Australian Steve Plain summited Mount Everest with a host of others on Monday, in turn breaking the speed record for the legendary Seven Summits climb. Summiting each of the tallest peaks on every continent in just 117 days, 36-year-old Plain smashed the previous record of 126 days by more than a week.

New 7 Summits World Speed Record. Project 7 in 4 complete. Here Steve stands on the summit of Everest, with Jon @mountexpeds and Pemba. Pemba assisted with Everest and Lhotse while Jon has been with Steve as friend and climbing partner for 6 of the 7 summits plus the high double, Nuptse attempt and Kosciuszko Steve has inspired many on his journey and we thank everyone for their wellwishes along the way and particularly since Monday. He will soon be back, rested and ready to return his many messages. Until then stay tuned for more photos in coming days. #Project7in4 #complete #everest #nepal #7summits #teamwork #believe #achieve #celebration #culmination #support #recover #mountain #mountaineer #mountainclimbing #worldrecord @mounteverestofficial @everest_roofoftheworld @natgeoadventure #abcmyphoto #nevergiveup

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But that might not even be the most spectacular part about Plain’s record-breaking feat. Less than four years ago, Plain was nearly paralyzed while bodysurfing and being tossed by a wave directly into the sand, head first.

According to The Australian, “Plain broke his neck after being dumped by a wave at Perth’s Cottesloe Beach in 2014. The accident left him with multiple fractures to the C2, C3 and C7 vertebra, a contorted spinal cord, ruptured disc, dissected arterial artery, and torn ligaments. Doctors told him he might end up in a wheel chair.”

That was the very moment in December 2014 that Plain decided he was going to complete the Seven Summits expedition.

Plain dubbed the expedition Project 7 in 4, climbing all seven summits in less than four months. He did so not only for his own goals, but to also raise awareness and funds for Spinal Cure Australia and Surf Life Saving Western Australia. Through all of this, he hopes to help prevent spinal cord injuries like the one he suffered.

Having started in January 2018, Plain wrapped up on Mount Everest on Monday along with a team of others. His total official time was 117 days, 6 hours, 50 minutes, and as stated earlier, this blew away the previous record of 126 days set last year by Polish climber Janusz Kochanski.

In order, this is the route that Plain took:

– Vinson (16,050 ft), Antarctica
– Aconcagua (22,837 ft), South America
– Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft), Africa
– Puncak Jaya (16,024 ft)/Kosciuszko (7,310 ft), Australia
– Elbrus (18,510 ft), Europe
– Denali (20,322 ft), North America
– Everest (29,029 ft), Asia

As Plain said in an Instagram post after breaking the record, “What a day. I’m actually lost for words. Three and a half years ago I was lying in hospital with a broken neck and at that time set myself the goal climbing the 7 Summits in under 4 months. Today I completed that goal.”

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