David’s quest for seven summits

Scaling Mount Everest was not enough for Maryborough raised and educated David Cole.

Right now the 43-year-old adventurer is on a quest to become the seventh Australian ever to climb the Seven Summits — the tallest mountain on each continent.

He has already completed five of them including the tallest, 8.8 kilometre high Everest in 2008.

Earlier this year, David, now based in north east China, added the fourth and fifth summits to his cloud-scraping tally.

On Friday, just hours before he left China bound for Antarctica and his sixth summit, 4892 metre high Vinson Massif, David had a quick phone chat with The Advertiser.

“It’s just a goal I set. Yes, it is addictive,” David said.

“Mt Denali (6198 metres) in Alaska was just superb this year. That was a big trip.”

David will be accompanied by a small close-knit team as he tackles Vinson Massif and its minus 30 degree temperatures.

“This is probably one of the most adventurous I s’pose,” he said.

“Just getting there, you fly to the southern tip of South America and then it’s five and a half hours on a transport plane.

“Then we land on a blue ice runway, then get another plane for an hour and a half to the base of the mountain.

“As soon as we’re outside the plane it’s around minus 30 degrees celsius.

“With Vinson Massif it will be just the cold and the extreme environment and the remotenesss.”

He has given himself from November 14 to December 4 to complete the Vinson Massif mission.

Then he flies to Argentina with three weeks set aside to take on the tallest summit in the Andes and South America — 6962 metre high Aconcagua.

“I tried to climb it 10 years ago and got to 200-300 metres from the summit but was not successful because of the very strong wind,” David said.

“You couldn’t stand up basically.”

In Maryborough on Friday David’s mother Dawn Cole confessed that being the parent of a global mountaineering adventurer was nerve-wracking.

“He’s taken a year off work (formerly as a supervisor with an axle manufacturing firm) to do these mountains so he’s got to get these summits done,” Dawn said.

“There’ll be a lot of ice work with this one and temperatures ranging from minus 25 degrees to minus 35 degrees.

“He usually has a satellite phone with him but we probably won’t have a lot of contact this time because he’s out of range.

“I don’t sleep well when he’s on a mountain.

“Every step he climbs we climb with him.

“He always was inquisitive. When he was just three years old he scaled a six foot fence to get his bike, unlock the garage and then took off down the street.

“We are so proud of what he does. We do worry but we try not to let him know.”

After David completes the mammoth summits that loom ahead he plans to embark on what some may consider an even more daring adventure next year.

“He’s getting married to his Chinese fiance next May,” Dawn said.

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