Trip Report
7 Wonders of the World in 13 Days
Monday January 26, 2015 2:30pm
I just finished going around the world in 13 days. Here is a trip report at the link below and some photos. See how to do it here - >> 7 Wonders of The World

I also put together this >> Travel Checklist of what I brought on the trip. The single most important factor in making this happen was only carrying a small backpack. And now that's the only way I travel. So long carry-on!

Chichen Itza - Mexico
Chichen Itza - Mexico
Credit: Chris McNamara

Machu Picchu - Peru
Machu Picchu - Peru
Credit: Chris McNamara

Christ Statue Overlook - Brazil
Christ Statue Overlook - Brazil
Credit: Chris McNamara

Layover in Paris (not a 7 wonder, but cooler than most of the New ...
Layover in Paris (not a 7 wonder, but cooler than most of the New 7 Wonders)
Credit: Chris McNamara

Colosseum Rome Italy
Colosseum Rome Italy
Credit: Chris McNamara

Petra Jordan
Petra Jordan
Credit: Chris McNamara

Credit: Chris McNamara

Taj Mahal India
Taj Mahal India
Credit: Chris McNamara

Hers and His Bathrooms, India
Hers and His Bathrooms, India
Credit: Chris McNamara

Toboggan ride down from the Great Wall of China
Toboggan ride down from the Great Wall of China
Credit: Chris McNamara

Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
Credit: Chris McNamara

Also see our backpacking checklist

  Trip Report Views: 8,379
Chris McNamara
About the Author
Climbing Magazine once computed that three percent of Chris McNamara’s life on Earth had been spent on the face of El Capitan – an accomplishment that left friends and family pondering Chris’s sanity. He has climbed El Capitan more than 70 times and holds nine big wall speed climbing records. In 1998 Chris did the first Girdle Traverse of El Capitan, an epic 75-pitch route that begs the question, “Why?”

Outside Magazine called Chris one of “the world’s finest aid climbers.” He is the winner of the 1999 Bates Award from the American Alpine Club and founder of the American Safe Climbing Association, a nonprofit group that has replaced over 5000 dangerous anchor bolts. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and serves on the board of the ASCA and the Rowell Legacy Committee. He has a rarely updated adventure journal, maintains, and also runs a Lake Tahoe home rental business.


Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
  Jan 26, 2015 - 03:21pm PT
"it was necessary to have someone. Therefore, ask the guy that you have been dating for only two weeks."

Lucky man....

"It’s still new, so those annoyances’ that really start to get on your nerves in six months are still relatively cute and adorable."

Really lucky man.......

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Jan 27, 2015 - 06:03am PT

I was at Chichen Itza the same day!

Social climber
  Jan 26, 2015 - 05:47pm PT
hey there say, chris... wow wow and wow, again!

this is a great share!! thank you so very!!!

i've been keeping tabs on your share, at the ol' facebook, :)

so glad, to hear, that this went off so very well!!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Jan 26, 2015 - 05:53pm PT
nice Chris. Some good images in there

Social climber
  Jan 26, 2015 - 06:01pm PT
Awesome! What a cool experience!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 26, 2015 - 06:02pm PT
Where's the pix of Giza?

13 days too short......
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Jan 26, 2015 - 06:10pm PT
Looks like fun, but I'd swap the Rio statue for the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Maybe the fear was CMac would get caught bouldering it out? :-)
c wilmot

  Jan 26, 2015 - 06:09pm PT

when I visited a decade ago Chichen Itza had two ambulences sitting at the base waiting for people to fall while going up or down the stairs. Great view from the top, being the Yucatan is so flat. Went inside a sketchy one way tunnel/staircase inside it too- not sure that is allowed anymore either

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
  Jan 26, 2015 - 06:23pm PT
Must be that the world is about to end. You got in under the wire. Good job.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jan 26, 2015 - 11:15pm PT
You apply speed to other things! Not just the El Cap climbs you do, eh?! Great stuff!

Trad climber
  Jan 27, 2015 - 12:42am PT
We arrived into Beijing, noting that this was quite possibly the largest Chinatown either one of us had ever been to

My laugh became a snort at that one :)

I was curious as to why one would rush through these different adventures each worthy of time to savor- but after reading the report, I can see the appeal of a whirlwind tour and trial by fire for a new relationship. If you're still together, congratulations!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
  Jan 27, 2015 - 06:35am PT
way to offset those solar panels

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
  Jan 27, 2015 - 06:46am PT
Talk about relationship advancement. Cool, fun trip.

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Jan 27, 2015 - 07:18am PT

Petra guide book next?

thanks for sharing!


