Mount Kosciusko (Australia)

18-Feb-94 (Private trip)

By: Duane McRuer



On Friday, 18 February 1994 Doug Mantle topped Mount Kosciusko (2228 m, 7,310 ft), the highest peak in Australia. This almost trivial hike was the last of the seven continental highpoints for him. ending a sequence which started over twenty years ago. He had previously climbed McKinley (N. America), Aconcagua (S. America), Elbrus (Europe), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Everest (Asia), and the Vinson Massif (Antarctica).

Doug was accompanied by seven friends (Vi Grasso, Mary and Rayne Motherall, Katie and Bob Hicks, and Betty and Duane McRuer), who had gone to Australia to be present at this conclusive event. In spite of our entreaties, Doug refused to state that this last great assault was also the most difficult--perhaps it was the presence of a class of middle school students and their instructors who shared the summit with us which kept him from such an admission. On the other hand it might have been the possibility that less energetic hikers could gain the peak via a chair lift followed by six kilometers on a steel grid work track plus one kilometer on an old road.

While climbing the seven continental summits is a most remarkable feat, a very few others have also done so (although I know of no other Sierra Club member who is in this distinguished company). Other Mantle exploits are unique. including finishing:

The Angeles Chapter Sierra Peaks Section (SPS) list (247 Sierra Nevada peaks) four times (no one else has done this more than once).

The Angeles Chapter Desert Peaks Section (DPS) list (97 desert peaks in California, Nevada, Arizona: Utah, and Mexico) three (almost four) times (no one else has done this more than twice).

The Hundred Peaks List three (one to go for four) times making a triple-triple (no one else has more than once).

On his way he has also climbed the high points of all the western states (the "harder" US high points) and the Mexican volcanoes in the Northern Western Hemisphere Huascaran and Chimborazo in the Southern Western Hemisphere, Kenya in Africa, Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and others in Europe, Mt. Cook in New Zealand. and such assorted major climbs here and there as the Grand Teton and others in the Tetons, Mount Ararat, etc.

On the next day (February 19) he climbed Kosciusko again, and also went over to Mount Townsend (2209m), Australia's second highest. Thus, he has a start on the second time around for the highest, or the first time around for the second highest, of the continents. Of course, he's well along for the latter, with Africa and South America already out of the way -- but Mt Tyree (16,290 ft: in Antarctica) and K2 are very tough!

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