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18 May 2024

UAE resident has three peaks left to scale

Digging up the gear and food cached in Camp 1 before heading down to Vinson Base Camp (Supplied)

By Staff

Atte Miettinen, a UAE-based mountaineer, reached the summit of Vinson Massif, the highest mountain on Antarctica on the 26 November.

The achievement capped a two-week expedition to Antarctica, the highest, driest, windiest and coldest continent on earth. The nine-member expedition enjoyed good weather conditions but still had to endure temperatures of -35C to reach their goal.

“Antarctica is a special place and watching the vast untouched emptiness, one can’t help but feel privileged just to be there,” said Miettinen, “This is one of the last true wildernesses of the world and I’m humbled to have been able to tread places that very few other people have done before me.”

Miettinen is looking to join an exclusive group of mountaineers that have scaled the highest mountains of each of the seven continents, referred to as the Seven Summits, as the first person from his native Finland.

The successful expedition to Vinson Massif represents fourth of the Seven Summits for  Miettinen with expeditions to the remaining three mountains; Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina,  world’s highest mountain Mount Everest in Nepal and Denali in USA, scheduled over the next seven months.

“Climbing the Seven Summits is a huge challenge and each mountain poses significant and different challenges, so a lot can go wrong in the next seven months”. Miettinen was also quick to add: “However, I remain excited about the challenge ahead.”

His next target is 6,959m Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest mountain in South America, which Miettinen hopes to summit before the end of the year.

Seven Summits

Seven Summits refers to a mountaineering challenge of climbing the highest mountain of every continent: Cerro Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Elbrus (Europe), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Everest (Asia) and either Carstensz Pyramid or Mount Kosciuszko (Australia).

First achieved in 1985 by Richard Bass, to date, only 334 people have stood on all the Seven Summits.

Atte Miettinen is a Finnish telecom executive and mountaineer based in Dubai. Atte’s Seven Summits project is in partnership with Halti, MTV3, and Estlander & Partners.