Trad climber
Golden, CO
  Jan 27, 2015 - 07:25am PT
Very cool!
this just in

Justin Ross from North Fork
  Jan 27, 2015 - 07:44am PT
Great read. That is borderline masochism. Would have loved to hear the conversation you had with Tommy or Kevin. After listening to their first person ascent they ask, "So what have you been up to?"

Big Wall climber
Newbury Park
  Jan 27, 2015 - 09:34am PT
WOW! What a trip.

Watch out, Alfrey and Honnold might beat you with a 7 in 7!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jan 27, 2015 - 10:17am PT
Pretty darn cool, if it wasn't for all that airline travel.
I hope we clicked on enough ads to date Russians that you went first class! :-)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Jan 27, 2015 - 11:18am PT
labrat - Yes, a lucky man.

drljefe - No way, what time? We were there right when they opened.

survival - Pyramids of Giza should be on the list. But its not. As with all lists, pretty subjective. For us, it was more just trying to find a really cool lists of cities and cities to plan a global scavenger hunt around. Any ideas for next around the world scavenger hunt? 7 coolest cities in 12 days... etc.

Clint - Yes Rio statue was a let down. But hanging out on Ipanema Beach was a party. Total zoo. Was awesome but 1 full day of rio was plenty... well one crazy night in Rio would have been nice too.

C wilmot - yeah when i went to Chichen Itza 2 decades ago they let you climb all over it. Not anymore. And its WAY more crowded.

ButAgain! - yeah i was laughing at that line when Megan came up with it for days. Yeah everyone asked us the same thing "whats the rush" but the truth is it was all about the adventure. The time pressure difficulty of piecing it all together. Also, much less expensive because we only had to stay in hotels 5 nights. We spent a lot less than most people spend on a trip to Europe for a week.

Wade Icey - So true. Im going to have to install a lot more home solar panel systems to offset this trip. Ill get on it.

This Just In - i actually was talking with Kevin and Tommy during this... but mainly helping them with minor logistical questions. Apparently they were too distracted by something to care about my trip. Weird.

RP3 and Reilly - haha!
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Jan 27, 2015 - 12:02pm PT
Nice trip. Looks like a ton of fun. I'm surprised that Petra was on the list but not Giza, particularly because it's not just one pyramid but three. And then there's still Saqqara too, and Abu Simbel and Karnak... Petra is a place that everyone should hit, particularly for at least a couple of days. Most, like me, don't find out when they get there is that there is a lot of exploring to be had if you have the time. All kind of trails and watercourses built by the Nabateans. Terrific place. I have a similar photo of me bouldering by the Treasury too.

Oddly enough, Paris, Rome and the Yucatan are all on the short list for upcoming trips now that the youngest is old enough to be on a plane for several hours. Not the same trip though. Too old and slow, plus there's so much see at each place.

Edit: I forgot to mention your cool photo of the Taj. Everyone gets the full frontal picture but clearly great views from across the river, which most don't even know is there because no one ever takes pictures from that side. Looks like nice hazy, pre-monsoon weather.

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jan 27, 2015 - 03:49pm PT
A "pretty-fun" report. I can only suggest one upgrade for your next time. Not Advil PM for sleep, but a real no-hangover sleeping pill, like Ambien, makes all the difference in the world for that kind of schedule. You can also wake up and function well if need be. Like anything else, a little advance practice with Ambien is good. I know exactly how much I need to knock me out for 4 hours, 6 hours, & praise the sleep deities, the ultimate joy of 8 hours of sleep from a stressed-out start.

Worse-yet! I've only been to three of the stops on your tour. Guess I need to get out more.

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
  Jan 29, 2015 - 10:45am PT
Congrats on a great trip. Kinda quick, though. I'm guessing you didn't get to meet many locals.

I've hit all your list but the Taj Mahal, Petra, and the his and hers bathrooms in India.

Not sure I'll get the last one.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Jan 29, 2015 - 11:27am PT
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
  Jan 29, 2015 - 12:06pm PT
Way to go, Chris!

(Very envious over here.)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Feb 8, 2015 - 09:31pm PT
Here is the travel checklist of everything we brought on the trip
ß Î Ř T Ç H

Boulder climber
  Mar 8, 2015 - 10:22pm PT
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
  Mar 8, 2015 - 11:25pm PT
What a great trip....but nobody cares if you tele....(had to throw that one in there)....The world is a great place and life is to be enjoyed! Good on ya!...

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Mar 9, 2015 - 10:10am PT
Dave Kos// real thing.

Just livin' the dream
  Mar 9, 2015 - 11:24am PT
Great TR, of you.

Now I have to go take a nap, you wore me out just reading it. :-)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Apr 27, 2015 - 07:54am PT
I just added this video to the TR. If you like it, please share!


