13-year old Malavath Poorna has become the youngest female to climb Mt. Everest.
Nepal requires climbers to be at least 16 years old to scale its peaks, but Poorna said she and a team of Nepalese guides climbed the 29,035-foot mountain on May 25 from the northern side in Tibet. There are no age restrictions in China.
A smiling Poorna told reporters Wednesday in New Delhi that she faced extreme cold, difficult terrain, personal fear and bodies of climbers who perished on the peak on her journey up the world’s tallest mountain.
But she “shed joyful tears” when she reached the top and saw “mighty mountains and morning sunlight” all around.
The Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Institution Society said it sponsored Poorna’s expedition as part of its program to encourage underprivileged students.
The youngest boy ever to reach the summit was also 13.