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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Climber achieves mountain record
Rhys Jones
Rhys Jones celebrated his 20th birthday on Everest
A climber has become the youngest person to scale the highest peaks on the seven continents by reaching the summit of Everest on his 20th birthday.

Rhys Jones, of Cadnam, Hampshire, made it to the summit of Everest, the final mountain in the Seven Summits Challenge, on Wednesday morning.

Rhys's team made the climb on the South Col, the first to do so this season.

His achievement comes after two other teenagers became the youngest Britons to climb Mount Everest on the same day.

He came into the world 20 years ago and now he is on top of the world to celebrate his birthday
Rhys's father, Alan

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.

Rhys made it to the summit just over seven hours later.

Rhys's father, Alan, from Cadnam, Hants, said: "We are absolutely delighted at the news and it couldn't be better that Rhys has done this on his birthday.

"He came into the world 20 years ago and now he is on top of the world to celebrate his birthday.

"It is an amazing achievement for anyone to climb Everest but for someone as young as Rhys, as well as Rob and James, this is fantastic.

Funds for charity

"This has been Rhys's dream for a long time and he will be delighted. We are so proud of him.

Rhys climbed Mount McKinley in Alaska, when he was 17, to become the youngest Briton to reach the top.

He has also scaled Kilimanjaro in Africa, Kosciusko in Australia, Aconcagua in South America, Elbrus in Russia and Vinson in Antarctica.

Rhys is hoping his Everest climb will raise 29,035 - Everest's height in feet - for a local charity Wessex Heartbeat.

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