1985: Pop Go the Summits

Oct 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

Dick Bass at Snowbird, Utah, July 24, 2002.

On April 30, 1985, with help from guide and filmmaker David Breashears, Texas millionaire DICK BASS topped out on Mount Everest, becoming the first person to climb the highest peak on each of the seven continents—Everest (Asia), Mount Elbrus (Europe), Aconcagua (South America), Mount McKinley (North America), Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Kilimanjaro (Africa), and Mount Kosciusko (Australia). The 72-year-old Bass, who founded and owns Utah's Snowbird ski resort, hopes to climb Everest again in 2003, during the 50th anniversary year of Sir Edmund Hillary's first ascent. "At first, the professional climbers were pissed. They resented some 55-year-old yahoo from Texas climbing these mountains that they'd spent their lives dreaming about. There was a lot of talk about how I 'bought the mountain.' Well, bullshit. I failed three times on Everest before I made it. Dave and I climbed that thing like any two climbers going out together—just the two of us, with our Sherpa, and without fixed ropes. When I see guides now, they hug me, because the Seven Summits made the mountain-guiding profession. It made them! Some 100 people have done the summits by now—they're the equivalent of earning a super Boy Scout merit badge."

Interview by Bruce Barcott

Filed To: Snow Sports

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