Czech mountaineer Radek Jaroš close to completing Crown of the World


Czech mountaineer Radek Jaroš is yet another step closer to conquering the highest mountains of each of the seven continents, the so-called Crown of the World. After scaling Aconcagua, the highest point of South America, at the start of this year, along with his colleague Jiří Tůma, there are only two items left on his list of peaks to conquer.

Elbrus, photo: Archive of Radek JarošElbrus, photo: Archive of Radek Jaroš

The 54-year-old Czech mountaineer Radek Jaroš spent the first day of 2019 ascending the Nest of the Condors, a camp on the route to the Mount of Aconcagua, located at 5400 metres above sea level.

Radek Jaroš, photo: Zdeňka KuchyňováRadek Jaroš, photo: Zdeňka Kuchyňová Five days later, on January 6 at exactly five minutes to twelve, he set his foot on the highest point of the Western and Southern Hemisphere, towering above the surrounding peaks in the Argentine Andes in the height of 6,959 metres above sea level.

Upon returning to the Czech Republic this week, Mr Jaroš told Radio Prague what was the most difficult thing about his latest ascent:

“It was the waiting. The mountain is really high, so you must take your time to properly adapt to the conditions. It might have taken me less time, but my partner was in such height for the first time, so he needed enough time to acclimatize.”

Jaroš says the most surprising thing was that the Aconcagua, unlike the other 7,000-meter summits, was not covered in snow, so he and his partner were mostly walking on rock and sand.

Although he admits the mountain was not the most challenging of the co-called Seven Summits, he says you still have to approach it with respect:

Photo: Archive of Radek JarošPhoto: Archive of Radek Jaroš “Aconcagua is a very windy mountain. The wind chill temperature on top is -35 degrees. So you really shouldn’t underestimate the preparation and equipment.”

Radek Jaroš is the only Czech to complete the Crown of the Himalayas and only the 15th person in the world to reach all 14 of the world’s highest peaks – all above 8,000 meters, without using oxygen mask.

Soon after completing the task he set out on a mission to conquer the highest summits of the seven continents. He told Radio Prague how the idea came about:

“Mount Everest was my first peak above 8,000 meters. It is the basis for both the Seven Summits and for Crown of the Himalayas, which I completed by ascending K2.

Mount Everest, photo: Pavel Novák, Creative Commons 2.5Mount Everest, photo: Pavel Novák, Creative Commons 2.5 “Having climbed Mount Everest, I decided to complete the Crown of the World as well. I started in 2016 by conquering Denali, the highest peak of North America.”

With Aconcagua scaled, only two mountains remain on the list of mountains to be completed. Radek Jaroš outlines his plans for the future:

“On December 20 this year I would like to set off to Africa to ascend Kilimanjaro. It will be a month-long expedition, and I will be joined by several other people. And in the fall of the following year, I am planning to conquer the Carstenz Pyramid, the highest mountain of Australia and Oceania.”