Hoyland's next Project: Seven
Seas, Seven Summits
Hoyland, the Everest climber who’s search for George
Mallory’s camera led to the finding of his body, has
another quest. He’s
planning to sail around the world with a group of
climbers, sailing in each of the Seven Seas and
climbing each of the Seven Summits. Having already
sailed a yacht to Antarctica across the toughest
ocean- the Southern Ocean- and climbed the hardest
pair of Seven Summits- Everest and Denali- he’s
ideally suited to complete his task.
is something I’ve wanted to do most of my life. Pete
Boardman first thought of this challenge, and my hero
Bill Tilman would have loved to do it- but probably on
his own in an old wooden boat. I’m planning to do
this in comfort.”
already looking for a boat- and a crew. “This will
be a huge adventure. To make it easier I plan to do it
in legs, with time off in between mountains to let the
summiteers go home and build up their reserves.
"It's going to be expensive, obviously, but it
could be paid in stages."
sixty-foot steel yacht is needed for the adventure,
equipped with all modern communications. Graham, a
television producer/director, will be filming the
adventure, and broadcasting it live.
brief description of the trip !
to now, over 65 climbers have become Seven Summiteers.
means they’ve climbed Mounts Aconcagua (South
America, 6960m/22,834ft), McKinley (North America,
6194m/20,320ft), Vinson (Antarctica, 4897m/16,023ft),
Kilimanjaro (Africa, 5895m/19,340ft), Elbrus (Europe,
5642m/18,510ft), Everest (Asia, 8848m/29,028ft),
Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia, 4884m/16,024ft), Kosciuszko
(Australasia, 2228m/7310ft). Oh, that’s eight- some
people count Kosciuszko instead of Carstenz.
plan is to sail around the world from continent to
continent, climbing to the highest point of each one.
does have similarities with mountaineering. Both
activities involve uncomfortable battles with the
elements interspersed with short moments of pleasure,
and both seem to attract similar personalities,
although there is surprisingly little cross-over
between the two sports.
the most remarkable person who was both a
climber and a sailor was Bill Tilman. He explored
untrodden territory in the Himalayas and elsewhere
when there were still blanks on the map. He led the
1938 Mount Everest expedition- the first lightweight
attempt. In his fifties he realised he couldn’t
climb high anymore so he asked someone to show him how
to sail. He learned quickly and well, bought Mischief
, his first and most loved of his three Bristol Pilot
Cutters, and undertook some astonishing voyages. His
first one took him across the Atlantic to South
America, through the Magellan Straits to Peel Inlet ,
where he landed and promptly made the first proper
crossing of the Patagonian ice-cap.
was a real explorer and probably wouldn’t have
anything to do with the Seven Summits. But for the
millionaire adventurer with time on his or her hands,
here’s an itinerary.
in your 60-foot steel yacht from the pool of London
you first head south through the North Atlantic, the
first of the Seven Seas, sail past Gibraltar through
the Mediterranean and then into the Black Sea.
Here you will land and travel into the interior to
climb Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain. This
extinct volcano is the highest point of the Caucasus,
between the Black and Caspian Seas. It’s in the far
south of Russia, in what was once the USSR, and not
far from Chechnya. If you manage this fairly
straight-forward climb, you can return to your yacht
and head south again. (We may return home for rest
after each mountain, leaving the boat in harbour).
you are going to pass through the Suez Canal, emerge
into the Red Sea and sail down the Eastern seaboard of
Africa. You will hop off here and tackle Kilimanjaro,
Africa’s highest, another ex-volcano and surrounded
by spectacular vegetation and wildlife. Not a great
challenge, but where else would you find snow on the
heading east now, to tackle the Big One. You sail
across the Indian Ocean, which is the second of your
Seven Seas, and land at Bombay. To get to Mount
Everest, Asia’s highest, you can travel across
northern India by train and then arrive at Kathmandu
in Nepal by road. Too much has been written about this
mountain. Suffice to say it’s harder than
non-climbers say it is.
note that it is heading north-east an inch and a half
every year and growing bigger, so be quick.
your boat, which your kind skipper (me) has sailed
round to Calcutta for you, and rest your weary bones
on the foredeck while you head past the Andaman
Islands off the coast of Thailand on your way to Irian
Jaya, to try to climb Carstenz Pyramid. There’s some
seriously dense jungle here, inhabited by the Dani
people, who still live in a Stone-Age world. The men
wear penis-gourds, and birds of paradise feathers in
their hair , while the women wear raffia-grass skirts.
