Being a mountaineer requires physical and mental strength, as well as bravery, skill and presence of mind. Before being able to climb, extensive physical training is needed, and most adults don’t find it easy. However, there are notable young people who have impressed the mountaineering society and surpassed most adults’ trekking achievements. Here are some of the youngest mountaineers in the world:
A hike to Mt. Everest’s base camp is already a big challenge to most people, but a five-year old boy from India made it seem so easy. Harshit Saumitra is the youngest Indian and the youngest in the world to have reached the site. In 2014, Harshit went on a 10-day expedition with his father to reach the base camp, which is 17,650 feet above sea level in heavy snowfall. When he was three years old, he was already an aspiring mountaineer and has climbed difficult terrains since then.
Another kid from India, the then-six-year old Advait Bhartiya, has also reached the base camp of the tallest mountain. In 2016, he went on a hike for 13 days in Mt. Everest with his mother, who is an avid hiker. At a young age, Advait is already an adventurous boy who is into swimming, running and parkour. He also dreams of climbing Mt. Elbus.
An American boy from Utah, Jordan Romero was 13 years and 10 months old when he reached the peak of Mt. Everest in 2010. He was with his father, his step-mother and three Sherpa guides then.
By December 2011, 15-year-old Jordan successfully climbed the Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica, and became the youngest climber in the world to reach the seven summits – the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. He started scaling the summits in 2006, starting from Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The youngest girl to have completed the Mt. Everest hike, Malavath Purna was 13 years and 11 months old when she reached the summit in 2014 – just one month older than Jordan Romero when he got the same record. She started her journey to the top of the world just a month after 16 sherpa guides died in the peak of the mountain after a devastating avalanche.
Before Jordan Romero, British mountaineer George Atkinson was the title holder of the youngest climber on Earth to reach the seven summits. He completed the feat when he was 16 years old in May 2011.
George attempted for a world record and started his journey when he was 11 on Mt. Kilimanjaro. His last stop was Mt. Everest, and his hike made him the youngest British person to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain.
Arjun Vajpai is the world’s youngest mountaineer to have climbed four summits that are higher than 8,000 meters. In 2010, Arjun was the youngest Indian to have scaled Mt. Everest at the age of 16. In 2011, he went on to climb other 8,000 m peaks: Mt. Manaslu and Mt. Lhotse in Nepal. He spent the next years attempting to climb Mt. Makalu, a mountain twice as dangerous as Everest, but he has been unsuccessful three times.
However, in 2016, he finally scaled Mt. Makalu successfully. He plans to climb all 14 of the 8,000 m peaks in the world and to beat the current record holder, who was 32 years old when he accomplished the feat.
Marin Minamiya is the youngest Japanese to scale Mt. Everest, having finished the trail in May 2016 when she was 19 years old. She is also the youngest female in the world to reach the peak of Mt. Manaslu, the eight highest mountain in the world.
Marin is only one step away from completing the Explorer’s Grand Slam, an adventurer’s challenge to climb the seven summits and to reach the North and South poles. Once she reaches the North Pole in April 2017, she will be the youngest person to complete the challenge.
The then-13-year-old Indian girl has reached the peak of the highest mountain in Europe, Mt. Elbrus, in 2015. Jaahnavi is currently on her way to finishing her #Mission7Summit, wherein she aims to climb all the seven summits in the world to raise funds for the education of underprivileged girls in India. She has also scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro on 2014, leaving her with five mountains left to climb.