Seven Summits

The mountains depicted throughout the IMMPACT website are the "seven summits," the highest mountains on each of the earth's continents. The seven summits were selected as the theme of this website and also for emphasis in the IMMPACT logo to highlight the international nature of IMMPACT, which has drawn its participants from multiple countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The objective of IMMPACT meetings has been to achieve consensus on recommendations regarding clinical trials of pain treatments. On some occasions, however, agreement has not been easy to achieve. So too with the identity of the seventh summit. The first list of seven peaks, prepared by Richard Bass, included Mount Kosciuszko, the highest mountain on mainland Australia, as the seventh summit. Reinhold Messner, the renowned mountaineer, later disagreed, arguing that New Guinea's Carstensz Pyramid was the highest peak on the Australian continent. Debate continues today regarding whether the seven summits should be the highest mountains on a continental mass or on a continental mass and its surrounding islands. Depending on the answer, the seventh summit is either Mount Kosciuszko or the much higher Carstensz Pyramid.

Elevation (m)
Elevation (ft)
Everest Asia Nepal 8,848 29,029
Aconcagua South America Argentina 6,962 22,841
Denali North America United States 6,194 20,320
Kilimanjaro Africa Tanzania 5,895 19,340
Elbrus Europe Russia 5,642 18,510
Vinson Massif Antarctica claimed by Chile 4,892 16,050
Carstensz Pyramid Australia -
New Guinea
Indonesia 4,884 16,024
Kosciuszko Australia Australia 2,228 7,310