Aussie teen announces third attempt at Everest climb

Australian teenager Alyssa Azar has announced she is preparing for her third attempt to climb Mt Everest as she chases her dream of becoming the youngest Australian to reach the summit.

Everest, Nepal.

Everest, Nepal. Image by ilker ender / CC BY 2.0

The 18-year-old has recently moved from the inland Queensland city of Toowoomba to Brisbane, where she will undertake 20 weeks of rigorous training before her next summit attempt.

Azar first two attempts to summit the great mountain were thwarted by disaster: the first in April 2014 when an avalanche killed 16 sherpas; the second in April 2015 when devastating earthquakes hit Nepal, causing a series of avalanches on the mountain.

Azar was at base camp preparing for the ascent when both disasters hit. Following the earthquake in April this year, she described how she created an air pocket within her tent to survive the avalanche that killed 18 climbers.

Alyssa Azar on her ascent of Mt Kilamanjaro in 2011

Alyssa Azar on her ascent of Mt Kilamanjaro in 2011 Image by alyssa azar

However Azar is not deterred by her past experiences, telling ABC "I don't think I could ever give up on it…It represents almost the ultimate challenge in a way. It's the pinnacle of being able to push yourself.”

Azar’s Australian training programme includes adaptations to prepare her for the fierce Nepalese mountain conditions. A gas mask that reduces oxygen is worn on treks and climbs, and Aza also visits an altitude training centre. The experienced climber is confident she will be both mentally and physically prepared, having spent much time in Nepal during her previous two attempts: “The fact is, I love what I do and to be honest, I'm not scared to go back.”

Her 2016 Everest attempt will be just the latest in a long line of extraordinary challenges for the Queensland adventurer. In 2005, the then eight-year-old became the youngest person to complete the notoriously difficult Kokoda Track. By the age of 12 she had summited Australia’s top 10 peaks, and at age 14 she climbed to the top of Tanzania’s Mt Kilimanjaro.

Related content