Vern Tejas Shatters Seven Summits Record
Climber ascends highest mountain on each continent in 134 days June 2, 2010 (New York) – On May 31, 2010, Vernon Tejas completed a new world speed record of the Seven Summits, summiting the highest mountain on each of the seven continents within a 134-day period. The previous record of 136 days was set in 2008 by Danish climber Henrik Kristiansen.
Following the combined Bass and Messner lists of summits, which includes Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, Tejas began his record attempt with Vinson Massif on January 18, 2010. After ascents on Aconcagua, Carstensz Pyramid, Kosciuszko, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Everest, Tejas reached the top of the last summit, Mt. McKinley on May 31, 2010.
A renowned mountaineer, Tejas is the only person to have climbed each of the Seven Summits at least nine times, and has completed the Seven Summits twice during a one year period. Pioneered by Dick Bass in the mid-1980s, the Seven Summits challenge is a goal many mountaineers hope to achieve once in their lifetime.
In reflecting on his recent achievement, Tejas noted that records serve two purposes: history and motivation. "It's with great pride that I was able to reclaim the Seven Summits speed record and once again become a small part of the history of the Seven Summits." As to his motivation, Tejas said "Because it's there" has, of course, already been cited by George Mallory, one of history's great mountaineers, but these climbs and the high level of commitment they require serve as both a goal and a dream for me. The Seven Summits perfectly captures the challenge I set for myself and I hope that the new record will serve as motivation for others to experience these wonderful mountains."
Tejas began climbing in the 1970's, and in 1989 joined Alpine Ascents International, where he is now a Senior Guide. He is best known for the many climbing firsts he has achieved in his long and distinguished career, including the first solo winter ascent of Denali, the first solo ascent of Mt. Vinson, Antarctica’s highest mountain, and the first winter ascent of Mt. Logan, Canada’s highest mountain.