The Seven Summits Challenge - Aged Nineteen
Rhys Jones is on his way to Everest for a unique twentieth birthday celebration as he attempts to become the youngest mountaineer to climb the seven summits. Susan Vittery reports.
Posted: 30 March 2006
Why wait until you’re out of your teens to climb Everest? Rhys Jones, from Cadnam, Hants, has just departed for Kathmandu to make an attempt on the world’s highest mountain. He won’t be the only climber on the mountain, but he won’t be meeting any others aged only nineteen:-) If he succeeds, he will become the youngest ever mountaineer to summit the highest peaks in all seven continents.
Rhys began breaking records when he became the youngest Briton to climb Mount McKinley and followed it up by becoming the youngest ever mountaineer to reach the 4,896m summit of Mount Vinson in Antarctica in December 2005. Despite being trapped in an Antarctic storm for six days, in temperatures below – 35C, he summitted the peak successfully. The record was previously held by fellow British climber Jake Meyer.
Rhys has also climbed Aconcagua in South America, Elbrus in Russia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Kosciusko in Australia, and Mount McKinley in Alaska. If he bags the seventh peak in the challenge he will be the youngest Briton to climb Everest. If everything goes according to plan (like it does so often on mountains:-) he should be on the summit for his twentieth birthday on May 17. He is also hoping to raise a pound for every foot of Everest’s height - £29,035 in total – for charity.
Everest - from a safe distance
Of course, with the detailed analyses of baselayers, hard shells and boots that OMers specialise in, you'll all be wanting to know what gear he'll be wearing. Fortunately, we are able to reveal that he's chosen the Millet Everest boot for his gentle ramble through the snow:-) As the boot has already been up all fourteen of the world's 8000m + peaks (not all on Rhys's feet of course), visited the north and south poles, and equipped the majority of Himalayan expeditions, it seemed like the obvious choice. After all, you can't quarrel with a comfort rating of -60C. Rhys has already worn the boot up Elbrus, Aconcagua and Mount McKinley, but Everest gets special treatment. For the world's highest peak, he's even indulging in a new pair:-)
Watch this space to find out how he gets on, and whether there'll be champagne at 8850 m for Rhys's twentieth.
The Everest Boot
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Agh, sorry, my mistake! He summited Mount Vinson in December 2005, aged 19, not 17. (He was only 17 when he became the youngest Briton to summit Mount McKinley). Maths, eh? Who needs it!
I've corrected the article now so that it looks a bit more like I know the answer to 17 + 2 ...
Posted: 31/03/2006 at 09:52