7 Summits 7 Flights

The Mission

7 Summits 7 Flights is an initiative pioneered by Pierre Carter, Marianne Schwankhart and Peter Friedmann with the aim of raising funds for Smile Foundation and The Trust, an umbrella charity providing a safe and transparent conduit to various charities, by climbing to the summits of the highest mountains of each of the seven continents and paraglide from their summits. All contributions will benefit both charities as well as the Seven Summit Seven Flights project.

The notion of climbing the seven summits was first conceptualized by Dick Bass, an American businessman and amateur climber, who completed all seven summits in 1985. Since then, more than 200 climbers have completed the challenge, with the youngest being eighteen year-old Samantha Larson and the oldest seventy three year-old Ram—n Blanco. What makes this initiative remarkable, apart from the sheer challenge that the seven summits pose, is that the three climbers will paraglide their descent, a feat that has never been achieved, although attempted. To share the experience as closely as possible, award-winning photographer Marianne will fly in tandem with acclaimed paragliding adventurer, Pierre, to photograph and document the journey and the mountains, thus providing a unique view of the adventure from a new perspective where no one else has gone before. Two experienced film crew will compile the video footage into a documentary that will be screened worldwide.

Apart from the thrill of paragliding off all seven summits, the hope of the South African team, is that the time and effort invested in this endeavor will help South Africans in need; that the obstacles they overcome in their struggles against nature will eliminate the obstacles that many face back at home. For the team, the risk that this challenge poses is a chance of a lifetime to realize the limits of the human body in dire situations “it’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”. Sir Edmund Hillary. In addition to enriching their own lives, their motivation for this endeavor is to translate their life changing experience into changing the lives of thousands of less fortunate South Africans and at the same time bringing climate awareness, something highly necessary in light of our current climate change crisis.

The project launches in June, with our first trip to Denali Ð we hope to complete all seven summits within fourteen months. By teaming up with The Trust as the beneficiary of this project, 7Summits7Flights is truly an example of climbing for humanity.

It’s the ultimate adventure!

Three explorers will climb to the summits of the 7 highest mountains on the 7 continents and paraglide off them.  No-one as yet has flown from the top of all seven summits and this will raise the bar in extreme adventure and exploration in 2010.  They will share their experience via photographs, video and blogs from the most remote and fragile corners of the earth.  This will allow others to realise their potential for our planet and will raise money for “The Trust”, a charity aimed at assisting the underprivileged in reaching for their own dreams.