A schoolboy has become the youngest British mountaineer to climb Mount Everest at the age of just 16. George Atkinson, who turns 17 on Sunday, reached the 8,848m summit making him the youngest ever Briton to stand on top of the world.
It comes less than a week after Irish man John Delaney collapsed and died 50 metres before the top, not knowing his wife had just given birth to a baby girl back home. George’s extraordinary feat saw him smash Rob Gauntlett’s previous record by three years.
He also became the youngest climber ever to have scaled the tallest peaks of each continent. His proud mother Penny, 45, said: ‘George wasn’t able to phone from the summit so we haven’t spoken to him yet but I bet he’s really pleased with himself. ‘It’s been a nerve-racking experience for us and the entire family has been up all night waiting for news including his grandmother,’ she said.
By climbing Everest, George also became the youngest mountaineer to complete the Seven Summits the highest mountain on each continent.