Their way of life is under threat by their rulers 2000
miles away in Indonesia, and reminds us of our
responsibilities as tourists to try to help the local
people we meet.
climbers ask: when do you climb Carstenz? Answer: any
time, it rains constantly. After this, you may as well
head through the South Pacific (your third Sea) and
land in New South Wales, Australia. Hire an easy
Rentacar and knock off Kosciuszko- it’s been said
you could drive a rental car (the best off-road
vehicle you can get) up this one. Meanwhile you ponder
the next and most difficult sea-leg of your journey,
the voyage through the Southern Ocean (your fourth
Sea) to the shores of Antarctica. This is why I
specified a sixty-foot steel yacht, as you may be
nudging growlers (small icebergs) on your way to
Vinson, the last continental summit to be discovered
and climbed. This fact is hardly surprising as it lies
well south, at 80 degrees, but if you and your boat
can survive the journey it’s a fairly simple climb.
The Southern Ocean is very, very exciting. Contact me
for details. Oh, and Vinson is a long way from the
back on board and head north through the Southern
Ocean, up into the South Atlantic, your fifth of the
Seven Seas. Jump ship at Buenos Aires and make for
Aconcagua, the second highest of the Seven Summits,
near the Argentinean border with Chile. They’ve
built a hotel at Base Camp since I was last there, so
you can rest in comfort. The climbing isn’t
too hard in this one, but you must choose your
you’re heading north to climb the eighth of our
Seven Summits, as some think . Your skipper has passed
through the Panama Canal and you rejoin ship to
continue up the western seaboard of North America,
through the North Pacific, the sixth of the Seven
Seas. You land at Anchorage, Alaska and the skipper
will continue north into the Arctic Ocean. You now
head for the one-horse town of Talkeena. There might
be only one horse, but this town has more small
aircraft per capita than anywhere in the USA. The
reason is partly the large number of lake-side holiday
lodges serviced by private float-planes, but also
because of all the climbers heading for Denali (the
mountain formerly known as McKinley), the highest
mountain in North America. To get to base camp you get
into a cramped Cessna which has skis as well as
wheels. You take off on the wheels and fly for a
hundred miles across bear-infested lakes and forests.
You then skim through a gap between the jagged teeth
of rocky ridges, and the pilot pulls a lever which
puts the skis down. The plane then lands heavily on
the glacier at the foot of Mount Denali.
is a very cold mountain with fearsome weather, and at
first you approach on skis, dragging your supplies on
a sledge. But if you succeed on this one you’ve
climbed your last mountain.
rejoin the boat on Alaska’s north coast and return
through the Arctic Ocean, your seventh and last Sea.
you’ve just completed the Seven Seas, Seven Summits.
You are the first person ever to complete it.
anyone? Get in touch through my friends at
are several past articles on Graham and the
Mallory/Irvine Mystery that have appeared on
EverestNews.com. This is far from a complete list, but
some highlights focusing on Graham. Take a look.
Graham Hoyland and his article on THE FINDING OF GEORGE
MALLORY A must read
Friday March 17th 2000, EverestNews.com had the pleasure of attending Graham Hoyland's Lecture
"Unraveling the Mystery of George Mallory" in the Baird Auditorium at the
National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.
Graham Hoyland Q&A 7/19/2000 on his Mallory
& Irvine 2000 Expedition
2000 Expedition: Graham
Hoyland and the BBC returns to Everest
in Spring 2000 in search of the camera and Irvine.
interesting Mallory Background:
Juan Oiarzabal, "To
the Edge of The Impossible" or AL FILO DE LO IMPOSIBLE in Spanish
to recreate the
ascent of 1924 of Mallory and Irvine of Everest.