Seven Summits: Mount Kosciuszko

Mount Kosciuszko

Seven Summits: Mount Kosciuszko

The "Seven Summits" are the seven highest mountains in each of the world's seven continents. Climbing all seven peaks is regarded in mountaineering circles as a formidable achievement. The first person to climb all of the Seven Summits was American businessman, rancher and mountaineer Richard Bass, who achieved this in 1985.

Although lists differ slightly as to which mountains make up the Seven Summits (due to controversies over the boundaries of the various continents), they all include seven of the following ten mountains.

Vinson Massif
Puncak Jaya
Mount Kosciuszko
Mont Blanc
Mount Wilhelm

But what do you know about these seven mountains that make up the Seven Summits? In a series of articles called "Seven Summits", I want to explore these beautiful, enigmatic, and sometimes dangerous mountains. Next up - 10 facts about the highest mountain in mainland Australia - Mount Kosciuszko!

1) Cor Strewth!

Measuring a respectable 2,228 metres (7,310 ft) above sea level, Mount Kosciuszko is mainland Australia's highest mountain.

2) Australian Alps?!

Mount Koscuszko is located in the range of the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park. This national park is part of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves. That's right, although far less well known than their European counterparts, Australia has its very own Alps. And very beautiful they are too!

3) Tongue Twister

The name Kosciuszko certainly stands out in an Anglophone country like Australia. The mountain received its name from the Polish explorer Paweł Edmund Strzelecki (explorer and geologist noted for his contributions to the exploration of Australia, particularly the Snowy Mountains and Tasmania), who named it in 1840 after Polish General and freedom fighter Tadeusz Kościuszko. It would be incorrect however to say that Paweł Edmund Strzelecki DISCOVERED Mount Kosciuszko, as mainland Australia had been inhabited by Australian Aborigines for tens of thousands of years before Strzelecki made his surveys.

4) Kunama Namadgi

Speaking of Australian Aborigines, it is believed that the original native Australian name for Mount Kosciuszko is the Aboriginal word "Kunama Namadgi", meaning "snow" and "mountain".

5) Pole Position

the first person known officially to cascend Mount Kosciuszko was Paweł Edmund Strzelecki, the same explorer and geologist who named the mountain after the Polish national hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko. He climbed it in March 1840.

6) No Worries Mate!

Mount Kosciuszko is by far the easiest of the Seven Summits to climb. Anyone with a modest level of fitness can hike to the top, and if you are feeling lazy, there is a chair lift which will take you much of the way.

7) Kozzy Kozzy Kozzy!

Mount Kosciuszko is in the stunning Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales, which covers 690,000 hectares, including the Snowy River. An estimated 3 million visitors visit each year, taking part in activities like hiking through alpine streams and rivers, glacial lakes, huge granite boulders, limestone gorges, heaths, bogs and alpine herb fields. The national park, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, contains six wilderness areas covering about 300,000 hectares, which are home to numerous rare and unique fauna and flora species.

8) Challenging Preconceptions

Contrary to popular representations of Australia, the terrain around Mount Kosciuszko is covered in dense forests. During winters, this area witnesses heavy precipitation in the form of both rain and snow. I fact, it even has a ski resort!

9) Challenge of a Lifetime

Australia's Snowy Mountains, home to Mount Kosciuszko, play host to a wide range of events and activities throughout the year. One of the more gruelling events is the "Upper Murray Challenge". Held in October (which is Spring in Australia), the challenge includes a 28 kilometre mountain bike ride, 26 kilometre kayak paddle and 23.5 kilometre run! This event is not easy, but the gorgeous scenery should bring some comfort to the challengers as they put themselves to the test!

10) Highly Convenient!

Australia's highest public toilet was built at Rawson pass (a route to the top of the mountain) in 2007, to service more than 100,000 people who visit the mountain every summer!

Bonus: Seven Summits Wall Art

For adventurers, Mount Kosciuszko is one of the most alluring and enigmatic locations in the world. Along with the other Seven Summits it offers a challenge that many climbers find hard to resist. With our Seven Summits posters we hope to inspire people to be adventurous and rise to their own challenges. Check out our Seven Summits Wall Art Collection and let us know what you think!

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