Trad climber
Washington DC
  Apr 27, 2015 - 08:03am PT
Looks fun. In the past, for work I used to have to go around the world in eight days once per quarter. It about killed me. Took two to three weeks to recover from the jet lag and lack of sleep.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Apr 27, 2015 - 08:05am PT
Sweet! Great to see you doing Trip Reports, Fearless Leader. So much fun.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Apr 27, 2015 - 08:24am PT
It was a bit of a blur... and that was the best part! Also found that a time restraint often focuses you to do as much as possible. Paris layover was from 9pm to 4am and probably saw more and did more than if we'd been in normal lazy mode and had 3 days.

Ice climber
  Apr 27, 2015 - 08:40am PT
This should have tested the theory that if you get jet-lagged enough, you come back around to being in phase with where you were at. Or at least with where you thought you should be.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Apr 27, 2015 - 10:00am PT
Turns out, after a few days jet lag is just the new normal. And not a big deal. Proof that you can adapt to just about anything... even living on the side of 3000-foot walls ;)
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Apr 28, 2015 - 08:47am PT
More on why we did it and did it so fast... it actually wasn't my idea at all. I was just a very willing participant.

the Fet

  Apr 28, 2015 - 01:26pm PT
Great TR and adventure. Of course many people would say you are crazy Americans for cramming in so much in so little time. Our vacations are similar and its nice to know someone else is crazier than us.

Europe 3 weeks: England, France, Monaco, Italy, and Switzerland.
Uganda: 6 days 3 national parks with gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, upper Nile boat ride, and boat trip on lake Victoria.
Hawaii 11 days, 3 days surfing, 2 days scuba, 2 days camping in the beach, 2 days kayaking and snorkeling Kealakekua bay, and we still hit the beach 6 or 7 times.

Sorry I keep adding to this long post, but I keep thinking of things to add.

When I think back on these or more mellow trips I remember and appreciate the highlights best anyway. I'd rather see a bunch of wonders in multiple places than spend a week relaxing and seeing one really cool thing.

Its a bummer you can't climb chitzen itza anymore. Glad I did it when you could. Actually that was a cool vacation too 1 week "relaxing" at club med Cancun, still did wake boarding, sailing, etc. daily. And one week exploring yucatan, Cozumel diving, isle mujares.

I've found a good way to overcome jet lag is to just stay up super long/late and go to sleep at like 10PM the new local time. If you were smart it would be best to adjust your schedule an hour a day at hour at home in preparation for your new time zone. But by accident my wife and I got busy at work and didn't start packing for our Uganda trip until midnight and our flight left at 8AM. We got about 45 minutes of sleep at home, then fell asleep immediately on the plane. Woke up in Amsterdam, and BAM our schedules were already like 6 hours adjusted. I took a nap the next day to catch up on some sleep and in 2 days I was totally adjusted to a time zone 10 hours different than home. They say it usually takes 1 day to get used to each 1 hour of time zone difference.

Mountain climber
Somewhere Fun
  Apr 28, 2015 - 12:52pm PT
Pretty cool and pretty cool girl...but..I have to ask: are speed records going to be kept now? (sarcasm).
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Apr 28, 2015 - 07:35pm PT
By far the most common reaction is "why not spend more time in each spot." I guess you just have to experience a trip like this to appreciate... or I'm just weird. Probably both. Most of my most memorable El Cap climbs have been speed climbs. I spent all the time energized and appreciating the climbing and place... not dealing with haul bags.

T best answer for me is... why not do both? Travel to places and sit tight and then travel to as many places as possible in a short amount of time. I spend a lot of time living in 3 different places for a few months a year: Tahoe, SF, Carbondale. And yeah its fun to be a pseudo local at all 3. But often the most fun is launch of on those crazy trips where every day you are in an entirely new place with no idea of what could happen.

Best cure for jet lag is to not be bored. If you're packing your day full of fun, you ignore jet lag until you pass out for 10-14 hours... then repeat.

I have photos somewhere of climbing Chicken Itza when I was 12 when you still could... wish I could dig those up.

Gym climber
Seattle, WA
  May 11, 2015 - 03:14pm PT
what exactly is the point of doing this? you spent less than 2 days at each country, and spent half the time making annoying self absorbed videos.
I often wonder without the existence of social media, would any of you narcissistic self absorbed first world dweller would ever attempt something so pointless on your own?

Trad climber
  May 11, 2015 - 04:43pm PT
Great TR - looks like a heck of a lot of fun!

Social climber
The High Desert, CA
  May 11, 2015 - 10:01pm PT
That's an awesome trip. Looks like a blast and a very cool way to get to know someone know as well. Two thumbs up.

Mountain View, CA
  Jun 5, 2015 - 06:46pm PT
Some non-climbing media on this one: