Where unicorns dare to wander
Someone recently shared a relatively new climbing challenge called #7summiting on a mutual WhatsApp group, and while looking at the 2023 calendar I couldn’t help but notice the glaringly obvious: instead of taking the whole allowed 365 days in order to complete same, why not just klap it on 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 January. Let’s go.
Some history: 7summiting was started in 2020 by fellow countryman Nigel Laver. To date it looks like only 5 people have completed this challenge and it took everyone close to a year to do so. I also noticed fellow Randonneur Leonard Welthagen’s name on the list of 7 Summiting Legends 🙂
Here we go
What? You’ve heard of Everesting, right? — The cycling challenge where you pick a hill and cycle it up and down repeatedly until you’ve reached the cumulative distance of 8849m? Well, 7summiting extends that to a list based on the highest mountain peak on each continent for a total of 36,787 vertical meters. And you have 365 days in which to complete the challenge. But why wait.
Where? Fortunately for your wallet (and unfortunately for your sense of adventure) you don’t have to hop on a plane and physically visit each of the continents. Pick a local climb that represents each of these 7 mountains below, and at least one must be off-road. In fact, my split is about 50/50 between tar and gravel and I will reveal the route in due course. The ascents are:
- Aconcagua, Argentina
- Denali, Alaska
- Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
- Elbrus, Russia
- Vinson, Antarctica
- Puncak Jaya, Indonesia
- Kosciuszko, Australia
When? New year, new challenge! The first week of January 2023 will see my cycle up and down seven mountains. Yip, during the South African summer and with the January winds. Hopefully I can get some decent night riding in as well (even though it will be dark moon during that week). To be honest, I can’t wait for this opportunity.
How? The rules are similar to that of Everesting and those familiar with Randonneuring will appreciate the completion of a brevet card. In short: No duplicates, No restarts, No sleep, No e-bikes. Which means that I had to pick a different climb for each day. Fortunately, the majority are close to home here in the winelands and I have done them all before.
Who? Just me, Nico, a regular guy from Stellenbosch. And anyone who’d like to join and make a difference. You could even bag a half-Everesting here and there. Or pop in and join for just a single lap or spread the word and tell a friend. It’s not about the bike and it’s not about the cyclist. This is for a good cause, above all.
Why? A fundraiser off course! To help fix our local schooling system, on child at a time. Because our beautiful country has the most unequal society in the world. And together we can change that:
Start with the why
This December, same as last year, I hope to complete a double MUNGA for team NIKA. Because I believe in what they are doing this ‘7 summits in 7 days for team NIKA’ is an extension of the fundraising efforts. You can back me (us!) right here.
*Oh, and because no-one has done the 7 summits cycling in 7 days before. Always a first, right? We go where few dare.
I cycle for team NIKA. See why on nikacapital.org/. They are a registered NPC and you will get a s18A certificate for a 100% income tax deduction. Now everyone wins! Share the love and back me right here. And tell your mates 🙂
A picture is worth 1000 words…