Everest climber Geordie Stewart in seven peaks record
- 14 June 2011
- From the section Hampshire & Isle of Wight
A Hampshire student has returned home to reflect on climbing Everest and holding a mountaineering record for just a couple of hours.
Geordie Stewart, 22, from Andover, became the youngest Briton to scale the highest peak on each continent.
His record stood until Londoner George Atkinson, 16, also reached the world's highest summit.
Mr Stewart said: "I was just very delighted to have made the summit and have had an incredible time."
The Everest ascent was the climax to five years of travelling the world.
Mr Stewart reached the top of Kilimanjaro on his 19th birthday and scaled mountains in South America, Europe, North America, Antarctica and Oceania.
Climbing Everest was "unfinished business". An expedition last year ended 393ft (120m) from the summit when three people got potentially life-threatening altitude sickness. Mr Stewart helped them back down the mountain.
Mr Stewart made it to the 29,000ft (8,848m) summit at 0145 BST on 26 May.
He followed the the "less crowded" route from the Tibetan side, in the footsteps of the ill-fated 1924 expedition of Mallory and Irvine.
"Reaching the summit was an amazing and incredible feeling. Taking those final few steps was the best moment of my life," he said
"I really didn't care [about the record] - I hadn't set out to achieve the record. I was happy for George as well," he said.
Coming down the mountain is as much of a challenge as the ascent. He said: "It's very, very dangerous.
"You are exhausted and you lose the exhilaration and the adrenalin but you just want to get back to see your family again."
The expedition raised more than £2,000 for the RNLI. Mr Stewart's family has supported the lifeboat charity since his grandfather was twice rescued during World War II.
Mr Stewart is intending to return to the University of St Andrews to complete his theology and history degree.
But he insists he wants to "keep pushing" and is already talking about trekking to both poles, climbing K2 and as-yet unclimbed mountains in northern India.
However he also admitted "being on an expedition makes you miss the small luxuries of home".