Once he was medically retired from the military, Ben needed a new purpose and a new challenge.  He took a mountaineering course and attempted Mt. Baker.  His first 2 climbs, Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier, were unsuccessful, meaning, he didn't summit.  But he didn't let that stop him.  His next attempt was one of the Seven Summits: Mt. Elbrus in Russia.  He made it to the summit on August 1, 2014 which began his quest to complete the Seven Summits.  His goal is to complete the seven in 2019, which will make him the first Purple Heart Recipient to ever climb all seven.  In the coming years he would love to achieve the Explorer's Grand Slam: 7 Summits, North and South Poles

The 7 Summits

carstensz pyramid

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mont Blanc

Mt. Kosciuszko

Mt. Elbrus

Mt. Denali

Mt. Aconcagua

Carstensz Pyramid

Mt. Vinson

Mt. Everest

The Seven Summits are the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.  There are two different versions of the list based on the locations and heights of each peaks.  Some of the differences are based on the proximities to continent borders.  The Messner and Bass versions are the most common.  They are the same except for the conflicting Australian peaks.  The Messner version includes Puncak Jaya, which is the tallest mountain on the Australian continent which includes Papua New Guinea.  The Bass version replaces Puncak Jaya with Mt. Kosciuszko, the tallest peak on mainland Australia.

Mountaineering Achievements

In his quest to conquer both versions of the 7 Summits and more, Benjamin has successfully reached the following summits:

        Mt. Elbrus, Russia (Europe's Highest) 18,510 ft.

            *August 1st, 2014

        Mt. Kiliminjaro, Tanzania (Africa's Highest) 19,341 ft.

            *March 1st, 2017 (2nd Attempt)

        Mt. Everest, Nepal (Asia's Highest) 29,029 ft.

            *May 22nd, 2017 (2nd Attempt)

            *3rd Purple Heart Recipient to achieve this summit!

        Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina (South America's Highest) 22, 841 ft.

            *January 12th, 2018

        Mauna Kea, Hawaii (North America) 13,803 ft

            *June 12th, 2018

            *Arguably the tallest mountain on earth...from oceanic base to summit 33,000+ ft.

        Carstensz Pyramid, Papua New Guinea (Australasia) 16,024 ft.           

            *August 16, 2018       

            *Messner List 

        Mt. Vinson, Antarctica 16,050 ft.

             *January 4th, 2019

        Mt. Rainier, Washington (North America) 14,411 ft.

             *July 26th, 2019

Upcoming Climbs

        Mt. Denali, Alaska 20,310 ft.

             *May 2020

        Mt. Aspiring, New Zealand 9,951 ft.

        Mt. Cook, New Zealand 12,218 ft.

        Mt. Kosciuszko, Australia 7,310 ft.

        Chimborazo, Ecuador 20,564 ft.

        Cotopaxi, Ecuador 19,347 ft.

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