August 5 (Sky News) – A toddler has become the youngest person to reach the summit of a 10,000ft mountain – and was rewarded for his efforts with some sweets.
Jackson Houlding, three, and his seven-year-old sister Freya, made it to the top the Piz Badile mountain, which sits on the border of Switzerland and Italy, led by their father Leo and mother Jess.
Both children made history, as Freya became the youngest person to climb the mountain unaided, while Jackson is the youngest to reach the top.
The British family began their climb on 25 July, but broke it up over several days – spending one night in an alpine hut and another two in bivouacs shelters.
Leo, who is a professional climber, said: “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, who weighs about 15kg, on her back and I carried all the camping equipment and food.
“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.”
He added: “Having your own children there, I was conscious that we were on a big adventure together, but I never felt that we were in an unacceptable position and I never thought we were out of our depth.”
After the family finished the climb, Leo and Jess rewarded their children with sweets.
Jackson said: “It was really good, I enjoyed the bit I climbed on my own.”
Freya added: “I found it really fun and really scary. I’m very proud.”