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Record attempt at highest summits

19th March 2010

A Fife student, Geordie Stewart, is attempting to become the youngest Briton to conquer the highest mountain on every continent.

Geordie Stewart, 20, who is studying at St Andrews University, is undergoing the seven summits challenge.

Described by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes as "an ambitious young man with genuine determination", he is heading for Mount Everest early next month.

He has already climbed the highest summits in North and South America, Africa and Europe.

Spending about six weeks on Mount Everest's 600-million-year-old slopes, the student hopes to reach the summit between 19 and 31 May.

From Hampshire, he trained on Scotland's Munros as his father is Scottish.

  I wish him all the best in this record attempt and for his exciting future as an explorer. 

Mr Stewart said: "Since the age of 17 it has been my dream to become the youngest Briton to climb the real seven summits - the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.

"Everest has been a dream of mine for many years and I will be attempting the Northeast ridge route on my way to the top of the world."

Mount Everest, which stands at 8,848m, is the highest mountain in the world, and among the most dangerous - its biggest challenge, known as the "Death Zone," is so called because after 8,000m the body can no longer acclimatise and human life becomes unsustainable.

To make it to the top, the 20-year-old will need to spend weeks acclimatising to dangerously low levels of oxygen.

He will take the technically challenging Tibetan Northeast ridge route, famously used by George Mallory and Andrew Irvine in their 1924 expedition.

Mr Stewart, who is taking a year out of his degree in history and theology to complete the challenge, has funded all of his climbs so far himself, coaching youngsters at football in his spare time to raise the money.

Help for Heroes

He has recently completed Denali, the highest mountain in North America.

In 2008, he became one of the youngest Britons ever to summit Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America standing at 6,962m, before reaching the peak of Kilimanjaro on his 19th birthday.

During the same year he reached the highest point in Europe by summiting Mount Elbrus in Russia.

The young adventurer is fundraising for Help for Heroes, a fundraising body for wounded servicemen.

He said: "I want to combine this ambition with helping a worthy cause that is close to my heart.

"As a fit and healthy 20-year-old, it is harrowing for me to think that every day people younger than myself are coming back from wars all over the world without limbs and unable to achieve the goals they set themselves.

"Help for Heroes gives them the support they need and deserve."

Sir Ranulph said: "Geordie's attitude is inspiring and I am proud to support his challenge. I wish him all the best in this record attempt and for his exciting future as an explorer."

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