In 2019 I will embark on a new adventure.
Summiting solo and unassisted each European country’s highest summit and raise awareness on the increase of mountain pollution.
The road will be paved with leafs on tops such as Holland’s Vaalserberg highest point of 321m, but also with unknown routes for Azerbaijan 4’466m Bazardüzü, treacherous glacier on Switzerland’s 4’634m Dufourspitze, lack of oxygen on Europe highest peak 5’642m Mt Elbrus, or white void on Iceland’s Hvannadalshnukur volcano.
So what’s the plan in detail?
There are 52 countries (including sovereign nation) part of the European continent as defined by the historical and cultural rule: Europe is separated from Asia by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caucasus Mountains, in south east by the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
52 countries for 50 summits, since France and Italy share Mont Blanc, and Albania shares Mt Korab with Macedonia.
Note: Only countries or sovereign states are part of the list. This explains for example the presence of Monaco (a sovereign city-state), and not the Island of Jersey (a crown dependency).
For countries on the border, such as Russia, Georgia or Azerbaijan, their highest peaks are still considered to be in Europe. For Turkey, the highest peak being in Asia, the highest European peak has been selected instead.
Cyprus being part of the European Union has also been included in the list despite being technically in the Middle-East.
Also to be noted: although a small part of Kazakstan is technically within Europe, there are no recorded high point on that flat part of land.
Hiking and mountaineering aside, the purpose of this journey is also to raise awareness on our mountains’ increased pollution.
Everyday on any given mountain, climbers or hikers, skiers or mountain bikers, tourists or locals, decide to leave their trash on site rather than carrying it back down.
This problem hits every country and every mountain.
As an example, Mt Everest popularity as transformed it in a gigantic slope of filth. Every summer, it is more than 5,500kg of human waste and twice that amount of trash that is left on the Everest.
In ski resorts, it’s 30,000 cigarette buds (those are NOT biodegradable) that can be found under just ONE chairlift.
As I was trekking Iceland, during my “Iceland from South to North in 14 days” adventure, I came across a white plastic bag filled with trash that had been hidden under a rock.
Despite being loaded with 35kg of my own gear, I picked up the bag and brought it with me until I reached a hut.
The idea that people can’t carry their own trash is just absurd to me. I’ve always taken care of my trash, regardless of if I was hiking, walking, cycling, or even driving.
I then met a girl in the US that pushed me a step further: I now always hike with a trash bag so I can pick up the trash I find on trails.
I’m undertaking this challenge to raise funds that will be fully donated to non-profits that are dedicated to mountain cleaning and enhancing awareness on the consequences of leaving trash behind through educational activities.
“So what can I do to help?”
I will set up a crowdfunding page where you, friends, family, people, will be invited to donate money (any amount is welcomed) for that non-profit organization. Every cent of the donated money will go to the non-profit organization.
By undertaking this 50 summit challenge I hope to get enough attention to raise an impactful amount of money.
This trip’s motto is simple:
Mountains are for everyone, except assholes. (For a non-censored version: Mountains are for everyone, except those who don’t respect it).
This trip’s motto is simple:
Mountains are for everyone, except assholes.
(For a non-censored version: Mountains are for everyone, except those who don’t respect it).
Green on all levels
“That’s great, but what about your own impact?”
You’re absolutely right! The biggest issue with such a project is transportation, and unfortunately there are still no ways yet to quickly travel without CO2 emissions.
So to compensate with the emissions necessary to complete my journey, I will thoroughly calculate the carbon footprint of my travels, followed by a donation to a reforestation project of twice the amount necessary to offset my CO2 emission.
In addition to the summary located on the left side of this page, most information about me can be found on ABOUT THE AUTHOR page.
If you’re too lazy, here’s a small recap:
I’m from nowhere and anywhere. Born in a mountain lover family, I was raised in 8 different countries. I am always on the lookout, always looking for new challenges. I climbed Mont Blanc at age 18. I dream about going to Antartica. The highest point I’ve been to is the Huayna Potosi at 6’088m. I like to undertake solo adventures. I care enough about the environment to volunteer in cleaning days organized by non-profits, reduce my meat consumption, compost, and believe in permaculture. I am not a purist as I believe everyone can access the mountains as long as they respect it.
The intended travel plan
Travel is subject to visa and permit approvals, as well as weather forecast
Currently: 28 out of 50 summits done.
|Alba. + Maced. |
Mt Korab– 2764m
Coma Pedrosa– 2942m
Signal de Botrange– 694m
|Bosnia & Hezerg |
Mt Olympus– 1951m
|Czech Republic |
Scafell Pike– 978m
Suur Munamagi– 318m
|France + Italy |
Mt Blanc– 4810m
Mount Shkhara– 5068m
Mt Olympus– 2917m
Ta’ Dmejrek– 253m
Mt Balanesti– 430m
Chemin des Revoires– 162m
Maja Kolata– 2534m
|North Ireland |
Slieve Donard– 852m
La Torre– 1993m
Mt Elbrus– 5642m
|San Marino |
Mt Titano– 739m
Ben Nevis– 1343m
Mahya Dagi– 1030m
|Vatican City |
St Peter’s dome– 132m