Gary Johnson at the summit of 16,024 foot Carstensz Pyramid (or Puncak Jaya) on New Guinea, the highest mountain on an island in the world, and the 6th of his 7 summits. Photo by Gary Johnson.
BY WILLIAM PRIEDHORSKY
Los Alamos Mountaineers
The May 24 Mountaineers meeting will be the club’s first in-person meeting since early 2020, hosted by PEEC at the Nature Center. There will also be a virtual option. This milestone event will feature a presentation on the “Seven Summits”, the highest mountains on every continent, by former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Gary will share the story of his adventures, challenges on each mountain, and the logistics behind the summit hikes. He says “people have congratulated me on ‘conquering the summits’ to which I always quickly respond to by saying ‘I didn’t conquer any of the seven but was the recipient of a whole lot of good grace to be able to get to the top of all of them never having to return for a second try.’”
In 1987, Gary Johnson took up rock climbing; the intense focus on the present changed his life. In 1989, he read the book Seven Summits by Dick Bass and Frank Wells ,which documented their quest to be the first persons to summit the highest mountain on all seven continents. After reading the book, he set a goal to do the same, thinking it would be a great way to see the planet. It took him 21 years, from 1993 to 2014, to accomplish the feat.
Mountaineers’ meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month. This presentation will be in-person at Los Alamos Nature Center and live-streamed on Zoom. Registration is required and in-person seating is limited. Registration for both in-person or virtual attendance can be found at