The Youngest to Summit Mount Everest

When I was 13 years old I was happy enough to be out riding my bike or building a camp over in the near by woods, today in 2014 it seems that children are into computer games or sat in front of the TV and not outside getting fresh air. So it is a surprise to know that there are two youngsters who have both reached the summit of Mount Everest while still at such a young age.

Malavath Poorna

At the age of just 13 years and 11 months Malavath Poorna became the youngest female to stand on the summit of Mount Everest, she did so on the 25th May 2014 by climbing via the North Col – North East route.

Malavath was born on the 10th June 2000 and was raised in poverty living in a small tribal village called Pakala which is in the Nizamabad district of Telangana, India.

Her mother and father both work as farm labourers, working many long days for very little money.

It was while at school that Malavath was given the chance to learn how to climb. The Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (APSWREIS) had launched an operation to promote adventure sports including rock climbing among the most underprivileged children.

Making her way through the selection process which included training at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Malavath got top marks by getting a grade ‘A’ for climbing under the watchful eyes of her trainers to the summit of Mount Renock which is 17,000ft high and situated in the Kanchenjunga Range of the Himalayas.

After more training with the Indian Mountaineering Federation in Ladhak she was finally selected for the Mount Everest expedition in 2015.

On reaching the summit of Mount Everest Malavath said “When I reached the top, I felt too much emotion, too much joy.” She continued “All around me, beauty – mountains, sunshine, clouds. I could feel God there. I was grateful and too happy.”

Some of the difficulties she had to deal with on the high slopes of the mountain were the biting cold and having to eat packaged food. She struggled to digest any packaged food and was frequently sick.

Arriving home after her successful climb she was awarded Rs 25 lakh and five acres of agriculture land, free borewell and power connection and agriculture investment for one year from her government.

On finishing her education Malavath wants to become an officer of Indian Police Service, if she gets the opportunity Malavath also want to climb more mountains around the world.

As of the 31st December 2014 the youngest British female to reach the summit of Mount Everest was Leanna Shuttleworth at the age of 19. She did so on the 20th May 2012 via the South Col – South East Ridge route.

Malavath Poorna
Malavath Poorna (left) © AP / Andhra Pradesh Information Center

Jordan Romero

On the 22nd May 2010 Jordan Romero hit the headlines worldwide for becoming the youngest male to reach the summit of Mount Everest, he was just 13 years 10 months and 10 days old.

Jordan was born in Redlands, California USA on the 12th July 1996. His interest in mountaineering started when he saw in the hallway of his school a painting showing the seven continents highest mountains.

Before stepping onto Mount Everest Jordan was at the receiving end of criticism from the press as if someone of his age should even be allowed to attempt to climb the highest mountain in the world. The medical advisor to the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) David Hillebrandt, had questioned whether Jordan Romero was mentally mature enough and then went on to say, “It is totally against the spirit of true mountaineering. This sounds like it’s about mass marketing, money and it’s verging on child abuse”.

Jordan climbed via the North Col – North East Ridge route on Mount Everest, this was because at the time the Tibetan side of the mountain had no age restrictions in place (which has now changed) where in Nepal (South side) you have to be 16 years old or older.

Climbing with Jordan was his father Paul, his step-mother Karen and Ang Pasang Sherpa, Lama Dawa Sherpa, and Lama Karma Sherpa, who all reached the summit with Jordan.

Once on the summit Jordan conducted a Skype interview and phoned his mother who had been following his climbing adventure on the internet. During the climb he updated his website with photographs and dispatches.

In December 2011 Jordan climbed Mount Vinson Massif in Antarctica and became the youngest person in the world to complete the Seven Summits at the age of just 15 years, 5 months and 12 days. He is now trying to climb the highest point in each of the 50 US states.

As of the 31st December 2014 the youngest British male to reach the summit of Mount Everest was George Atkinson at the age of 16. He did so on the 26th May 2011 via the North Col – North East Ridge route.

Jordan Romero
Jordan Romero (right) © Reuters