News National Avalanches won’t deter Queensland teen climber
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Avalanches won’t deter Queensland teen climber

AAP
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An avalanche is not going to stop teenager Alyssa Azar from realising her dream to stand at the top of Mount Everest.

Or two avalanches for that matter.

The 18-year-old Queensland climber was aiming to become the youngest Australian to conquer the world’s highest mountain when the deadly Nepal earthquake hit last month.

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She was drifting off to sleep at base camp when she felt the ground shake and heard the avalanche hurtling towards her. It half-buried her tent.

Ms Azar’s first attempt last year was also cut short when an avalanche killed 16 Sherpa guides just days out from her planned climb.

But after flying into Brisbane Airport on Monday night, Ms Azar said she was already preparing for a third attempt next year to tackle the 8848-metre summit.

It will still allow her to beat 21-year-old Rex Pemberton’s record-breaking climb in 2005.

“I don’t think I second guess myself and mentally I still feel very strong,” Ms Azar said.

“When I got into mountaineering, I didn’t look at it as this perfect ideal – I knew there was a possibility that things could go wrong.”

Ms Azar said she did not realise the extent of the devastation caused by the 7.8 magnitude quake until after she began the arduous three-day trek out of the camp.

Her father Glenn Azar, who greeted his daughter with a hug at the airport, said she was able to tell him she was safe with a satellite phone text message before he even knew anything had happened.

Mr Azar, himself an adventure guide, said he had no problem with his daughter making a third attempt at Mt Everest.

“We’ve got four kids and I don’t care if they want to be a hairdresser or a banker or they want to climb a mountain, we’ll always support them in whatever they do,” he said.

-AAP

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