As the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro, seven-year-old Ashleen Mandrick may have earned a break but during the summer holidays she just carried on climbing, this time up the Alps. Last month the British schoolgirl ascended 14,440 feet to the Colle del Parrot on Monte Rosa, located on Italy’s border with Switzerland, becoming what is thought to be the youngest person to climb the Alps’ second-highest mountain.
She was joined on the adventure by her brother Nicolas, 12, and her mother Victoria, 46, a doctor. Their original plans to reach Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus, were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Dr Mandrick, who lives with the children in Brighton, said that the ascent was particularly challenging because of the rocky terrain and hidden crevasses. Ashleen added: “It was really amazing. I loved the crevasses. They were so deep I couldn’t even see the bottom. I hoped we didn’t fall into one, it would have been difficult to get out. I loved the whole adventure. The view was amazing, especially Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in the sunset.” Ashleen and her brother had full climbing gear, including crampons, ice axes, harnesses, ropes and helmets.