"Summitting a big mountain, and getting down safely, takes a huge degree of skill, experience, and luck. To summit multiple 'big' mountains across the globe, in a very short time frame is impressive. Chapeau."
- International climbing legend and Team Montane Athlete Tom Ballard.
For most, summiting one of these mountains would be the feat of a lifetime; a jewel in the crown of stories to tell grandchildren, or friends back in the warm, cosy confines of civilization. Some manage a few spaced out by a few years to allow for the immense logistical task of organizing such an expedition and to give the mind and body to heal after. Bagging them all typically takes years - to date, only 248 people have succeeded.
To even come close to breaking the record is a mammoth undertaking, and puts you in a very exclusive club. The previous world speed record for summiting all seven stood at 126 days by Polish mountaineer Janusz Kochanski in 2017.
Steve Plain and Project 7in4 set out to break this record. With the help of Team Montane Athlete Jon Gupta, he has ascended some of the most iconic mountains in the world, endured incredible physical hardship and potentially deadly conditions.
To achieve this, he needed a lot of things to go well; even the slightest delay could lead to missing the record. A single equipment malfunction or illness from food or altitude could spell disaster for the expedition as a whole. Even something as supposedly trivial as losing a glove or getting wet could increase the already palpable risk of injury or worse.