Teen ascends Everest to become youngest "seven summit" climber

KATHMANDU (Reuters Life!) - A 16-year-old British schoolboy became the youngest person ever to climb the highest mountains on all seven continents when he ascended Mount Everest, the tallest of them, on Thursday, his organizers said.

Mount Everest, world's highest peak with a height of 8,848 metres (29,029 feet) above sea level, is seen from the Tibetan side June 7, 2009. REUTERS/Ang Tshring Sherpa

George Atkinson from Surbiton climbed the 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) Everest summit on Thursday from the Tibetan side of the mountain that abuts Nepal and China, British hiking group Adventure Peaks said on its website.

Atkinson was three days short of his 17th birthday when he reached the top of Everest, beating the previous record holder American Johnny Collinson’s feat of ascending all seven summits when he was 17.

“George Atkinson broke the world record for being the youngest to complete the seven summits,” the agency said. “An incredible achievement.”

The statement could not be officially confirmed as Nepali government officials do not comment on climbing activities on the Chinese side of the mountain.

But the British Mountaineering Council confirmed the record, the BBC reported on its website.

Atkinson’s first conquest was Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, at the age of 11 in 2005.

On Thursday, Atkinson was accompanied by 17 other climbers, including Sherpa guides to the Everest summit, said Himalayan Guides, the Nepali climbing group which provided local logistics.

More than 3,100 people have made over 5,100 ascents of Mount Everest since it was first climbed by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

American Jordan Romero is the youngest to have reached the peak, climbing the mountain last year aged 13.

Editing by C.J. Kuncheria