Today, Raha Moharrak is known as a daring, young Saudi woman with a number of impressive feats under her belt, seven amazing accomplishments to be exact. Hailing from Hijaz, Moharrak is the youngest and the first Saudi Arabian woman to have climbed Mount Everest, and she has also scaled six other summits. Having challenged her parents’ wish for her to settle down and get married at a young age, the now 32-year-old took her love for adventure and travelling to the extreme, becoming a mountaineer who today has put Saudi Arabia on the world map.
These are the Seven Summits — the highest peak in each continent –that Moharrak has scaled to date:
1. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa
This was Moharrak’s first ascent in 2011. Rising 5,895 meters above sea level into the sky, Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania, with three volcanic cones – Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. The mountain has sadly taken many over the years. From January 1996 to October 2003, for instance, 25 people died while climbing the mountain, 17 women and 8 men.
2. Mount Elbrus, Europe
Like Kilimanjaro, Elbrus is also technically an inactive volcano located in the western Caucasus mountain range, near the Georgian border in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia, Russia. It stands at 5,642 meters above sea level, making it the highest mountain in Europe and the tenth most prominent peak in the world.
3. Mount Vinson, Antarctica
North of Vison Massif’s summit plateau, Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica, at 4,892 – 4,897 meters. Known for its majestic form, Vinson overlooks vast white glaciers below. Located more than 1,200 kilometers from the South Pole, this mountain is the most remote of the Seven Summits. It was also the last discovered, last climbed, and last named of the Seven Summits.
4. Mount Aconcagua, South America
Aconcagua is part of the Andes mountain range and is the second highest of the Seven Summits. At 6,961 meters, it is the highest mountain in South America, as well as the tallest peak in all of the Americas.
5. Mount Kosciuszko, Australia
An interesting fact about Kosciuszko, which rises 2,228 meters above sea level: it was originally named Mount Townsend. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ website, various measurements of the peak originally called Mount Kosciuszko showed it to actually be slightly lower than its neighbor, Mount Townsend. That is why the names were eventually transposed so that Mount Kosciusko remains the highest peak of Australia.
6. Mount Denali, North America
Once called Mount McKinley, Denali is located in south-central Alaska. Rising 6,190 meters above sea level, it is the tallest mountain in North America and the third highest of the Seven Summits. Its current name is based on the Koyukon name of the mountain, Deenaalee ("the high one"); the Koyukon are an Alaska Native Athabaskan people.
7. Mount Everest, Asia
Located in Nepal, China, and Tibet, Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It is located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas and its current official elevation recognized by both China and Nepal is 8,848 meters above sea level. According to Britannica, Everest has long been revered by local peoples. Its most common Tibetan name, Chomolungma, means “Goddess Mother of the World” or “Goddess of the Valley.” The Sanskrit name Sagarmatha means literally “Peak of Heaven.”