Everest climber Mollie Hughes sets her sights on another 'death zone' record

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TORBAY mountaineer Mollie Hughes is aiming to make history by becoming the youngest Briton to climb Everest from both sides.

Mollie, who is 26 and from Churston, plans to tackle the world’s highest peak for a second time in May after successfully climbing the mountain from its south side in 2012.

A former Paignton Community College student, she raised thousands of pounds for Action Aid as a result of her efforts in 2012.

Her mum Jane said at the time: “We are beyond proud. We could not be prouder!”

Mollie’s exploits were even captured in cartoon form for a comic made by the makers of beefy Bovril!

Mollie, who works in Edinburgh, plans to take on the north side of the mountain to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

The north route from a base camp in Tibet is said to expose mountaineers to colder and windier conditions than the south, while negotiating altitudes of more than 8,500m in the so-called “death zone”.

The feat would see her become the youngest British national, the youngest European woman and the first English female to scale the peak from both the north and south sides.

The current British record is held by Lynne Hannah, 54, from Northern Ireland, who achieved ascents from both sides in 2016.

She said: “To climb Mount Everest is an incredible experience, one that is also the ultimate test of your psychological resolve and ability to cope with physical suffering.

“After over two years of preparation, training is going well and I am really excited to be climbing with Jon Gupta.

“I am also hugely appreciative to have the invaluable financial and technical support of Tiso, the outdoor adventure specialist, for an ascent of the spectacular north side of the mountain that will push us to the limit.

“I love climbing and adventurous activities. Hopefully, my second expedition to Mount Everest will inspire other young women to realise that with careful planning and determination, challenges can be overcome and dreams achieved.”

Chris Tiso, chief executive of Tiso Group, said: “A talented and focused climber, Mollie Hughes is an inspirational young woman.

“I am very proud that Tiso will be returning to Mount Everest in support of Mollie Hughes Everest 2017 bid for which she is making meticulous preparation.

“All at Tiso Group wish her a safe and successful expedition.”

The climbers will travel to China in early April to acclimatise, with the aim to stand atop Mount Everest on May 19 in temperatures of minus 40C.