26th August 2021

Conquering Mount Everest aged 12

At the age of just 12, Leah Rimmington is taking on the challenge of a lifetime.

Next April, Leah will trek to the basecamp of Mount Everest to raise money for three charities, including The Gurkha Welfare Trust. Her campaign, “Leah’s Everest,” will involve hiking for 82 miles and ascending over 16,000 feet in an epic journey that is estimated to take 12 days.

“I was inspired to take on this challenge because, since Covid has happened, many people need help,” Leah said. “I’m most looking forward to meeting new people and having new experiences. I don’t think I know any other 12-year-olds who have climbed up Mount Everest, so it will be a good experience. I’m also looking forward to learning about the Nepali culture and the people who live there.”

Her aim to raise money for The Gurkha Welfare Trust was also inspired by her father, Dave, who served in the British military.

“The Gurkhas are top blokes to work beside,” said Dave. “This sort of challenge gives back to veterans, and we can enjoy the adventure of Mount Everest while also giving back to the people of Nepal.”

To prepare for this monumental adventure, Leah has been training in mountainous regions near her home of Grantham, Lincolnshire, including Scafell Pike. She and her parents have also travelled further afield to Wales, where they have trekked up Snowdown and Cadair Idris.

Later this month, Leah plans to travel to the Scottish Highlands, where she will hike Ben Nevis. “In between school and my parent’s work, I’ve trying to get up as many mountains and walking tracks in the UK as possible,” she said.

Leah could face several challenges on her trek to the Mount Everest basecamp, including ice-cold temperatures, altitude sickness, and potentially hypothermia.

To prepare for these possibilities, Leah’s parents have been there for her training every step of the way. “We’ve guided her on top tips, sorted out her kit, told her how to manage warm and cold drills, and how to keep hydrated to prevent altitude sickness,” Dave said. “We’ve also helped her mentally prepare, watching videos on YouTube of those who have climbed Mount Everest before.”

By reaching the basecamp of Mount Everest, Leah hopes to send the message that despite being young, she and other people her age can achieve incredible feats. She urges her peers to “go out and see the world and do amazing things.”

Stay updated on Leah’s training and progress by checking out her GoFundMe page.

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