Press Release

Martin Frey Makes History, Becomes First Person to Climb Seven Summits and Sail Seven Seas

56-year-old American Completes Epic Journey with Sail Across North Pacific from China to Seattle

SEATTLE (April 17, 2016) – American Martin Frey today completed an 11-year journey to become the first person to climb the Seven Summits (the highest summit on each continent) and sail the Seven Seas of the world. Frey capped his epic journey by completing the sixth leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, traversing over 6,000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean from Qingdao, China to Seattle with team Visit Seattle.

The grueling, month-long race from China to Seattle presented one of Frey’s most significant challenges to-date. Frey and other Visit Seattle amateur crew members persevered through a relentless barrage of storms, with wind speeds topping 120 miles per hour, and raced without a fully functional yacht due to a major breakage of their bowsprit. Massive waves and three exhausting four-hour deck shifts every day made the race a rough journey for Frey and the other sailors.

“The North Pacific presented us with a truly hostile environment, and without a great support team of my family, friends and the entire Visit Seattle crew, I couldn’t have done it,” said Frey. “Spending the last month at sea has been a challenge, and I’m grateful to be back on solid ground, no longer soaking wet, cold or seasick. Even though I’m exhausted, I’m grateful to have achieved my long sought goal and also made a bit of history in the process.”

Frey’s Seven Summits quest began in 2005 with Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Upon summiting Antarctica’s Mount Vinson in 2012, he had climbed the highest peak on every continent and set his sights on sailing the Seven Seas beginning with the North Atlantic. In addition to the Clipper Race, the only global yacht race open to amateur sailors, Frey embarked on sailing expeditions to cross the Southern and Arctic Oceans, and circumnavigated the world on his catamaran, sailing almost halfway with his family. Frey’s journey collectively spans more than 35,000 nautical miles and more than 14.5 vertical miles.

Following his unprecedented achievement, Frey hopes to inspire others through speaking engagements that blend personal lessons from his own adventures and 30-year business career. He previously spent 13 years in Silicon Valley as a senior director for Cisco, where he ran a global support organization for Cisco’s top service provider customers. In 2004, Frey moved to Utah, where he served as managing director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. He is now an active angel investor.

“Climbing the highest peaks and sailing the world’s most imposing bodies of water has brought me full circle, literally and figuratively. It’s been a humbling experience at times, but I’ve realized that I can battle extreme conditions and persevere to the end. I look forward to reflecting on what I’ve learned through this decade-long adventure, and sharing those lessons with family, friends, youth, business leaders and their organizations.”

Seven Summits

  • Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa) – Summited August 21, 2005
  • Denali (North America) – Summited June 25, 2009
  • Mount Aconcagua (South America) – Summited January 11, 2011
  • Mount Everest (Asia) – Summited May 20, 2011
  • Mount Elbrus (Europe) – Summited August 6, 2012
  • Carstensz Pyramid (Oceania) – Summited October 6, 2012
    • On November 10, 2013, Martin also summited Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia since some consider it to be part of the Seven Summits, not Carstensz Pyramid.
  • Mount Vinson (Antarctica) – Summited December 5, 2012

Seven Seas

  • North Atlantic – Completed sail from Gibraltar to Saint Martin on March 26, 2013
  • South Pacific – Completed sail from Saint Martin to Brisbane, Australia on November 3, 2013
  • Indian Ocean – Completed sail from Torres Strait to Cape Town, South Africa on October 23, 2014
  • South Atlantic – Completed sail from Cape Town, South Africa to Fortaleza, Brazil on December 12, 2014
  • Southern Ocean – Completed sail from Ushuaia, Argentina to Antarctic Mainland near Argentine Islands on January 21, 2015
  • Arctic Ocean – Completed sail from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to Nuuk, Greenland via the Northwest Passage on August 24, 2015
  • North Pacific – Completed sail from Qingdao, China to Seattle on April 17, 2016

To learn more about Frey: