Richard Parks Completes 737 Challenge

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I’ve mentioned Richard Parks and his 737 Challenge in the past, but wanted to do a follow-up to report that he has completed the expedition, which had the ambitious goal of climbing the Seven Summits and visiting the Three Poles, in just seven months time.

According to this story, from Wales Online, Parks finished his journey last week by reaching the summit of Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. You would think that after he knocked off Everest in the spring, that Elbrus, which stands 5642 meters (18,510 ft) in height, would be a relatively easy climb, but according to the story, Richard struggled to the top as his strength and energy waned. Then again, getting so close to his final goal, and having traveled and climbed a lot in the past six+ months, I guess it should be expected that he would be a bit tired.

While standing on the summit, Parks said that his accomplishment hadn’t set in yet, but a blog post that came a few days later allowed him to share some thoughts on the journey. He was back home in the U.K. at that point, and has a lot of media appearances on his agenda, and it sounds like he’s still struggling to come to grips with his accomplishment.

The expedition website says that the official time to complete the 737 Challenge was six months, 11 days, 7 hours, and 53 minutes. In that time frame, Richard managed to climb the seven highest peaks on each of the seven continents, while also visiting the “three poles.” That would be the North and South Pole of course, and the summit of Everest, which is sometimes referred to as the “third pole.” While his polar journeys were last-degree ski expeditions, this is still one very impressive accomplishment. The travel time alone would be enough to wear a lot of people out, let alone climbing mountains and skiing through frozen wastelands.

It should also be noted that Parks undertook this journey to raise funds and awareness of the Marie Curie Cancer Care organization, a great cause that has inspired a number of adventurous Brits.

Congratulations Richard, well done!

Kraig Becker