In a historic first, a 19-year-old Hongkonger has become the youngest person from the city to conquer the world’s highest peak.
Benjamin Chan Ka-hei made it to the 8,848-metre summit of Mount Everest on Monday, according to International Mountain Guides, the company that arranged Chan’s expedition.
Chan reached the top along with 22 others. The group started its descent at 7.15am Nepal time on Monday.
The teenager was expected to reach the Everest base camp on Tuesday, though there had not been any confirmation from him as of Wednesday morning.
Chan’s family confirmed to the Post that he had made it to the summit.
“It’s actually quite unbelievable that he’s achieved such a feat,” said Chan’s older brother, Daniel Chan Ka-chun.
“We’re excited for him, but also nervous. We just want him to come back safely since we know coming down is actually the hardest part,” he said.
Chan’s expedition to Everest is part of a more ambitious goal: to become the youngest person in the world to climb the highest summits on all seven continents as well as reach the North and South Pole, a feat known as the Explorers Grand Slam.
The Hongkonger, who is taking a gap year after graduating from King George V School, aims to complete everything within the year.
China's 14-year-old rock climbing star explains why her sport is 'a puzzle to find the best way to the top'
The current record is held by Marin Minamiya, who is from Japan but spent several years at school in Hong Kong. She completed the feat last April at the age of 20, having scaled the Everest summit when she was 19.
The youngest person to scale Everest was 13-year-old Malavath Purna, from India, in 2014.
More than 8,000 people have reached the summit, but at least 280 climbers have died on the mountain’s treacherous passes over the decades, according to the Himalayan Database.
Read Young Post's exclusive interview with Benjamin in this upcoming issue of Sunday Young Post!