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4 years, Australia

21 days ago

​5 Youngest and 5 Oldest Alpinists of the World

As far as mankind exists, such a lot it aspired for records. Faster, higher, stronger! This tendency did not pass an alpinism too. In his days Sir Edmund Hillary, the first ascender to Everest Mountain, spoked against climbing for the sake of records, but today his words are not so often recalled. The pursuit of sensation is always here, even in the mountains.

Sad but true: nowadays the situation has been pushed not only by the youngest alpinist’s parents; but by mountaineers, wise with experience… Although the circumstances may vary: judge for yourself.

5 Youngest Climbers

1. Kaamya Karthikeyan, 10 y. o. — India

In her 10 years brave Indian girl Kaamya already climbed Kilimanjaro (Tanzania, 5895 m), Stok Kangry (India, 6137 m) and Elbrus (Russia, 5642 m). Also she visited Everest Base Camp from Nepal side, and all these achievements brings Kaamya the name of the youngest climber in the world.

Certainly, the records have been established with the help of Kaamya’s father, an Indian Navy officer. Her family started travelling in the mountains since the girl was three years old, and obviously, her new records are just around the corner.

2 and 3. Dor Geta Popescu, 14 y. o. and Erik Gulacsi, 12 y. o. — Romania

April, 2017 became the dreadful month for two young Romanian climbers, the renowned record holders. They were killed in an avalanche in the Retezat Mountains, one of the highest massifs in Romania.

In 2016 Dor Geta became the youngest person to climb the Aconcagua Peak (6962 m), and when being 10 years old she conquered the Ararat Mountain (5165 m) and turned the youngest mountaineer on highest point of Turkey.

Erik Gulacsi has been climbed since 8 y. o. In 2016 he stood as the youngest boy in Europe who climbed the Europe’s most prominent peak, Elbrus (12 y. o.). His last record as European climber was in January 2017, when at 12 years old Erik reached the Aconcagua Peak.

4. Jordan Romero, 13 y. o. — USA

Jordan Romero’s climb of Mt Everest at 13 years old in May, 2010 caused the tremendous wave of discussions. In 2011 Romero and his family (father Paul and step-mother Karen Lundgren) finished the “7 Summits” program, and whenever possible Paul Romero accentuated, that the decision to climb has been conceived exclusively by his son.

After Jordan’s assent in 2010 the Lhasa-based Chinese Tibet Mountaineering Association, which gives the permissions to climb the Everest from Tibetan side, issued a document. It allows the Everest climb only for mountaineers between the 18 and 60 ages (but with some exceptions depending on the individual cases). There are no age restrictions to climb the mountain from the Nepalese side yet.

5. Montannah Kenney, 7 y. o. — USA

Young Jordan Romero was not the only person to fulfill his mountaineering dream. On spring 2018 the 7-year-old Montannah Kenney from Texas climb Kilimanjaro and became the youngest person to do it. Not long before this the girl talked her mother Hollie to ascend the highest point of Africa in the memory of her father, who died 4 years ago.

“We've always talked about her dad being in heaven, — Hollie Kenney said. — And we always talk about her dad being above the clouds — that's where heaven is. And I think mountains are very intriguing to [Montannah] because a lot of them are above [clouds]”.

5 Oldest Climbers

1. Yuichiro Miura, 70 and 80 y. o. — Japan

Meet Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura, the oldest alpinist, who conquered Everest. Twice. He earned this title in 2003 at the age of 70, and 10 years later (!) beat his own record, ascending the Chomolungma from Nepalese side at age of 80. And in the distant 1970 Yuichiro was the first person to ski on Mount Everest slopes ever.

In between climbs Mr. Miura come through two heart surgeries and then succeed to ascend nevertheless. During second climb he took the advantage of helicopter descent from 6500 m to ABC, and some alpinists expressed dissatisfaction by this act. But… Just no any “but”. Many could not ascend the Everest at any age, let alone 80 years.

2. Min Bahadur Sherchan, 85 y. o. — Nepal

A tragic attempt to break Miura’s achievement has been undertaken in 2017. 85-year-old former British Gurkha soldier Min Bahadur Sherchan were like to become the oldest conqueror of Everest, but unfortunately died in Base Camp from heart attack before the ascending.

Meanwhile in 2008 he was the senior alpinist on Chomolungma at 76 y. o., — but lost this title to Yuichiro Miura in 2013.

3. Tamae Watanabe, 63 and 73 y. o. — Japan

May be Japan alpinists knew some magic word for climbing — Tamae Watanabe, the oldest woman on Everest, is also from the Land of the Rising Sun. Like Yuichiro Miura, she breaks her own record ten years later, after the ascending the summit in 2002 and then in 2012.

4. Peter Habeler, 74 y. o. — Austria

Not only Everest: a lot of European alpinists are ready to show the impressive records on their native playground. In 2017 Peter Habeler from Austria, a long time Reinhold Messner climbing partner (and record holder for their first non-oxygen Everest ascent in 1978), climbed the North Face of Eiger Mountain.

In 1974 Habeler and Messner ascended this route in the record time, and 43 years later Peter Habeler did the same — in the company of another outstanding alpinist, David Lama (born from Tibetan mountain guide father and Austrian mother). Worth noting, that Habeler was the one who get sight of Lama at the age of 5 at a children camp, and told his parents to develop boy’s climbing talent.

The press called the Habeler and Lama’s achievement as “timeless mountaineering”. There's nothing to add here.

5. Carlos Soria Fontán, 79 y. o. — Spain

According to the present knowledge, Spain alpinist Carlos Soria is the oldest person in the world who are in the process of reaching all 14 8-thousanders. In his mountaineer bank are K2 (at 65 years old), Broad Peak (68), Makalu (69), Gasherbrum I (70), Manaslu (71), Kanchenjunga (75) and Annapurna (77 years old).

During season 2018 Soria visited Nepal to climb Dhaulagiri for the eighth time, but the weather prevents alpinist’s plans and he and his team were forced to descend from 100 meters not reaching the summit.

Carlos Soria is the only climber to ascend 11 mountains above 8000 m after turning 60, and he is full of thoughts to conquer two remaining peaks in the list.

***

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