Aussie girl, 6, sets Everest record
CAIRNS girl Maya Bristow, 6, is the youngest Aussie to trek unaided to Everest Base Camp - and the adventure is not over.
As most parents grapple with the Xbox these school holidays, her mum Catherine Lawson thought nothing of taking Maya on a 19-day trek to the foot of the world's highest peak at an altitude of 5380m in Nepal.
The family flew back into Australia yesterday and plans to register the feat with Guinness World Records.
"I loved the mountains the most,'' the six-year-old said.
"When we got to base camp, I snapped icicles off the (Khumbu) glacier.
"Lots of people stopped to talk to me, which was nice.
"I made some good friends, too."
Maya and her parents David Bristow and Ms Lawson, who work as travel photojournalists, reached Everest Base Camp on May 21 and after five weeks on the road will now begin the paperwork to formalise the trek with Guinness World Records.
"More than setting any records though, we wanted to use Maya's achievement as an opportunity to inspire Aussie families to tackle the big adventures they dream about, with their kids,'' Ms Lawson said.
It seems a love of the outdoors is in Maya's blood but chocolate was the secret ingredient to her energy.
"I just like Nepal and trekking is good fun, it's not all that hard,'' Maya said. "You can get to see wild animals and when we get tired, we just stop for tea and snacks."
Records show the youngest Australian to reach the camp previously was nine-year-old Oscar Squirrell.
Five-year-old Indian boy Harshit Saumitra was the youngest trekker to reach base camp in 2015.
Toowoomba 21-year-old Alyssa Azar also made history in May as the youngest woman - and the youngest Australian - to ever make it to the world's highest summit twice.
The Bristow family's next adventure is in three months after they ship a Toyota LandCruiser to Cape Town for an African overland expedition to Europe.
"Maya is homeschooled. She's been trekking since she could walk and this was her third trek in Nepal, all under her own stream.
"No one can 'haul' a six-year-old into the outdoors. She loved it, so we have been inspired to do more of what we all love to do."