AMGA Certified Alpine Guide, completed the Seven Summits
(Koscuiszko version) on April 1, 2002. "Our small team
of three climbers successfully climbed Mt. Kosciusko
(7,301') twice on April 1 and 2, the highest peak in
Australia. We left each morning about 4:30am for the
summit, and walked up the open grassy slopes in the
most awesome moonlight--without the need of a light.
It was a still
night, with virtually no wind, and we climbed steadily
until the sun rose. At that time we were on the high
alpine slopes of the peak, wide open areas of rolling
mountains with small rocky outcroppings. We watched the
red light of the sun paint the slopes with alpenglow.
Walking in shorts and t-shirts, we took our time to
reach the broad summit and celebrated with champagne,
cheers and a lot of photographs to mark the moment.
I flew the American, Australian, and
Nepali flags, as I've done on many of the other peaks (the flags represented
the highest and lowest of the Seven Summits--and the American flag, well...).
The walk down was straightforward, except for a run-in with the deadly "brown
snake," which I just about stepped on as we trod down the mountain!"
"One other notable event...on the way
up the second time, we were near a forest and had a brief encounter with a
male wombat. This little guy weighs in at around 120 pounds and had long
claws...exactly what you don't want to run into at night! All that excitement
added quite nicely though, to the overall experience. The "hike" was 13 miles
or 21k round-trip, and took about 3-4 hours from Thredbo, the ski area at the
base of the mountain, to the summit. It took about 2 hours to return to the
village. The hardest part of the trip was the 40 hours of flying and driving
time! "Kos" was my last summit in my recent quest to climb the highest of the
Seven continental summits: North America (McKinley 20,320'), South America
(Aconcagua 23,000'), Asia (Everest 29,035'), Europe (Elbrus, in Russia
18,501'), Africa (Kilimanjaro 19,370'), Antarctica (Vinson 16,000'+), and
lastly, Australia (Kosciusko 7,301').
I never really thought about completing
the Seven Summits until our success on Everest last spring. After that, it
seemed like it could happen, Elbrus in Russia went well and we reached the
summit in a snow storm, and with our luck on Vinson in December, a quick trip
to Australia seemed to be in the cards. Not sure what it all means to have
climbed the "Seven Summits," but it's nice to have completed the goal. Kinda
weird now, not having "the big goal" standing in front of me like it's been
there for years (since seventh grade!). I'm sure there will be "something" to
fill the void soon. Thanks much for your interest and support!" Jason Edwards
Check out the EverestNews.com
coverage of Jason's 2001 Mt. Everest Expedition
First summit dates of each peak and
partial list of partners:
McKinley, West Buttress Route: 7/17/83
Joe Horiskey & Team
Aconcagua, Polish Glacier (traverse):
1/17/90 Kevin Slotterbeck & Team
Kilimanjaro, Machame: 8/10/96 Jodie
Edwards & Team
Everest, South Col: 5/24/01 Maximo
Henostroza, Mountain Experience Team, & Sherpas
Elbrus, Normal Route: 8/10/01 Kevin
Slotterbeck & Team
Vinson, Branscomb Glacier: 12/10/01
Mark Ursino & Team
Koscuiszko, Walked up from Thredbo:
4/1/02 Mark Ursino & Team
Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms.
Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up
function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second
backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032
See more here.