Tuesday, 31 May 2011

George Atkinson Everest

George Atkinson Everest
George Atkinson Everest. Sixteen-year-old George Atkinson from Surbiton is aiming to become the youngest person to climb the Seven Summits - the highest mountain on every continent.
He has just returned home from Antarctica and scaling Mount Vinson, his sixth successful climb.

He got the mountaineering bug from his father Mark, and by the age of 7 he had climbed the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales: Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdonia.

George told BBC Surrey: "My father really got me into climbing. When I was six we climbed Slieve Donard, the highest mountain in Northern Ireland.

"We did that because we needed to find something we needed to do together. I really loved it."

He started off his challenge when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya at the age of 11 in 2005, before scaling Europe's highest peak, Russia's Mount Elbrus, in 2007.

He then tackled Puncak Jaya, also known as Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia in 2008, followed by the South American peak Aconcagua later in the same year.

"There are a number of things that drive me. I do enjoy any mountain and I feel there is an amazing sense of freedom in any mountain range.

"I like a good challenge in life and the Seven Summits is something which gives me that.

"I find these mountains to be a good adventure by going off to exotic places and it's a good chance to travel the world."

George ticked off his fifth peak when he climbed Mount McKinley (known as Denali) in North America.

"Denali has been the toughest so far. It was full-on mountain climbing," he said.

"You land on a glacier and spend 18 days living in the snow pulling everything you need for the expedition with you, and you have to bring it back down with you.

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