Queensland teenager Alyssa Azar has become the youngest Australian to reach the peak of Mount Everest, in a case of third time lucky. The 19-year-old left camp early Saturday morning for the final climb of about 800 metres to the summit of the world’s tallest mountain. It was the Toowoomba teen’s third attempt to reach the summit after natural disasters thwarted two previous attempts.
In 2014, while she was at base camp an avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 Sherpas. In April 2015, she was again at base camp when Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake, killing 3,218 people. It has taken three years of training for Ms Azar to reach the peak and collect the record.
Her family said she was in good spirits, however the challenge was not over. The descent off the mountain is known to be challenging. Melbourne woman Maria Strydom has died on Saturday afternoon of altitude sickness while climbing back down the mountain from Camp 4 to Camp 3 when she fell ill.
Chase Tucker trained Ms Azar for the past 10 weeks, saying she went hard and at times he had to tell her to ease up. Mr Tucker said it was not so much the intensity of training, but consistency, modulation and practice in the Himalayas that was important.