Hello, my name is Sebastian Merriman and welcome to my website (seb27.com) covering my bid to complete the Explorers Grand Slam in 2013 and 2014. In completing this, I have become the 5th Brit and 38th person in the world to have climbed the 7 Summits (the highest mountain on every continent) and skied to both the North and South poles.
I have prepared this website to give friends and family an idea of what those years of my life were like and as a grand memoir for my dotage!. I also found it difficult to get an idea of what various expeditions were like and impartial advice, so I hope that these pages will also be useful for anyone thinking of undertaking any of these expeditions.
Below I have set out some brief information about me, the Explorers Grand Slam and why I decided to take this challenge on.
The Explorer's Grand Slam is the combination of climbing the 7 Summits as well as skiing to the North and South Poles. The 7 Summits is the term for climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. There is debate about the technical aspect of these and you can see more on this in the Wikipedia links on the right hand side of the page. I have set them out below in the order that I did them:
Before starting this, I had no real mountaineering experience although I have spent a lot of time hiking, biking and camping in mountains but never at any real altitude. I did have reasonable cold experience from my years living in Mongolia - walking to work in -40c wearing a suit with a jacket and scarf is quite an experience!
I have always been pretty fit and strong, possibly a bit more than the ideal build for a mountaineer, and have always coped well with the cold.
Prior to this I had a desk job for about 13 years with a few breaks to travel the world until I combined the two working in Kazakhstan and then Mongolia over a 4 year period.
A very good question and one that I have dealt with unsatisfactorily on many occasions. To be honest I am not sure that there is even consistency in my answers.
There were a number of factors:
Accounts and photos of completing the Explorers Grand Slam - 2 Poles and 7 Summits. By Sebastian Merriman. Aconcagua, Ama Dablam, Carstenz Pyramid, Denali, McKinley, Elbrus, Everest, Kosciusko, Kilimanjaro, North Pole, Arctic, South Pole, Antarctic, Antarctica, Vinson, vertigo, climbing, mountaineering, skiing to the pole, skiing to the poles, seb2poles7summits, seb27, Seb Merriman, seb2poles, mountains, poles