Want to hear about a real adventurer?
Over the course of four years Cody Hudson is summiting the seven highest mountains in the world.
Yes, that includes Everest.
And yes, it also includes Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica.
Why would someone want to do such a thing?
It’s all so he can raise a quarter of a million dollars for Save the Children, going towards children’s education in Nepal.
Cody’s lust for life and taste for adventurer comes from his late grandfather, whom Cody describes as “an avid hunter, trekker and mountain lover, often volunteering on rescue teams operating on Mount Cook: New Zealand’s highest and deadliest mountain.”
While his grandfather wasn’t able to realise his dreams of scaling peaks around the globe, he did pass on his passion for the great outdoors.
Summit 1: Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa
Cody’s 7 Summits Project began last December, with Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
The highest freestanding mountain in the world, in true Cody style he describes it as “without a doubt the most popular, and probably the easiest, of the Seven Summits – bar Australia’s own Mount Kosciuszko.”
Despite this, the effects of altitude on a climber make it far from certain that even seasoned travellers will make it the summit of the roof of Africa.
For Cody, the journey to the snow-capped peak on summit day was a mere seven hour hike.
Summit 2: Mount Kosciuszko, Australia
Hot on the heels of Kili’s snowy peak was the tallest of the Australian Alps, Kosciuszko (“Kosi” to its mates) in New South Wales.
Cody notes on his blog that there is a lot of debate since around whether Kosi should be included among the 7 Summits. He notes that it was included in Dick Bass original list of the 7 Summits in 1985, but the controversy centres around whether Australia is a continent.
It turns out that there is no one hard-and-fast definition of what a continent is, how many continents there are, or what the continents are.
Some sources will list six continents, each starting and ending with the same letter for ease of memory. These are Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Antarctica and Australasia. Others will tell you there’s seven continents, counting North and South America as separate continents.
While agreeing on seven continents, there’s further debate about whether Australia is a continent, or whether it is Australasia or Oceania.
It might sound unimportant, but these distinctions matter: because it means the difference between the 2,228 metres of Mount Kosciuszko, the smallest of the summits, or all 4,884m of Papua New Guinea’s Carstensz Pyramid.
Cody describes himself as “a circumstantial patriot” who considers Australia a continent, and Bass’ original list to be definitive – so he crossed Kosciuszko off the list in March.
All Work and no Play
What does an adventurer like Cody do between summiting mountains?
Easy: he trains. It’s no surprise that Cody’s craziness doesn’t begin and end with just the summits.
While you’d expect the usual training, like running, or swimming (which Cody swears by, for helping with lung capacity), or rock climbing, Cody goes all out.
On any one day you can expect to find him scaling the 30 steps of Jacob’s Ladder in Perth’s picturesque King’s Park 50 times in one day, or going running along the Kokoda trail: while carrying a 17kg pack on his back.
Summit 3: Mount Elbrus, Europe
This month found Cody on the slopes of Europe’s Mount Elbrus.
The Russian giant rises 5,642 metres into the air, and is a long-dormant volcano — with its snowy slopes making Cody’s home for eight days.
After a few days of acclimatisation hikes, Cody and his group setting off at 3am for the summit. Conditions were fine… at first — but by the time they had reached 5,200m a blizzard set in — and would follow them to the top of the continent’s highest peak.
This didn’t stop them reaching the summit, marking the 7 Summits Project off as three down, four to go.
Aside from training hard, another important activity for the 7 Summits Project is fundraising, and raising awareness of the project.
It’s with both of these in mind that Cody will be climbing the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest this August, without even leaving Perth.
At the University of Western Australia’s annual book sale event for Save the Children, Cody will spend over 15 hours on a treadmill, spread over two days. Anyone is welcome to drop in and join Cody for part of his journey: there will be a second treadmill alongside the crazy climber if you want to cross Mount Everest off your own bucket list without having to deal with the little things like training, altitude, or international air travel.
Now it’s your turn to get involved. Follow the 7 Summits Project blog, on Facebook, or Instagram – and most importantly donate to help raise vital funds for the children of Nepal. The country has been hit with two devastating earthquakes this year alone, so your help is needed more than ever.