Adventurer Conquers Highest Mountains and Seven Seas In 11-Year Journey
It all started with an add-on to a safari trip.
Martin Frey may be, officially, the most adventurous man in the world. The explorer has conquered the famous seven summits and seven seas as of April 17, in an 11-year journey that brought him around the world—and possibly into the Guinness Book of World Records.
His first expedition was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and he did it simply as part of a trip, never expecting to take on the other prominent mountains. "I was simply doing a safari thing and thought Kilimanjaro would be a fun challenge," he told CNN. "It was just an add-on to the trip."
A few years later he decided to tackle Alaska's Denali, which sparked the idea to take on South America's Mount Aconcagua, Asia's Mount Everest, Europe's Mount Elbrus, and Oceania's Carstensz Pyramid—the collective group known as the seven summits.
By 2012 he finished that mission and decided he'd tackle the seven seas, too. He started by crossing the North Atlantic in his Lagoon 560 catamaran, AMARA. The 56-year-old then had his wife and daughter join him to cross the South Pacific. For his journey across the Southern Ocean, he hopped on board a large sailboat, and then onto a steel hull boat through the Arctic Ocean.
The North Pacific Ocean was his final leg, which he finished on April 17 in the Clipper Round the World race, as a crewmember on Visit Seattle. Guinness World Records got wind of the feat and their team is working to confirm he's the first person to climb the seven summits and sail the seven seas.
"I'm not a sailing or mountaineering expert; I'm just an ordinary guy, a guy who happened to choose these challenges in order to reach my own potential," he said. "Sometimes we predefine our comfort zone, or put boxes around what we think we're capable of. I think I have a much stronger inherent sense of what I'm capable of achieving as an individual."