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Utah adventurer on final leg of 7 seas, 7 summits adventure

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man has climbed the highest peaks on each of the world's seven continents, and now he's about to complete another adventure: sailing across all seven oceans.

Martin Frey, 56, has climbed the highest peaks on each of the world's seven continents: Kilimanjaro, Denali, Aconcagua, Everest, Elbrus, Carstensz Pyramid, and Vinson in Antarctica.

Frey grew up loving the outdoors, especially sailing on the ocean. When he moved to Utah from California about 12 years ago and away from the sea, he fell in love with Utah's mountains, and eventually caught the climbing bug.

“I always enjoyed a little bit of a challenge,” Frey said. “In other words, maybe hiking a little bit further, or extending what I thought was possible at the time and trying new things."

With the seven summits under his belt, which took about seven years to accomplish, Frey wanted another big adventure —something he could do with his wife and young daughter.

"And so we ended up choosing to sail," he said.

Frey bought a new boat, and the family started a worldwide journey in March 2013.

“The first one was the North Atlantic,” he said. The journey continued with the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.

Frey's wife, Kym, and daughter, Lily, joined him for several of the journeys, spending months at sea and, at times, battling severe storms. They often stopped at small islands along the way visiting with church youth groups and others, telling their story.

“Then, all of a sudden, the idea sort of crystalized a little more," Frey said.

The idea: Sail all seven seas to go along with the seven summits he has climbed. Frey would become the first person to ever do that.

I think a lot of people in life tend to get into a comfort zone and they don't keep challenging themselves," he said.

Frey travels the world giving motivational talks to businesses and private groups, sharing his adventures and encouraging people to push themselves. He particularly focuses on young people.

“I love to speak to youth, challenging them to find their ‘Everest’ and figure out what their passion really is, and then to set their sights high to really be able to reach for something particular that's unique to them," Frey said.

He has one more sea to sail to accomplish his goal. In China on Sunday, he joined the Clipper Round the World amateur boat race to begin the 5,700-mile journey across the North Pacific.

Frey began his seven summits and seven seas journey 12 years ago. Now that it's coming to an end, he plans to give back and urge people to find a goal — even a small one — and go for it. It'll be life-changing, he said, as his journeys have been for him.

“Whether it's working hard on a farm or a career or starting a business, all of those challenges are good for the soul," Frey said.

He is expected to finish the final leg of his sailing journey about April 20 in Seattle.

Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc