Outdoors

Challenge21 climber Jake Norton sets out for three tallest peaks on each continent

Jake Norton, a mountain climber from Golden, CO, is in Uganda this week to climb Mount Stanley's Margherita Peak, a 16,763' peak in the Ruwnezori Range, as the next step in what he's calling Challenge21. Climbing the Seven Summits -- the tallest peaks on each continent -- has long been a hallmark achievement for climbers around the world; Norton's tripling up the ante and going for the Triple Seven Summits, aiming to be the first climber to bag the three tallest peaks on each continent, 21 peaks in all, in an effort to raise $2.1 million for the Denver-based non-profit Water For People and draw attention to the global water crisis.

We caught up with Norton by email from Africa, where he'll also be climbing Kenya's 17,057' Mount Kenya this month (he's already crossed Africa's tallest peak -- Tanzania's 19,340' Mount Kilimanjaro -- off his list, having previously made the summit three times) to learn more about Challenge21, the work of Water for People, and the allure of the world's tallest mountains.