Explorers Grand Slam

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The Explorers Grand Slam or Adventurers Grand Slam is an adventurers challenge to reach the North Pole, the South Pole and all of the Seven Summits.[1]

The original concept involved the polar trips starting from accepted coastal points, involving long sledging journeys. Over time the significantly shorter, easier and less serious 'Last Degree' polar trips - only from 89 degrees to the pole - have been claimed as the Grand Slam (Last Degree Grand Slam). Currently, the climbing community and other leading organizations including the American Alpine Club, The Explorers Club, climbing companies such as International Mountain Guides, and the popular press all define the Explorers Grand Slam as having accomplished the Seven Summits plus (at a minimum - the last degree of) the North and South Poles. There is some consensus that a True Explorers Grand Slam means one will also has summitted all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters. Likewise, there is some consensus that a True Adventurers Grand Slam is achieved by also visiting the magnetic north and south poles.

David Hempleman-Adams became the first to complete a True Adventurers Grand Slam in 1998.[2] In April 2005, Park Young Seok completed a True Explorers Grand Slam.[3] In 2011, former Wales rugby union international Richard Parks became the first person ever to complete the (Last Degrees) Grand Slam within a single calendar year, doing so within seven months.[4] Cheryl Bart is the first Australian female and the 31st person worldwide to complete the Explorer's Grand Slam. She completed the North Pole on 22 April 2013 AEST.[5][6] Vanessa O'Brien became the first woman to complete the (Last Degree) Grand Slam under a single calendar year, doing so in eleven months.[7][8]

In 2014 Ryan Waters became the first American to complete "True Adventurers Grand Slam" by skiing full length, unsupported and unassisted North and South Pole expeditions and climbing the seven summits.

An attempt is currently underway by a team led by former Parachute Regiment officer Captain Martin Hewitt to be the first ever disabled team to complete the Explorers Grand Slam unsupported. Coined the Adaptive Grand Slam they are on course to complete it in 2016.[9] He is joined by fellow 'ex-Para' Terry Byrne and former US Ranger Matt Nyman. All were severely injured whilst serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

People who completed a Grand Slam[edit]

People who completed a Last Degree Grand Slam[edit]


  1. ^ "Balloonist plans altitude record". BBC. 1998-02-19. 
  2. ^ "North Pole party for 'Grand Slam' Briton". BBC. 1998-04-30. 
  3. ^ "Mr. Park completes the Grand Slam". EverestNews.com. April 2005. 
  4. ^ "Parks completes epic challenge". ESPN Scrum. 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  5. ^ "Historic feat for Australian woman conquering Explorer's Grand Slam". 
  6. ^ "Icy grand slam success". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  7. ^ "Boston's Vanessa O'Brien Completes 'Explorer's Grand Slam' in Record Time". Boston.com. April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Boston's Vanessa O'Brien Becomes First Woman to Climb Seven Summits". Grind TV. May 2013. 
  9. ^ Merz, Theo. "The disabled war veteran who took on the ‘hardest marathon in the world’". Telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Stonich, Avery. "What It Takes to Complete the Adventurers Grand Slam Unsupported". National Geographic. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ Laughton, Neil (2012-12-12). "Neil Laughton: the adventure interview". Telegraph Media Group (London). 
  12. ^ Lovitt, Rob. "Adventure traveler Len Stanmore is not your average retiree". Today Travel. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 

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