13-Year-Old Girl Climbs Everest
Youngest female ever
Early Sunday morning, 13-year-old Malavath Poorna, the daughter of farm laborers in a small tribal village in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, summited Mount Everest.
“I was initially afraid, but the training I received helped me overcome my fear. I never thought of giving up,” Poorna told the BBC from a satellite phone at Everest Base Camp Wednesday morning.
She and her 16-year-old friend S. Anand Kumar climbed the Tibetan side of the mountain with a team of 10 Nepalese guides. Almost all climbing on the south side, in Nepal, shut down after the devastating avalanche in April that killed 16 Sherpas.
“She was strong and determined to climb Everest. We are very proud,” technical guide Mohammed Ansari told Discovery.com. “She wanted to take the risk. She said that her community will gain recognition if they succeed.”
Both Poorna and Kumar are impoverished—Kumar is a member of the lowest Dalit caste previously known as “untouchables.” The climb was sponsored by a government-run social welfare organization in southern India.
Before Poorna took the title of youngest to summit the peak, Nepal’s Nima Chemji Sherpa claimed to be the youngest woman to summit the mountain at the age of 16 in 2012. Teens on Everest have been a growing trend, and growing concern, for years.
She later described the view from the top to the BBC: “All around me were mountains. It was very beautiful.”
You go, girl.