London schoolgirl celebrates 18th birthday by climbing highest mountain in southern hemisphere – Evening Standard

Most 18-year-olds celebrate their birthdays with a party, but one south Londoner climbed the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere.

Adriana Brownlee, a pupil at Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston, conquered Argentina’s Mount Aconcagua in the Andes earlier this month.

She survived winds of 70mph and a wind chill of minus 40C in reaching the 22,837ft summit.

She stepped off the mountain two days later on her birthday on January 8, celebrating with her first shower in a fortnight and a bottle of champagne.

The team’s push to the summit from the highest camp, Camp Colera (19,690 ft), took 12 hours. 

The trek from the provincial capital Mendoza to the mountain and back took 15 days. The extreme conditions made erecting tents, melting snow for cooking and going to the lavatory challenging.

Her achievement, completed with her father Tony Brownlee, 49, and two guides, is the third phase of her dream to climb the highest peaks on seven continents, a feat called the Seven Summit Challenge.

She climbed Mount Elbrus in Russia in 2017 and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last year. Mount Everest is next.

She said: “My immediate thoughts and emotions upon reaching the summit were relief — in the form of tears — that we had succeeded.”

Adriana’s fitness programme involved training six days a week for more than six months. She carried 12kg loads, spent hours in the gym and completed hundreds of hill sprints in Richmond Park. She has also been studying for her A-levels.

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