THE SEVEN SUMMITS | With Tony Van Marken

Tony van Marken (50) is a successful businessman and avid adventurer and has established a reputation as an outstanding motivational speaker. He has led or participated in over 30 high-altitude mountaineering expeditions on seven continents and has climbed numerous classic peaks around the world.  He reached the summit of Everest via the South Col route on June 2nd, 2005, to complete his quest to become the first South African to climb the original Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents.

In 2002, at the age of 37, Tony climbed Kilimanjaro, which ignited a passion to climb some of the world’s great mountains. In less than three years, on his first attempt, he climbed each of the world’s seven continental summits, namely; Everest (8,850m) in Asia, Vinson Massif (4,897m) in Antarctica, Mount McKinley (6,194m) in North America, Kilimanjaro (5,895m) in Africa, Mount Elbrus (5,642m) in Europe, Kosciusko  (2,228m) in Australia and Aconcagua (6,962m) in South America.

He has climbed sixteen 4,000m peaks in Europe including the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc (3x). He completed the first, South African ascent of Mount Shinn, the 3rd highest peak in Antarctica, and completed back-to-back ascents of Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring in New Zealand, a feat rarely achieved. He has also climbed the world’s sixth highest peak, Cho Oyu in Tibet at 8,201m.

Tony is a member of the American Alpine Club (AAC), Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA), Himalayan Club and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

Tony is also a marathon runner, road cyclist, mountain biker and certified open water diver (PADI). He has completed numerous standard and ultra marathons, the Cape Epic Mountain Bike Race (regarded as the Tour de France of mountain biking) and numerous other endurance events.

Tony has had a successful career as a venture capitalist, high-tech entrepreneur and management consultant, having worked in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada and France.

Recognized as a leader in his field, Tony was honoured in 1998 as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and was awarded the 1996 Canadian Venture Capital Association’s (CVCA) Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

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