7 continents; 7 summits

Feb 16th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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7 continents; 7 summits

I heard some disturbing news around the dinner table Saturday night:

The tallest mountain in Australia isn't in Australia!

Mountaineering friends were talking about the 7 summits which is mountaineering talk for climbing the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents.

I asked, "what is the summit for the Australian continent" and was told its actually on an Indonesian island: Carstensz Pyramid 4884 meters!

The tallest mountain in political Australia : Mt. Kosciuszko: 2228 meters ( they said it doesn't count because you can get there on a lift?)

Say it ain't so. How could the country of Australia have lost its tallest ( continental) mountain to Indonesia?
Please be more careful in the future.


AndrewDavid is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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You have been ferretting again in those statistics havn't you?
I guess the answer to your question is that hardly anyone knows we exist so they wouldn't necessarily know that we are not an off-shoot of Indonesia - I mean you have only got to go to Darwin and you could well wonder just where the dickens you really were.
However our little hill, Mt Kosiuszko, is it I am afraid and not only can you get there by lift you can walk up the thing without getting puffed. Actually Australia does have glaciers and good skiing mountains but they are on Heard Island which is 4,000 klms from the West Australian coast.
lizF is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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A mountain you can climb via ski lift is my kind of mountain - but I did get a nasty shock when I discovered that you do have to walk some way from the lift to reach the summit.

Australia's mountains are low because they're in the the geologically oldest continent, so have suffered most erosion. That's what I was told at school, anyway. Contrast this with nearby New Zealand and Papua-New Guinea.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 12:09 PM
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But Liz, Does that make them part of the Antartica continent? Oh no, another one of our mountains is missing!

Neil. There's a business opportunity for you: The rickshaw service from the top of the lift to the top of the peak.

writing from approximately 2300m
AndrewDavid is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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I know where you are AD. I love Santa Fe though I am not sure if I would love it in winter. Wish we had the house styles here though.
Heard Island is a long way from Antarctica actually - about halfway between Australia and South Africa and down a bit.
lizF is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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When I read "into thin air" I was almost embarrassed to find these ppl who were climbing the highest peaks in all 7 continents over one year regarded Kosciusko as a joke.

I reckon our poor performance in these "continental records" explains all the "big merinos,big bananas and of course "big trouts" around the place...sort of continental inferiority complex.

Do we still hold the highest temp. ?used to be Marble bar when i was a kid.

Carstenz is in new guinea...that part of new guinea was invaded by the javanese quite recently...the people are melanesian and there is a resistance movement to indonesian rule.
My point is that new guines is not an indonesian island.

Of course the limit of the aussie tectonic plate.. Gondwanaland.. is marked by the Wallace line btween bali and Lombok....well into modern indonesia.
johhj_au is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 03:19 PM
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John ,j \
My understanding was that Carstensz was part of continental Australia but not political Australia
. Tectonic plate; should we were about earthquakes as well as spiders. sharks, snakes and stingers?

AndrewDavid is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 04:06 PM
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Yes A/D you are correct

up until the end of the last ice age Tassie,new guinea and the current mainland oz were one contiguous landmass.The book Guns, Germs and Steel has a fascinating chapter on the biological and cultural differences that happened since then.

The highland valleys and mountains of New guinea are fascinating places where the european cultural clash occurred as late as the 1930's.

The statement that new guinea is an indonesian island is quite provocative in the context of post war local history (particularly events in east timor) it was once one of the few "colonies" australia ever had.

The concept of gondwanaland is also interesting...the great southern supercontinent...you have got a few weeks to complete your knowledge of aussie plate tectonics.

As for quakes and the rest of that stuff...no worries. its all a storm in a teacup.

By god though, the threat of the big one worried me when i lived in california.The day i experienced a 5.8 quake was the day i decided to head back to god's country.
johhj_au is offline  

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