My name is Dave Williams, I’m 33 years old and live in New Zealand. I have always had a passion for the outdoors and much to my mother’s chagrin, never once came home in clean clothes from a young boy. As an adult I have fostered this into both a career and a lifestyle, completing a degree in Outdoors and Leadership at AUT University and working much of the last decade in Health and Outdoor Education at Edgewater College.
A few years ago my life came to a crossroads… I was in search of a new adventure, one that would test my limits both physically and mentally. At the time a good friend mine, Ryan, invited me on a sea to summit of Mt Taranaki from the West Coast and it was here where the idea of sea2summit7 was born. The overall goal being to become the first person to climb the highest mountain in each continent from the nearest feasible coastline. I soon realised that this adventure was about more than just challenging myself, I wanted it to be about something bigger and better than that too. I had recently lost two friends, both with adventurous spirits, to depression and as a school health teacher I have witnessed daily the importance of the issue that is male mental health in New Zealand. Too often we try to tackle all our mountains in life alone, brought up with the “she’ll be right” attitude and thus prevented from asking for help.
And so the inspiration to complete this adventure truly began, with the aim of raising $100,000 and awareness for the Male Mental Health Foundation, and to write about every great, hard, brilliant, petrifying moment of it, no “she’ll be rights” in sight. My hope was that these mountains would be a team effort, my steps but your support.
In January 2013 the adventure began with Mt Aconcagua (Argentina). Unfortunately I was forced to turn around on my final summit push of Mt Aconcagua after 28 days of sweat, tears and lessons, and so was unsuccessful. My next adventure brought me to Tanzania (Africa) whereby I ran 9 consecutive marathons followed by a 5 day climb to complete the first ever sea to summit ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro. My final adventure of 2013 was Mt Kosciuzko (Australia), where my friend Ryan and myself completed the 225km south to north sea to summit over 6 days. In July 2014, in an epic 14 day battle, I completed the first ever sea to summit ascent of Mt Elbrus in Russia from the Black Sea on the Georgian coast. In January 2015 I attempted to once again summit Mt Aconcagua, however again at the very last summit push my body decided it had had enough and I had to make one of the hardest decisions on the adventure yet, to turn around for the second time. Failure is never easy, let alone failing it twice, but this is what motivates me to keep at the battle, and so this January (2016) I returned yet again to Argentina for my third attempt at the summit. This time with a great crew and a wealth of knowledge built up from my previous two attempts, I succesfully stood on the roof of South America at 2:15pm on the 16th of January. My gaze is now set upon completing the first ever Sea to Summit of Mt Denali (McKinly) in Alaska.
When the going gets tough i have the ability of being able to walk away from the shadow the mountain casts, but those who battle depression do not have this luxury.
“two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” Robert Frost
16 thoughts on “About”
Awesome journey to take on. Can you explain a bit more about what you mean by “fro sea level”?
Dave means starting from the nearest sea (beach/foreshore) and walking all the way from there to the mountain and on to the summit. For example, an Australian climber was the first to ascend Everest from sea level. He started in Calcutta (India) and walked to Nepal and then up through the Solu Khumbu to the south side of Everest and then all the way up to the summit. Nobody has done what Dave is attempting to do. The odds area against him but if he does it it will be and astounding feat of determination, endurance and skill.
Hey Dave are you still teaching and doing this epic adventure in the holidays! Good on you bro go hard and all the best! I look forward to following your progress! Be keen to find out more about it! Like are you doing all of these trips on your own?
Hey bro, good to hear from you. I have taken a year sabbatical from school so will attempt 3 summits this year. Then it will be a summit by summit basis in holidays and taking time off. School is super supportive as it helps them too in a way. How have you been? What r u up to now?
Yea they are all solo at the moment, are you keen to join me 🙂 ?
hey dave , dont let anyone take you to “Bocos”.
Hi Dave. We have just returned to NZ and read your blog. Keen to follow your journey. What date do you start this next phase? Love, your Hamilton whanau.
Great to meet you today good luck with the adventure stop in next time your in Perth.
Hi Dave. I have just hooked on to your site and wish you all the best. I will be following your adventures from now on with great excitement. I have climbed 4 of the highest mountains on 4 continents and other mountains on the remaining 3. I know Aconcagua can be a super hard challenge but trust me she will let you climb to her summit. The sites from the top are unbelievable and will stay with you forever. Bless you my friend and our thoughts are always with you.
Hi Mike thank for your kind words I am stoked you are filling the journey. It would be great to cross paths someday!
Hi Dave, Thanks so much for your reply. I have also lost friends through depression and will love to support you in finding a solution. I would also love to catch up with you, perhaps sometime in 2016. I`m sure we would have a lot in common and can share stories with each other. I am writing a book at the moment and I am now thinking of finding a way to show my support and to encourage others that are struggling with this horrible disease in the manuscript. I live in Kihikihi just south of Hamilton, so if it works with you we could make something happen. Thanks again, have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.
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Truely inspiring acts & adventures!
Just caught u on that comical NZ sports doco.. firewalkin your way past by one Broadcasters comments on how they ran/hiked Aucklands City’s 7 Volcanic hills in a day!
From someone who lived to give & taste the world (now lives in isolation), u gave perspective. Now Motivated to check out a peak tomorrow & adventure hike KareKare over the long weekend. Thanks Man.
Keep on trekin & profiling Depression thru Global marathons, climbs & world firsts!
Great cause and great story. Good luck in Nepal.
What an epic adventure, looking forward to following your journey/blogs. Big ups for opening up about an issue that is such a big issue for males in NZ. Good luck mate!!
You came into our school today (MHJC) and your stories were so cool and inspirational (especially the one about the Russian dude!;) ), you have definitely inspired others to mountain climb or to get out and follow our dreams. Thanks once again and good luck for the future (Everest in particular) I will keep up to your blogs and look forward to reading about your next adventures! Good Luck and thank you
Hi, I came across your site and suddenly the StS attempt came to a hold. Why is that? Just curious. I hope no one got injured.
Sorry for the late reply. It is still going but life has got in the way. I would have been in a=Alaska this year… but Covid. Thanks for the message