Everest climber peaks at record age

A 26-year-old trainee tax adviser has become the youngest Irish person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Rob Mortell, from Limerick, sent a message from his GPS tracker yesterday morning which confirmed that he had completed the climb.

The record was previously held by Mark Quinn, also of Limerick, who climbed the mountain aged 27 in 2011. Samantha O’Carroll, from Cork, reached the summit aged 28 in 2004.

Jordan Romero, from the US, reach the summit aged 13 in 2010. Age restrictions introduced since mean that climbers must be at least 16 years old.

Mr Mortell, a graduate of University of Limerick, climbed the Matterhorn in the Alps in 2013, Mount McKinley in Alaska in 2014 and Ama Dablam, also in the Himalayas, last October. His latest trip was sponsored mainly by his employer, KPMG.

His ascent came during a dangerous season on Everest, with three people dying from altitude sickness since Friday and two more missing climbers feared dead in the high altitude “death zone”. He is the only Irish climber on the mountain this year and was said to be safely camped at around 26,000 feet last night.

Subash Paul, an Indian climber, died on Sunday night and two others from India have been missing since Saturday and are thought to be dead.

A Dutch professional climber, Eric Arnold, 36, died within Everest’s “death zone” on Friday night after reaching the summit. On Saturday night an Australian academic, Maria Strydom, 34, who was climbing in the same party as Mr Arnold, died 1,300 feet from Everest’s summit.

Thirty people on the mountain have suffered altitude sickness or frostbite in recent days, according to reports in Nepal. Phurba Sherpa, a climbing instructor, fell to his death on Thursday.

Hundreds of international climbers have assembled at Everest’s base camp in recent weeks to take advantage of the eight-week spring climbing season. The rush for the summit follows two disastrous seasons; an earthquake-triggered avalanche struck base camp last year, and an ice fall killed 16 Sherpas in 2014. Around 400 climbers have reached the peak since early May.

See Everest claims third victim in one weekend in World

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