Explorer's Grand Slam

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Sir David Hempleman-Adams standing in Antarctica in 2018. In 1998 he became the first person to complete an Explorer's Grand Slam.
Vanessa O'Brien skiing the last degree to the North Pole as part of the Explorer's Grand Slam in 2013. She was the first woman to complete the Last Degree in under one year.

The Explorer's Grand Slam is an adventurer goal to reach the North Pole and South Pole, as well as climb the Seven Summits (Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson, and Puncak Jaya or Kosciuszko).


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 Explorer's 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 Explorer's 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 Explorer's Grand Slam means one will also have summitted all 14 peaks above 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) (14 + 7 + 2). Likewise, there is some consensus that a True Adventurer's Grand Slam is achieved by also visiting the magnetic north and south poles.[1] As of 2022, all terminology and guidelines regarding polar data records are being conducted under the Polar Expeditions Classification Scheme (PECS).[2]

In 1998, David Hempleman-Adams became the first person to complete an Explorer's Grand Slam.[3][4]

In April 2005, Park Young-seok became the first person to complete a True Explorer's Grand Slam.[5]

In 2011, former Wales rugby union international Richard Parks became the first person ever to complete the (Last Degree) Grand Slam within a single calendar year, doing so within seven months.[6]

On April 16, 2013, 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][4]

On April 22, 2013, Cheryl Bart became the first Australian woman and the 31st person worldwide to complete the Explorer's Grand Slam.[9][10]

In 2014, Jing Wang became the fastest woman to complete the (Last Degree) Grand Slam in 142 days.[11]

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

On April 21, 2015, Tashi Malik and Nungshi Malik became world's first twins and siblings as well as the first South Asians to complete the Explorer's Grand Slam (Last Degree).

On May 27, 2016, Colin O'Brady became the fastest person to complete the Explorer's Grand Slam (Last Degree), doing so in 139 days. He is the current world speed record holder for completing the Explorer's Grand Slam (Last Degree).[12][13][14][15]

On April 12, 2017, Marin Minamiya became the youngest person to complete the Explorer's Grand Slam (Last Degree) at 20 years old.[16]

People who completed the quest[edit]

Full Grand Slam (both poles from an outer coastline/shore)[edit]

In chronological order:

Grand Slam (one pole from an inner coastline/shore and one pole from an outer coastline/shore or last degree)[edit]

In chronological order:

  1. Iceland Haraldur Ólafsson (SP non-Coastal)
  2. Singapore Khoo Swee Chiow (SP non-Coastal)[21]
  3. United States Alison Levine (NP non-Coastal)[22]
  4. Jordan Mostafa Salameh (NP non-Coastal)[23]
  5. United Kingdom Newall Hunter (NP non-Coastal)[24]
  6. China Zhang Liang (SP non-Coastal)[25][26]
  7. Poland United Kingdom Grazyna Machnik (NP non-Coastal)[27]
  8. Netherlands Jaco Ottink (NP non-Coastal)[28][29]
  9. France Jérôme Brisebourg (NP non-Coastal)[30][31]
  10. United Kingdom Mark Shuttleworth (NP non-Coastal)[32]

Last Degree Grand Slam (both poles from 89 degrees)[edit]

In chronological order:

  1. South Africa Sean Disney[33]
  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. China United States Lei Wang
  9. United Kingdom Neil Laughton[34]
  10. United Kingdom Jo Gambi
  11. Australia Rob Gambi
  12. United States Randall Peeters
  13. China Wang Yongfeng
  14. China Ci Luo
  15. China Liu Jian
  16. China Wang Shi
  17. China Zhong Jianmin
  18. China Jin Feibao[35]
  19. China Wang Qiuyang
  20. United States Suzanne K Nance[36]
  21. United Kingdom Richard Parks
  22. Guatemala Andrea Cardona
  23. United States John Dahlem
  24. United Kingdom Matthew Holt
  25. Canada Switzerland Arnold Witzig
  26. Canada Len Stanmore[37]
  27. Australia Cheryl Bart
  28. United Kingdom United States Vanessa O'Brien[7][8]
  29. United Kingdom Sebastian Merriman[38]
  30. China Jing Wang[11]
  31. India Tashi Malik[39][40]
  32. India Nungshi Malik[39][40]
  33. Egypt Omar Samra[41]
  34. Russia United Kingdom Maria (Masha) Gordon
  35. United States Colin O'Brady[12][13][14][15]
  36. United Kingdom John Moorhouse
  37. United States Victor Vescovo[42]
  38. United States Sean Swarner[43]
  39. Japan Marin Minamiya[16]
  40. United States Michael W. Grigsby[44][45]
  41. Germany Julia Elinor Schultz[46]
  42. Malaysia Muhamad Muqharabbin Mokhtarrudin[47]
  43. United States Mike Gibbons[48][49]
  44. Greece Nikolaos Mangitsis[50][51]
  45. Spain Josu Feijoo[52][53]
  46. United States James Holliday[54]
  47. United States Joel Schauer[55]
  48. United States Alexander Pancoe[56]
  49. Iceland Leifur Svavarsson[57]
  50. United States Canada Khai Nguyen[58][59][60]
  51. United States Taylor Sweitzer

See also[edit]


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  6. ^ "Parks completes epic challenge". ESPN Scrum. 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  7. ^ a b "Boston's Vanessa O'Brien Completes 'Explorer's Grand Slam' in Record Time". Boston.com. April 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Boston's Vanessa O'Brien Becomes First Woman to Climb Seven Summits". Grind TV. May 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
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  12. ^ a b "Setting an epic world record". Retrieved 2017-01-23.
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  15. ^ 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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  39. ^ a b Trivedi, Anupam. "Doon twins set to make history, once again". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on April 22, 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
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  55. ^ Placek, Christopher. "How Hawthorn Woods businessman vanquished Mount Everest". Daily Herald Chicago. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
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  58. ^ http://7summits.com/ +SP:Dec 30 2009/Guide David Hamilton (ALE); NP:Apr 10 2008/Guide Christoph Hobenreich
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External links[edit]