If you’re anything like us, you were juggling uni and crying over boys to a James Blunt CD when you were 19 years old. If you’re Alyssa Azar? You’re climbing Mount Everest.
Yep, in 2016, Azar was 19 when she became the youngest Australian to summit the highest mountain on earth. The Queenslander, now 21 and pictured here at the 2018 Women’s Health Women in Sport Awards, did it again on 19th May 2018, cementing herself as the youngest woman to summit from both the north and south sides. So, what’s it like at the top of an 8848m climb that so few people will ever do?
“Being on the summit of Mount Everest is pretty surreal,” Azar laughs, when we catch up during her training session at Sydney’s 98 Gym. “When you get up there you can actually see the curvature of the earth – on one side you’ve got all across Nepal and, on the other, all across Tibet.”
Trekking and adventure have been part of this athlete’s life since she was a kid. Azar crossed the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea with her dad (an adventure expedition leader himself) when she was eight years old (that’s right, eight!). Since then, she’s conquered the likes of Mt Kosciuszko in NSW as well as Tanzania’s Mt Kilimanjaro.
What goes into prepping for these next-level challenges? Strength (physical and mental), focus and a whole lotta grit. Check out WH’s chat with Azar (between her squats and deadlifts) in the video below…