Eight year old reaches Everest base camp

Eight year old reaches Everest base camp

An eight-year-old mountaineer from Cumbria has said he is over the moon to have reached Everest base camp.

It’s after setting out with his mother to raise money for charity.

Frankie McMillan has been regularly climbing mountains with mother Basia since he was a toddler, and last year took on his greatest challenge yet – becoming the youngest Briton to climb Mount Olympus in Greece.

Frankie has climbed more than 500 mountains and hills, including summiting Scafell Pike when he was four-years-old and taking on all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District.

After reaching Everest base camp on April 9, Frankie told the PA news agency: “I felt so proud of myself. I was over the moon.”

His mother, Ms McMillan, 40, said: “It was just such a rewarding experience. It was a very proud moment. Frankie was very proud of himself but I was even more proud because I was proud not of myself but of him.

“I was watching him touching the base camp rock and seeing him making his dreams come true.”

“It wasn’t only for me, it was supporting my son fulfilling his dreams which … there is no price for that, it was just priceless,” she told PA.

Ms McMillan, a mountain guide, said Frankie was “absolutely fine” during the climb but she got frequent headaches closer to the end of the hike and it was “hard in parts”.

“He managed all the way all by himself – if anything, I think he was stronger than me,” she said.

“We kept encouraging each other and bouncing from each other, so every time I was struggling, Frankie would encourage me and when he was struggling, I would encourage him.”

Other mountaineers were “so welcoming and so encouraging”, she said, adding: “Every time we mentioned where we were going, no-one could really believe it.

“All the other people passing by were stopping and taking photos and videos of Frankie and having chats, and when we got to the top they were cheering for him and clapping which was so rewarding,” she said.

Frankie previously told PA: “I would like to beat the record to be the youngest person in the world to ever go to the top of Everest.

“It’s always been my dream and we want to just at least get to base camp. I know it’s not the top, but one day we’ll be there.”

Asked if reaching base camp had made Frankie more determined to summit the mountain, he said: “It has a lot. I literally didn’t think it was going to be that fun. It was amazing.”

“Frankie already made a plan on how to get to the top of Everest,” his mother added.

“We went to base camp, which proved that Frankie still wants to go higher and, and I really don’t think there’s anything stopping him now.”

Speaking while staying in Kathmandu, Ms McMillan said: “I don’t know how we’ll be able to go back home.”

“He’ll be going to school and imagine the conversations he will have at school – ‘What did you do on your halftime break? I just climbed to Everest base camp’.”

The pair set up a JustGiving page and have raised over £1,800 for children’s charity Make-A-Wish UK.

To donate to Frankie’s fundraiser, visit justgiving.com/page/frankie-everest-base-camp.

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