Scaling the tallest mountains in the world is no longer just for adults. Now, the youth of the world can be found climbing summits like Mount Kilimanjaro and bringing inspiration to a whole new generation.
In this article, I’ll outline the record for the Youngest Person To Climb Kilimanjaro along with all the candidates who made the cut.
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Youngest Person To Climb Kilimanjaro – All The Candidates
In this article, you will find information on all the known children in our database who broke the record for the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro – from the most current record holder to the first ever record holder in that category:
- Coltan Tanner (6 years old) – October 2018
- Keats Boyd (7 years old) – February 2008
- Montannah Kenney (7 years old) – March 2018
- Roxy Getter (8 years old) – July 2017
- Zain Ackrim (9 years old) – August 2015
- Sam Irving (10 years old) – June 2015
- Olivia Maiden (13 years old) – August 2015
Coltan Tanner (6 years old) - October 2018
The youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro is currently Coltan Tanner (aged 6).
Coltan is from Albuquerque in the United States and summited Mount Kilimanjaro in October 2018 at the age of 6 years and 1 month old.
Prior to Coltan’s record, Los Angeles resident Keats Boyd, held the youngest person to climb Mt Kilimanjaro title. He summited in 2008 at the age of 7 years old.
Montannah Kenney (7 years old) - March 2018
7 year old Montannah Kenney from Austin, Texas has set a new world record as the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro, breaking 8 year old Roxy Getter’s record which was set in July 2017 in the process.
Despite walking away with a world record, Montannah Kenney told CBS News that her real motivation for summiting the 5,895m Uhuru Peak was to honour the memory of her Dad who passed away shortly after she turned three years old.
“I wanted to be closer with my dad,” Montannah Kenney told CBS News. “I wanted to do fun adventures with my mom and learn about Mount Kilimanjaro.”
Montannah Kenney reached the Uhuru Peak summit on the 16th March 2018 accompanied by her Mom Hollie Kenney, an experienced guide and a support group of about twenty people. Though it is not clear which route they took up, we know that they had a relatively easy first day on the trek followed by a difficult few days of trekking through rain and snow which made for poor visibility and freezing conditions.
“It was way steeper than we thought.” Hollie said. “We didn’t know what was a cliff and what was a cloud. That was a big eye opener.”
The trip had originally been planned for October 2018 but once they discovered that 8-year-old Roxy Getter held the record, Montannah Kenney decided she would attempt to break the record, and they moved their trip up. Montannah’s birthday is in May, so the pair set the trip up for March before she turned 8yrs old. They also had to obtain a special permit for Montannah to make the climb up Mount Kilimanjaro as she is younger than the legal age limit of 10 years old.
As a former professional triathlete, Hollie was already in good shape and Montannah’s participation in running, swimming and basketball meant that she was also ready to tackle the climb. They put in long training hikes around their home in Texas but only got to experience altitude and oxygen deprivation upon their arrival in Tanzania.
When Montannah Kenney reached the summit, she had a special moment to commemorate her dad.
“It was beautiful,” Hollie said. “Montannah knew she wanted to blow kisses to him and wave and hopefully he would see her.”
“She knows she has an angel looking after her and he lives in heaven,” Hollie told InsideEdition.com. “She knew that this mountain is above the clouds, so she associated that she was going to be closer to her dad in heaven.”
Before starting their trek, Hollie and Montannah set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for EMDR research and funding for people who cannot afford the therapy. The write up on the page says that Montannah’s father battled PTSD and was starting EMDR therapy (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) before he died.
Roxy Getter (8 years old) - July 2017
Eight year old, Roxy Getter, from Punta Gorda, Florida, has become the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro.
As the youngest female to reach the summit, Roxy Getter was joined by her family – mom, Sarah, dad, Bobby, and 10-year old brother, Ben.
Her feat as the youngest female to climb Kilimanjaro is especially impressive as Roxy Getter had significant heart problems at birth. She had open heart surgery at the age of 1! According to the website, All The Moms, Ben also has a heart condition, so the summit attempt was approached with extreme caution by their parents.
It is not clear what route the family took, but according to reports, the entire family summited at 6am on the July, 11th 2017.
Roxy Getter, the youngest female to climb Kilimanjaro, is quoted as saying: ‘I didn’t think I would make it to the top, but I did.’
With the successful summit under her belt, Roxy Getter is now officially the youngest female to climb Kilimanjaro. The youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro is Keats Boyd, a Los Angeles resident who scaled the summit in 2008 at the age of 7 years old.
