Explorers Grand Slam

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The Explorers Grand Slam is an adventurers' challenge: to reach the North Pole, South Pole and climb the Seven Summits.


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 – from 89 degrees to the pole (at 90 degrees) – have been claimed as the Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree). 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 have summitted all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters (14 + 7 + 2). Likewise, there is some consensus that a True Adventurers Grand Slam is achieved by also visiting the magnetic north and south poles.[1]

David Hempleman-Adams became the first person to complete a Explorers Grand Slam in 1998.[2] In April 2005, Park Young Seok became the first person to complete a True Explorers Grand Slam.[3] In June 2018, Zhang Liang became the second person to complete this kind of Grand Slam[4]. 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.[5] 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.[6][7] Vanessa O'Brien became the first woman to complete the (Last Degree) Grand Slam under a single calendar year, doing so in eleven months.[8][9]

In 2014 Jing Wang became the fastest woman to complete the (last degree) Grand Slam in 142 days.[10]

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.

On 21 April 2015 Tashi Malik and Nungshi Malik became world's first twins and siblings as well as the first South Asians to complete the Explorers Grand Slam (last degree).

Colin O'Brady is the current world speed record holder for completing the Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree). He became the fastest person to complete the challenge, doing so in 139 days on 27 May 2016.[11][12][13][14]

Marin Minamiya became the youngest person to complete the Explorers Grand Slam (last degree) at 20 years old on April 12, 2017.[15]

People who completed The Explorers Grand Slam[edit]

  1. United Kingdom David Hempleman-Adams
  2. Norway Erling Kagge
  3. Russia Fyodor Konyukhov
  4. South Korea Heo Young-Ho
  5. South Korea Park Young Seok (first person to complete a True Explorers Grand Slam)[3]
  6. Canada Bernard Voyer[16]
  7. Norway Cecilie Skog
  8. Lebanon Maxime Chaya
  9. United States Ryan Waters[17]
  10. United States Stuart Smith
  11. Sweden Johan Ernst Nilson[18]
  12. Netherlands Wilco van Rooijen[19]
  13. Iceland Haraldur Olafsson (SP non-Coastal)
  14. Singapore Khoo Swee Chiow (SP non-Coastal)
  15. Jordan Mostafa Salameh (NP non-Coastal)[20]
  16. United Kingdom Newall Hunter (NP non-Coastal)
  17. China Zhang Liang (NP non-Coastal; second person to complete a True Explorers Grand Slam)[4]
  18. Poland United Kingdom Grazyna Machnik (NP non-Coastal)[21]

People who completed The Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree)[edit]

  1. South Africa Sean Disney (aka Mickey)
  2. South Africa Vaughan de la Harpe
  3. South Africa Sibusiso Vilane
  4. South Africa Arthur Marsden
  5. South Africa Andrew Van Der Velde
  6. United States Vernon Tejas
  7. United States Will Cross
  8. United States China Lei Wang
  9. United KingdomNeil Laughton[22]
  10. United Kingdom Jo Gambi
  11. Australia Rob Gambi
  12. United States Alison Levine
  13. United States Randall Peeters
  14. China Wang Yongfeng
  15. China Ci Luo
  16. China Liu Jian
  17. China Wang Shi
  18. China Zhong Jianmin
  19. China Jin Feibao[23]
  20. China Wang Qiuyang
  21. United States Suzanne K Nance[24]
  22. United Kingdom Richard Parks
  23. Guatemala Andrea Cardona
  24. United States John Dahlem
  25. United Kingdom Matthew Holt
  26. CanadaSwitzerland Arnold Witzig
  27. Canada Len Stanmore[25]
  28. Australia Cheryl Bart
  29. United StatesUnited Kingdom Vanessa O'Brien[8][9]
  30. United Kingdom Sebastian Merriman
  31. China Jing Wang[10]
  32. India Tashi Malik [26][27]
  33. India Nungshi Malik [26][27]
  34. Egypt Omar Samra [28]
  35. United Kingdom Russia Maria (Masha) Gordon
  36. United States Colin O'Brady[11][12][13][14]
  37. United Kingdom John Moorhouse
  38. United States Victor Vescovo[29]
  39. United States Sean Swarner[30]
  40. Japan Marin Minamiya[15]
  41. United States Michael W. Grigsby[31][32]
  42. Germany Julia Elinor Schultz[33]
  43. Malaysia Muhamad Muqharabbin Mokhtarrudin[34]
  44. United States Mike Gibbons[35][36]
  45. Greece Nikolaos Mangitsis[37][38]
  46. Spain Josu Feijoo[39][40]
  47. United States James Holliday[41]
  48. United States Joel Schauer[42]
  49. United States Alexander Pancoe[43]


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  2. ^ "North Pole party for 'Grand Slam' Briton". BBC. 1998-04-30.
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  5. ^ "Parks completes epic challenge". ESPN Scrum. 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
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  13. ^ a b "Behind-the-Scenes of Colin O'Brady's Record-Shattering Expedition". Men's Journal. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  14. ^ a b "Portland endurance athlete brings home two world records, makes us all look lazy". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
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  17. ^ Stonich, Avery. "What It Takes to Complete the Adventurers Grand Slam Unsupported". National Geographic. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  18. ^ Stats, Adventure. "Three Poles - NP, SP, Everest (excluding motorized)". Adventure Stats. Adventure Stats. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Adventure Stats". Adventure Stats. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
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  30. ^ WINFIELD, ALETTE. "Sean Swarner Becomes First Cancer Survivor To Complete Explorer's Grand Slam". PR Web. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  31. ^ Hendrick, Bill. "Cobb man's quest to conquer the Seven Summits". The Marietta Daily Journal (MDJ). Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  32. ^ Davis, Mark. "The thrill-seeker". Retrieved 2017-05-06.
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  38. ^ Kalfas, Efthimis. "Who is Nikos Maggisis, the first Greek to reach the South Pole". LIFOCITY. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  39. ^ ALCUTÉN, JACOBO. "Josu Feijoo, el primer astronauta diabético". 20 Minutos. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  40. ^ "Josu Feijoo recibe la Insignia Olímpica del Comité Olímpico Español". ABC. Diario ABC. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  41. ^ "Facts & figures of all 7summiteers!". The 7 Summits. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  42. ^ Placek, Christopher. "How Hawthorn Woods businessman vanquished Mount Everest". Daily Herald Chicago. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  43. ^ CBS 2 News Morning. "Northwestern Grad Alex Pancoe Climbs Denali". CBS Chicago. CBS Broadcasting Inc. Retrieved 25 June 2019.

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