Congratulations Gabby Kanizay - Youngest Australian To Stand On Top Of The World!
At 8:45am Australian time (4:30am Nepal time) on May 14th, 2022, Gabby Kanizay took her step to stand on the summit of Mount Everest (8,848 metres). In doing so, it made Gabby the youngest Australian to ever summit the world's highest peak, the young Victorian achieving the incredible milestone at just 19 years and 68 days of age.
The following day on May 15th, 2022, Gabby then summited Lhotse, the world's 4th highest mountain at 8,516 metres. This was her 3rd peak over 8,000 metres summitted, with the Everest/Lhoste double (back-to-back summits) also making Gabby the youngest person in the world to have ever achieved this feat. Gabby stood on the summit of Everest with her mother Jane, making them members of the rare 'mother-daughter' club.
Lead Up To The Summit
Following a conversation at home about life goals and ambitions when just 14, Gabby stated that she one day wanted to climb Everest. Not people to shy from a challenge, Gabby's parents suggested she better start preparing now. This began materialising back in April 2018, when Gabby and Jane trekked to Everest Base Camp together. They came back from that journey with a fire in their belly and the idea to go and do a mountaineering course in New Zealand. They did so that following June, when Gabby was just 15.
Gabby returned to the Himalayas again that September to summit Island Peak, this time with her father Jarrod. Jarrod, an ultra-endurance athlete during his earlier years, said at the time: "It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Gabby appeared to do it with ease. She was a pleasure to adventure with." In April 2019, Jane and Gabby once again returned to the Himalayas to climb Mera Peak.
In September 2019, the two went to China to climb Cho Oyu, the 6th highest mountain in the world. This made Gabby the youngest woman in the world to climb Cho Oyu. Then in March 2020, at 17 years of age, the mother-daughter duo were ready to fly to Nepal to fulfil Gabby's goal of climbing Everest. Sadly, COVID stopped them mere days before they were to fly. In 2021, Gabby's grade 12 year, COVID would again stop their expedition.
Fast forward to 2022, and after flying out of Australia on March 27th, and some six weeks of training and acclimatising in the Himalayas in and around the Everest region, they left Everest base camp on the 10th May at 2:00am, ready for their push to the summit. Gabby, along with her trusted guide Tendi Sherpa, reached the summit of Everest after overnight stays at Camp 2 for two nights, Camp 3 for one night and then Camp 4 for a short period before the summit push. She was strong throughout the ascent, and always feeling positive that her expedition would be successful. It was, and soon Gabby reached the summit with her mother (who had left Camp 4 a few hours earlier). This was a dream come true after many years of preparation and sacrifice.
Gabby and her team were able to stay on the summit of Everest for a full hour, catching the sunrise and sharing moments of relief and congratulations. This was a mother-daughter and climber-sherpa moment that shall never be forgotten by all. Gabby descended back down to Camp 4 in the very quick time of two-hours flat. She was energised and feeling strong. Hoping to go straight up to the Lhotse summit, all eyes were on the weather, and unfortunately the early afternoon produced uncertain conditions. Gabby and Tendi left Camp 4 at 1:00am to take on Lhotse. Tendi, a veteran of 13 Everest summits had once said words to the effect of "I'm never doing the Everest/Lhotse double again, it is just too hard" but, there they were going for it. They reached the summit at approximately 5:30am on the 15th May, 2022. It is believed that Gabby is the youngest to have ever completed the Everest/Lhotse double.
Gabby ascends the mountain, left, and with her trusted guide Tendi Sherpa, right. (Images courtesy of Tendi Sherpa)
Gabby is humbled to become the youngest Australian to have ever climbed Everest, especially having taken the record from a young, talented mountaineer/adventurer who she admires greatly in Alyssa Azar. Alyssa was also 19 when she first climbed Everest. Alyssa’s well wishes to Gabby before the expedition speak volumes of the character of Alyssa, and Gabby drew strength from her words.
There are many people who have contributed to this epic undertaking and the success of it. Gabby thanks all those in her family, especially her climbing partner and mum Jane. She also acknowledges her amazing guide Tendi Sherpa for his incredible poise, knowledge, skill and determination. All positive people that Gabby has met along the way in her 19 years, being friends, teachers, and some random people who have added to her positive spirit. Gabby also wishes to acknowledge the support of her gear partner in Mountain Designs. The amazing gear that they have provided has been extremely helpful in making the expedition a success. Mountain Designs support has been pivotal to this expedition. Thank you.
Images supplied by:
- Instagram @tendiguide