Kammerlander/Stangl: “Seven Second” and “Third" Facts
Friday, 30 March 2012 00:07

Update October 2013:

In the meantime the Seven Second Summits "case" is finished. Check the updated table
It is confirmed now by Guinness World Records, that the first climber, who achieved the Seven Second Summits, the Seven Third Summits and the Triple Seven Summits is Austrian climber Christian Stangl! For details see later publications. 

When Hans Kammerlander ascended Mount Tyree on January 3rd, 2012, he claimed to be the first person, who finished the so-called "Seven Second Summits". Two days later a German journalist contacted 8000ers.com and asked for facts about Mount Logan’s summits. After several climbers and experts compared Kammerlander's summit photo with the ones from some other mountaineers (one example), who were on the Main-Peak before and after his ascent it appeared that he only climbed the about 2,35 km (1,46 miles) distant and 34 metres lower West-Peak.

In his recent lectures he stated that he will fly over the mountain in May to prove, if he really was on the wrong peak and if he confirms the error for himself then he will climb Mount Logan again, this time to the Main-Peak.

Unnecessarily the subject became unpleasant, when a user of an Austrian forum asked if Kammerlander was cheating with his “Seven Second Summits” program. This was not very kind indeed, because surely Kammerlander believed that he was on all seven true summits, when he announced his finishing of the set. But his written reaction in the same forum was also far from being diplomatic, when he named the writer “desk culprit” and the journalist “rude and arrogant”. If a well-known mountaineer wants to be the world's first, who finished a defined set of mountains, which should be recognized by the climbing community and which results in commercial success, then the climbing community should be allowed to ask for confidence, if there are doubts. With unkind comments an error by accident is not corrected. The opposite is the case, he should be thankful, when someone wants to help him to finish the set correctly. As known from personal communication it was the intention of the journalist to contact Kammerlander, not to cause a scandal or for similar reasons. It will be interesting to know Kammerlander's statement, after he confirmed his error for himself.

Unfortunately there are also serious doubts about another mountain of Kammerlander’s climbing program. Since the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data are available it appeared that Puncak Trikora in New Guinea is not the second highest mountain of Oceania. Another mountain named Puncak Mandala is about 30 metres higher according to the SRTM data. This is well documented in detail on the English version of Wikipedia since November 12th, 2011 and the new approximate altitude was noted since more than six years on this site.

The Ultras-Project (2004-06) researched and mapped every summit on earth with 1.500 meters or more of prominence; best topografic maps, SRTM and other remote sensing data were used. The Ultras of Indonesia were investigated in 2005 by Jonathan de Ferranti (UK) and Aaron Maizlish (USA). Mandala and Trikora were analyzed but only Mandala fits the criteria. The results were published in 2006 on official project website (peaklist.org). The author due his own work for the project (High Asia) was able to make a check of all project data. The result was:

Puncak Mandala, 4760m (Prominence: 2760m, Dominance: 58%)

Puncak Trikora,  4730m (Prominence: 1247m, Dominance: 26%)

In history Mandala was quoted with some inaccurate altitude values, the first measurement was 4700m arround 1915 by the dutch military from the south. Since hundred years reprinted without any new research by various maps.


In 1959 first ascent of Julianatop (Mandala) was made by a Dutch expedition; on the top a view to the barometric altimeter showed 4640m. They used this inaccurate value for their report and sketch map and it was copied since multiple times.

So before a climbing program begins or at least before it is announced as being finished it would be better to prove and confirm all facts in detail.

Report (in German)  

As a result it seems that Kammerlander has climbed only five of the seven so far, but also his rival Christian Stangl has only five, not six, as he claims. He notes on his website that he climbed Ngga Pulu as the second highest “mountain” of Oceania, but at first this is not a separate mountain. The col to the Carstensz Pyramid is only about 200 metres lower than the top of the peak. It would be the same if he had climbed the East-Peak of Elbrus as the second highest “mountain” of Europe (as accepted by the Seven Summits community; the true European HP should be Mont Blanc). In addition Ngga Pulu's ice cap was melting over the years and now it is lower than two other Carstensz ridge peaks. So it disqualifies for more than one reason. Stangl still have chances to be the first who climbed the true “Seven Second Summits”, but also other mountaineers could win this “race” before Kammerlander and Stangl, maybe British climber Sean James, who already climbed four of the seven. 

For the “Seven Third Summits” Stangl would only need Europe’s Shkhara to finish.

Check this table for altitudes and ascent dates. 

Update 07.05.2012: Just to be sure Stangl also ascended Puncak Mandala some weeks ago, the table is updated.