The Seven Third Summits of the World

Mount Kanchenjugha, in the Himalayan mountain range, Sikkim, India.
Mount Kanchenjugha, in the Himalayan mountain range, Sikkim, India.

The Third Seven Summits are the third tallest mountains in each continent in the world The list features the third highest peaks of each of the seven continents, arranged in order of elevation above sea level, and is preceded by the Seven Summits and Seven Second Summits list. The seven continents considered here are Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, Antarctica, and Oceania/Australia. Although several variations of the list exist, the two most popular are the Bass and the Messner lists, which vary slightly, as mentioned below. The Seven Summits lists inspire mountain climbers to climb these magnificent mountains which are among the highest in the world.

8. Mount Twynam (Bass List)

According to the Bass list, Mount Twynam is the third tallest mountain in mainland Australia, and ranks as seventh tallest on the list of Seven Third Summits. The mountain has an elevation of 7,201 ft above sea level, and belongs to the Snowy Mountain Range in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

7. Puncak Trikora (Messner List)

According to the Messner list, Puncak Trikora in Oceania ranks seventh on the list of Seven Third Summits. The 15,584 ft tall mountain is located in Indonesia’s Papua Province, which is part of the island of New Guinea. The mountain is part of the Maoke Mountain Range.

6. Mount Shinn

Mount Shinn has an elevation of 15,292 ft above sea level and is Antarctica's third highest mountain. It is part of the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. The first successful ascent to the peak of Mount Shinn occurred on December 21, 1966.

5. Mawenzi

Africa’s Mawenzi Peak is not an independent mountain, but one of the three volcanic cones of Mount Kilimanjaro that is located in Tanzania. With an elevation of 16,893 ft, Mawenzi Peak is the second tallest of the three volcanic cones. The volcanic cone is extinct, and possibly erupted millions of years ago. The youngest rocks found here are about 448,000 years old. Mawenzi also has a small subsidiary peak, named Neumann Tower, which has an elevation of 14,518 ft. Mawenzi’s tallest peak was first summited by two German climbers on July 29, 1912.

4. Shkhara

Europe’s Shkhara ranks fourth highest on the list of the Seven Third Summits. This 17,037 ft tall mountain is located in Georgia, and belongs to the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, where it is the third-tallest peak. The heavily glaciated Shkhara offers great challenges to the climbers. The first successful ascent of the mountain occurred in 1888.

3. Pico de Orizaba

Located in North America, the 18,491 ft tall Pico de Orizaba is a volcanic mountain in Mexico, and the third highest of the Seven Third Summits. The dormant volcano is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. The mountain’s first ascent was recorded in 1848. The mountain hosts Mexico’s largest glacier, the Gran Glaciar Norte. Every year many mountaineers visit Pico de Orizaba to record their summits to the top.

2. Monte Pissis

Mount Pissis has an elevation of 22,287 ft and is located in the Atacama Desert, which is part of La Rioja Province, Argentina. It is the second highest of the Seven Third Summits, and as part of South America, it is the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. Although the mountain region experiences an extremely arid climate, the existence of a glacier with crevasses is a unique feature of Monte Pissis. The mountain was first summited in 1937. The development of mining activities in the Atacama Desert area led to the construction of roads which made Monte Pissis more accessible to tourists in the recent years. Hiking to the top of the mountain requires several days, and a high camp is located at an altitude of 19,400 ft.

1. Kangchenjunga

Mount Kangchenjunga has an elevation of 28,169 ft, making it the third highest peak in the world and the highest of the Seven Third Summits. The mountain lies in Asia, on the border between Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim. The mountain is part of the Himalayan Mountain Range and has five peaks, two of which lie entirely in Nepal, and three are located on the border between Nepal and India. The five peaks of Mount Kangchenjunga are referred to as the Five Treasures of Snow and are held sacred by mountain dwellers of the region. Mount Kangchenjunga is also the highest mountain in India. The first ascent of the mountain was recorded on May 25, 1955. However, the climbers stopped just short of the summit as a show of respect to the local tradition that the summit should remain unconquered.

The Seven Third Summits of the World

1Kangchenjunga8,586 m (28,169 ft)AsiaHimalayasNepal / India
2Monte Pissis6,793 m (22,287 ft)South AmericaAndesArgentina
3Pico de Orizaba5,636 m (18,491 ft)North AmericaCordillera NeovolcanicaMexico
4Shkhara5,193 m (17,037 ft)EuropeCaucasusGeorgia
5Mawenzi5,149 m (16,893 ft)Africa-Tanzania
6Mount Shinn4,661 m (15,292 ft)AntarcticaSentinel-
7Puncak Trikora (Messner List)4,750 m (15,584 ft)Australia (continent)MaokeIndonesia
8Mount Twynam (Bass List)2,195 m (7,201 ft)AustraliaSnowiesAustralia

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