the summit requires more rock climbing ability than snow technique.
Mt. Everest is, obviously, the most difficult mountain peak to climb in the world. This is the tallest summit in the continent of Asia and the highest point on the entire planet, reaching 29,035 feet above sea level. Many mountaineers struggle just with the trek to base camp, situated deep in the Himalayan mountains between Nepal and Tibet. Extremely rugged terrain, cold temperatures, high altitude and icy slopes have claimed many lives over the years. Everest is the ultimate test for veteran climbers and should only be attempted by very experienced mountaineers in top physical condition.