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Explorer profile: Mariam Ktiri, mountaineer

Mariam Ktiri is the only woman on Earth to have climbed the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents, and Mount Lhotse in a single year. We caught up with Mariam to find our all about her expeditions in the mountains, and get some real advice for our next mountaineering trip.

Check out our podcast with Mariam

Mariam KtiriMariam Ktiri: Mountaineer


Mariam Ktiri is known for completing the seven summits challenge + Mount Lhotse in just 1 year. Mariam also remains the only woman on Earth to have done so! The seven summits challenge typically takes climbers 5-7 years to complete, due to the complex logistical arrangements, physical hardship and financial cost, but through complete dedication, excellent planning and fundraising, Mariam set her sights and completed her goal.


In this episode of Expedition REAL, Mariam talks about the complexities of the seven summit challenge, and how she overcame great obstacles, such as the extreme cold weather on Mount Denali, and the high winds of Mount Elbrus… Not to mention the fact that she submitted Mount Everest, and then traversed across and submitted Mount Lhotse right after!


What is the seven summit challenge?


The Seven Summit Challenge, is the attempt to climb the highest mount on each continent on Earth. A simple goal, but far from easy to do. Every year, many thousands of people across the globe dream of accomplishing this tremendous achievement, but very few go on to actually realising their dreams. Mariam Ktiri on the other hand planned her expeditions perfectly, enabling her not only to finish the challenge, but in record time.


She’s documented her experiences on her blog here too, so we can all get a feel for what it’s actually like.


The Seven Summits are:


Mount Everest, Mount Aconcagua, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Vinson, Mount Denali, Mount Elbrus and Puncak Jaya.


What is the cost to complete the 7 summits challenge?


Well, this is a tricky question. The answer depends on which expedition company you use, your appetite for risk and shortcuts, and how experienced you are from the start. The total cost for the seven summits challenge will certainly be in the £100-200k range, but could reach £300k if you’re starting from complete scratch.


This cost would include pretty much everything you’d need to complete it, from training, equipment, guides, support, permits, visas, flights, accommodation etc. This is the biggest reason why people spread it out over several years, or fail to complete it at all.


This being said, you might be able to raise corporate sponsorship in exchange for marketing materials and visibility, and this would be a sales process of it’s own. However, raising this cash is certainly possible, and you can use our expedition planner to manage these tasks.


Why does it cost so much?


Remember, these mountains are the highest physical points on each continent, so by default carry risks and require highly skilled and professional expedition leaders.


Some mountains, like Mount Kilimanjaro, can be summited for around £2,000, while others like Mount Vinson (Antarctica) and Mount Everest, carry price tags around the £50-75,000 mark each. This is because of the significant risks, specialist teams, time taken and the various transport and logistics that go into each expedition.


Also, remember that paying these fees does not guarantee success either. If weather conditions turn quickly, your attempt may be abandoned if it poses risk to the safety of the mission.


Where can I find out more about Mariam Ktiri?


Her blog:
Instagram: @Mariamktiriadventures

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