A three-year-old boy has become the youngest person to reach the summit of a 10,000ft mountain.
Following in their professional climber father’s footsteps, Jackson Houlding and sister Freya Houlding, seven, reached the top of Piz Badile on the border of Switzerland and Italy.
Dad Leo Houlding, 40, climbs some of the most dangerous peaks on earth and his GP wife, Jessica, 41, is an avid climber, too.
Freya was named the youngest climber to reach the top unaided, while her brother was the youngest person ever to make it to the top.
Jackson, who was given Haribo sweets as a treat for his achievement said: “It was really good, I enjoyed the bit I climbed on my own and the Haribo sweets.”
Speaking from Bregaglia, Switzerland, Leo Houlding said: “It’s a super classic route, the best of its grade in the world.
“What was exceptional was we did it with our seven year-old-daughter Freya and our three-year-old son Jackson.
“My daughter climbed it all by herself, all the way, including all the hiking and everything – it was very impressive. She only just turned seven last week.
“My wife Jess carried Jackson on her back who weighs about 15kg, I carried all the camping equipment and food which weighed a bit more.
“We’ve done quite a bit of stuff in the UK and Europe in previous years, but every summer the kids are bigger and more capable than the past year.
“We did Triglav in Slovenia, but this was a league above that in terms of grandeur and difficulty.”
Piz Badile is a mountain in the Bregaglia range and is considered to be one of the six great faces of the Alps.
“It’s a 1,000m long knife edge ridge and you’re using your hands the whole way, it’s a really long rock climb,” Houlding explained.
“There’s always danger in the mountains, there’s hazards of fall, hazards of weather, hazards of rockfall.”
Despite the risks, the professional felt confident the whole time. He led the climb, given his experience, as being at the front of the pack is the riskiest position.
“For falling, it’s the person who goes first at risk – so I led the whole climb. I’m a professional climber, the most experienced person goes first.
“In mountain activities there is more risk than in other activities, but we chose this climb because there is a lot less objective hazard – you can control the risks I just mentioned,” he added.
Last year, Leo took on a trek without his family to a remote mountain known as Spectre, which is so isolated only ten people have ever seen it.
He was the first British person to ever climb it.
Spectre is a jagged mountain peak in Antarctica, 450km south of the South Pole, and he battled Antarctic conditions for more than 2,000km to make the climb.
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