ÁLVAREZ, FIRST MAN FROM VISCAYA AND BILBAO
ACHIEVE THE SEVEN SUMMITS CHALLENGE
mountaineer from Otxarkoaga crowned the Carstensz
Pyramid at 08:10 hours (01:10 hours in
Bilbaoan mountaineer, Mikel Álvarez, has
become today, Saturday, April 13, at 01:10
hours (08:10 hours in Irian Jaya) the first
man from Viscaya to climb the Seven Summits.
This sport hit has happened after the
sportsman born in Otxarkoaga crowned the Carstensz
Pyramid, the highest mountain in the Pacific,
located in Irian Jaya (Indonesia).
Photo: Mikel Alvarez in the
summit of Everest, 23rd of May 2001
Álvarez is the fourth mountaineer of the
State to achieve such a feat after Ramón
Portilla (1994) from Madrid, Joxe Ramon Agirre
(1994) From Guipuzcoa and Josep Pujante (1995)
from Cataluña. He is also the 68th
sportsman to finish since the challenge was
established in 1985.
The summit assault began at 4 in the morning
from the base camp located at 4100 meters, and
after a dizzy ascent, he reached the summit at
8 hours and 10 minutes, alone.
he spoke to this press office, Mikel Álvarez
was waiting the rest of his expedition party
while taking pictures for Euskal Telebista and
was trying to locate the plate that certifies
the summit, a hard task because of the snow on
the Pyramid. To avoid any doubts, the
climber has reached every one of the three
summits of the mountain.
Seven Summits of the World is a challenge of
great adventure and large dimensions, which
consists in climbing the highest summits of
every continent of the Earth and of the two
poles. Mikel Álvarez has ascended
Aconcagua (6959 m), in 1997, located in
Argentina (America); Elbrus (5642 m) in 1998,
located between Russia and Georgia (Europe);
Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 m) in 1999, in Keynya
(Africa); Mount McKinley-Denali (6194 m) in
2000, located in Alaska (Artic); Mount Everest
(8848 m) in 2001, located
between Nepal and Tibet (Asia); Mount Vinson
(4897 m) in January 2002, in Antarctica; and
the Carstensz Pyramid (4884 m) today, in
first one to achieve such a feat was the
American Dick Bass, who
dedicated 17 years of his life to make their
dream come true. They ended the seventh
summit, climbing the legendary Mount Everest
in 1985, after their fourth expedition to
reach that evasive summit.
Carstensz Pyramid is an overwhelming limestone
massif that rises in the middle of the jungle,
in the Indonesian region of Irian Jaya.
Mikel Álvarez has been part of an
international expedition which includes
Americans William Barkley Allen (1970,
Florida), Kevin Lee Neal (1962, Indiana) and
James Ronald Foutch (1969, Texas), and the
Canadian Sean Christopher McEvoy (1967).
this success, and before going back home in
Artica (Navarra), Mikel Álvarez will fly to
Australia to crown Kosciusko. There is
an international polemic over which is really
the highest summit in Oceania. Some
think it is the Carstensz Pyramid that,
without a doubt, by altitude is very superior
over the rest of the mountains in Oceania.
However, others consider that this mountain in
Indonesia is in Asia and therefore they say
that the highest summit in Oceania is Mount
Kosciusko with 2228 m., in the Australian
Alps. Thus, there are two international
"lists" of climbers that have
conquered the Seven Summits. Mikel Álvarez
wants to climb both summits to stay away from
that polemic and to be in both lists of
April 13, 2002
Climbers with Seven Summits (Carstensz): 68,
including Mikel Álvarez Climbers with Seven
Summits (Kosciusko): 64 Climbers on both
April 27th, 2002 at 15:45. Kosciusko (alone).
from Spanish by Jorge Rivera. Source:
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