Showing posts from August, 2013

Seven summits

Whether it's stamps, bottle caps or back issues of Alpinist, people like collecting things. When it comes to summits, there are many lists for an aspiring collector: the fifty-odd eleven-thousanders - we're talking feet here - of the Canadian Rockies, the fourteen eight-thousanders - metres now - of the Himalaya and Karakoram, the Fifty Classics of North America... And if you don't like any of these lists, just pick a mountain range, a unit of height or some other criterion, and come up with your own. Another list popular among peak baggers with a world travelling bent is that of the Seven Summits: the highest peaks on the seven continents. The facts that Eurasia is really one continent or that the high point of Australia is an uninspiring bump poses some problems, but nothing that an arbitrary definition or two cannot take care of. As my Pakistani summer holiday winds down and I hang around Islamabad exploring its dining options and waiting for my flight back home, it oc