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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Teen climbers take Everest record
Rob Gauntlett (left) and James Hooper
The pair both celebrated their 19th birthdays at Base Camp
Two teenagers have become the youngest Britons to climb Mount Everest.

Rob Gauntlett, of Petworth, Sussex, and James Hooper, of Wellington, Somerset, both 19, reached the summit via the north route at 0315 BST on Wednesday.

On reaching the 29,035ft (8,850m) peak after a 10-hour trek from the last base, Rob phoned his parents.

Speaking via a satellite phone, he said: "It's incredible up here looking out knowing nowhere in the world is higher than you are at the moment."

This has been our dream for three years - get out there, follow it up and make sure you make it happen
Rob Gauntlett

The gap-year students have taken the title from Jake Meyer, from Tetbury in Gloucestershire, who was 21 when he reached the top of Everest last June.

The youngest person to reach the summit was 15-year-old Ming Kipa Sherpa, who completed the ascent in 2003.

The two best friends came up with the idea three years ago and have since climbed in the Alps, Pakistan and Nepal, as well as all over the UK.

Both celebrated their 19th birthdays while at Everest Base Camp, but Rob, who only celebrated his birthday last Wednesday, is actually the youngest Briton to have climbed the mountain.

Their climb from the north side of the mountain in Tibet has been in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Speaking from the summit on Wednesday morning, Rob said: "James and I are really keen on getting the message out to young people to follow your dreams.

"This has been our dream for three years. Get out there, follow it up and make sure you make it happen."

Rob's parents said: "We are very excited and proud of how hard they have worked, and of the message of their climb, but there is no champagne until they are back down safely."

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