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Last Updated: Sunday January 11 2009 14:10 GMT

Record-breaking UK climber dies

Rob Gauntlett

A man who became the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest has been killed, along with a second British climber, in an accident in the French Alps.

Rob Gauntlett, from Sussex in south England, was just 19 when he got to the top of Mount Everest in 2006.

The 21-year-old had been ice climbing with a friend in the Chamonix region when tragedy struck.

His mum Nicole said it was shocking: "We can only take consolation that he died doing something that he loved."

The second climber was his friend James Atkinson, 21, also of Sussex.

In November 2008 Mr Gauntlett and his friend James Hooper, of Somerset, were named National Geographic 2008 Adventurers of the Year.

They were given the award after undertaking a 22,000-mile journey using only human and natural power from the Magnetic North to the Magnetic South Poles to raise awareness of climate change.