A few weeks back, as part of my ongoing coverage of the Himalaya climbing season, I mentioned that Australian climber Steve Plain had summited Everest and thereby completing the Seven Summits in a new record time. It had taken him just 117 days to nab all seven of the highest peaks on each of the continents, besting the old mark by nine days. It wasn’t long until Plain’s story started to show up in a number of different outlets as word of his accomplishment spread. Now, Outside magazine has an interview with the new record holder, sharing even more insights into his great story.
Despite the fact that he only started to climb the Seven Summits last year, Steve’s quest to get that speed record actually began back in 2014. That’s when he suffered a broken neck in a surf accident. The original prognosis wasn’t good and his doctors told him he would likely be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. The very next day, Plain decided he would set a goal for himself to not only walk again, but also complete the Seven Summits. This was especially audacious since he didn’t even have any mountaineering experience.
In order to get the new record, Plain had to plan his climbs strategically. He started with Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, then went on to fly directly to Aconcagua to reach the highest point in South America too. After that, it was Kilimanjaro, Carstensz Pyramid, Kosciuszko, and Elbrus. They even made a very early summit on Denali, knocking off that mountain on April 3 of this year. After that, it was on to the Himalaya and Everest, which he successfully summited on May 14. A whirlwind mountaineering experience to be sure.
The Outside profile is short and sweet, but does offer some interesting details. Not the least of which is that Plain says that when he reach the top of Everest he expected to feel overjoyed and relived. Instead he said that he felt a bit sad. He had gotten the record, but now his journey was over and the finality of it all was a bit of a downer. Still, I expect we haven’t heard the last of Steve Plain, as he has a good story to share and will likely embark on other major adventures in the future.
Check out the entire story here.
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