World Facts

The Volcanic Seven Summits Of The World

Ojos del Salado in Chile/Argentina is the highest volcano in South America and the highest one in the world.

Two well-known phrases amongst mountain enthusiasts everywhere are the “Seven Summits” and the “Volcanic Seven Summits”. Though they sound similar, they refer to two completely different things. The Seven Summits represent the highest mountains on each continent. In the same way, the Volcanic Seven Summits represent the highest volcanoes located on each continent. This article identifies the Volcanic Seven Summits, worth noting is that 2 of them are also considered the highest summits on the continent as well.

Seven Volcanic Summits

Ojos del Salado

The list begins with Ojos del Salado in the Andes mountains between Chile and Argentina. It reaches 22,615 feet in elevation and is considered an active volcano. This volcano is located near the Atacama Desert and therefore has a dry climate with snow coverage that only lasts on the peak and during winter months. Ojos del Salado emitted some ash in the early 90’s, but the last known eruption occurred around 1,300 years ago.


The second volcano on the list is Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on the African continent. This peak rises to 19,341 feet above sea level and has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Shira, and Mawenzi. Mawenzi and Shira began erupting about 1 million years ago and today, are extinct; but, Kibo is dormant and could possibly erupt at some point in the future. Forests cover the bottom part of the volcano and are home to many animals like elephants, mongooses, and warthogs.


The 3rd volcanic summit is Elbrus in the Caucasus Range in Russia. This volcano is 18,510 feet in elevation and is considered inactive. The last eruption happened in 50 AD. It has a permanent ice cap and 22 glaciers.

Pico de Orizaba

Number 4 is Pico de Orizaba, which is 18,491 feet above sea level and located in Mexico, in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. It lies on the border between Veracruz and Puebla. The last eruption was in 1846, and it is currently dormant. This volcano supplies freshwater to both Veracruz and Puebla.


Next on the list is Damavand, an 18,406-foot volcano located in the Alborz mountains in Iran. This volcanic summit is potentially active, and the last eruption occurred 7,300 years ago. Damavand is home to Brown Trout, Mountain Goats, and the Caspian Snowcock bird.

Mount Giluwe

Number 6 is Mount Giluwe at 14,331 feet in elevation. This volcano is located in the Southern Highland mountains of Papua New Guinea. The last known eruption was around 220,000 years ago. Mount Giluwe climate experiences occasional snow and frost. Due to its elevation, it experiences different biomes and thus is home to a wide range of flora and fauna.

Mount Sidley

The final volcanic summit is Mount Sidley on Antarctica. This volcano is 14,058 feet tall and forms part of the Executive Committee Range. This volcano is a dormant one with a 3-mile wide caldera.

Climbing Records

Although climbing the Volcanic Summits isn’t as popular as the Seven Summits, it is still considered a mountain climber challenge albeit somewhat easier than the Seven Summits. The first ascent of Ojos del Salado was on February 26, 1937. Mount Kilimanjaro, as the highest peak in all of the African continent, and one of the Seven Summits is more popular than the other volcanic summits. It has been summitted many times. The fastest trek to the top was 6 hours and 42 minutes on August 13, 2014. Mount Elbrus, another of the Seven Summits, is also popular with climbers. In 1956, it was climbed by 400 people to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Kabardino-Balkaria becoming part of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Pico de Orizaba hosts many climbers every year and has many routes to the top. The first ascent was in 1848. The first recorded climb of Damavand dates back to 905! Mount Giluwe was first climbed by western explorers in 1934. Finally, Mount Sidley, the most remote location, wasn’t climbed until 1990. That first ascent was part of a USAP scientific field research trip.

The Volcanic Seven Summits Of The World

1Ojos del Salado22,615Andes Range in Chile/Argentina,
3Elbrus18,510Caucasus Range in Russia
4Pico de Orizaba18,491Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in Mexico
5Damavand18,406Alborz Range in Iran
6Mount Giluwe14,331Southern Highlands in Papua New Guinea
7Mount Sidley14,058Executive Committee Range, Antarctica

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