7-year-old becomes youngest girl ever to summit world’s tallest free-standing mountain

Montannah Kenney, 7, at the top of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro. (YouTube / ABC News)

Many young students use their school’s spring break to get a little R&R, maybe play with friends, fire up the video game console, or go on vacation with their parents. But one second-grader from outside of Austin, Texas, decided to use the time off to do something decidedly more challenging than the above — and ended up setting a world record.

Montannah Kenney last month became the youngest girl to ever reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, planet earth’s tallest free-standing mountain and the continent of Africa’s highest peak.

She’s 7.

The trek took six days and Montannah was accompanied by her mother, Hollie, 45, every step of the way. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and majestically rises some 19,341 feet into the sky. The two encountered a driving rain during their ascent up the mountain — right up until they reached the summit. That’s when the heavy snow started falling — two feet of it, according to Four Points News. But the inclement weather was no match for Montannah and Hollie, both of whom reached the top and had the wherewithal to make a fun pun in the freshly-fallen snow. They carved out the words “Mt. Anna” in the snow — a play on the 7-year-old’s first name and the fact that she had conquered the mountain.

Prior to Montanneh’s feat, an 8-year-old named Roxy Getter, who made it to the to the top of Kilimanjaro last August, had been the youngest girl to reach the mountain’s top.

Fresh snow covered Mount Kilimanjaro seen at sunrise from Ambuseli game reserve in Kenya, May 04, 2008. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

“It was fun,” Montannah told Four Points News. “We got to see a lot, but I wish it didn’t rain every day because our stuff was all wet.” After Montannah and Hollie decided to take on the challenge a year ago, they learned children under the age of 10 require a special permit to be allowed to climb. And then there was the training. Montannah is a triathlete, so she has above-average endurance to begin with. She and her mom worked out with a steady diet of hiking that involved carrying a heavy backpack to prep them for the real thing, and also included swimming and running in their regimen.

The trek to the top carried even more meaning for Montannah than simply breaking a world record. When she was three, her father died and the journey to the top was a tribute to him and a way to feel closer. She said she wanted to wave to him. “The higher I go, the closer I get to him in heaven,” Montannah said.

For more, watch the video below.

Read the full story at Four Points News


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