As the youngest female to climb Kilimanjaro, Roxy Getter joins a long line of female record holders. Just last month (June 2017), a group of professional and semi-professional female football players scaled Mount Kilimanjaro before proceeding to play a full 90-minute game of football in Kilimanjaro’s crater (5,600m). The event has officially been recognised as the highest game of football in the World.
Sam Irving (10 years old) - June 2015
A few weeks back, we featured Sam Irving, a 10-year old UK boy who planned to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. We have just received word from his mum that Sam successfully made it to the top and has become the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro. Here’s the scoop!
Sam Irving joined a group of 17 people, mostly from Euromoney PLC, a city of London based media company to climb Kilimanjaro earlier this month. 15 people of the group, including Sam Irving (and his mum, Ros) summited the 5,895m high Mount Kilimanjaro at 7:15 am Monday morning on 15th June.
In order to reach the summit, the group set off from Barafu camp (at an altitude of 4,600 metres ) at midnight on the 14th June. Wearing their head torches, about 8 layers of clothes against the cold and wind, and clambering over boulder-fields and up steep inclines of slippery scree, they finally made it to Stella Point, which is a few hundred feet below the summit. The sun was coming up and after six and a half hours of walking in the dark, uphill at high altitude – the sunrise was a beautiful and welcome reward!
Another 45 minutes of walking uphill led Sam Irving and the team to the summit. By the time the group reached the summit, everyone was feeling the altitude in one way or another! Some of the symptoms felt by the team included nausea, headaches, dizziness and shortness of breath as the air is very thin at altitude.
Sam Irving trekked at the front of the group and although he was encouraged by the mountain guides, he took every step himself to get to the summit, despite suffering from nausea several times on the way up!
The photo above shows the team holding the banner they took with them, at the summit. According to the team, temperatures at the summit were very cold, at least minus 10 degrees on the summit and so unsurprisingly, they didn’t stay there very long before starting the descent.
In readiness for attempting the summit, the group spent four days trekking from the Machame gate of Mount Kilimanjaro and camping at ever higher altitude. Each day they walked for between 6 and 10 hours, through rainforest-type jungle, through increasingly arid and semi-arid desert zones.
In fact, the Machame route passes through five different ecosystems and in all – from the ascent through the Machame gate to the departure back at the Mweka gate, the distance walked is about 62 kilometres. The Machame route is considered one of the tougher routes but also the most scenic. Some of the trekking is quite physically challenging, including scaling the Barranco wall which is a precipitous scaling of a boulder face, using scrambling techniques – and importantly – not looking down! Sam loved it! And now his effort has been rewarded with becoming the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro. What an amazing accomplishment!
So far, the group have raised £47,000 for their chosen charity, The Haller Foundation. Click this weblink to make a donation. As you can see, the “sub group” has raised £23k of the £47k group total. The Haller foundation is a small charity that brings sanitation programmes and clean water to remote rural communities. The funds will be used to benefit local communities.
It is believed Sam Irving is one of only a handful of people his age to have successfully completed the summit climb and is possibly the youngest British boy and the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro after successfully following the challenging Machame route.
Olivia Maiden (13 years old) - August 2015
When she climbs Mount Kilimanjaro from August 7 to August 12 2015, 13-year-old Olivia Maiden of Poulton, Lancashire, will remember her sister, Florence, who died shortly after her first birthday. Olivia Maiden will attempt to break the record and become the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro.
Olivia Maiden is some way behind the youngest, six-year-old Coltan Tanner who summited in 2018 and seven-year-old Keats Boyd who held the youngest person to summit Kilimanjaro before Coltan, but still part of the most select of bands.
Olivia’s father, Dan, will accompany her, along with two guides, a cook, and as many as 10 porters. Dan Maiden previously climbed the mountain in 2011.
Olivia Maiden will climb Kilimanjaro to raise money for Helen & Douglas House in Oxford, the hospice that cared for her sister and supported her family. One source of support was the hospice’s Elephant Club, which arranges fun trips for children affected by illness, such as Olivia and her brother, George.
Olivia Maiden enthused that this establishment gave Florence “the best last moments of her life, in the spa room with the jacuzzi, in the art room and many other brilliant places.… I would really like to give back to Helen & Douglas House.” More than £6,000 has been raised.
Olivia’s sister, Florence, grew sick shortly after her birth, which doctors initially dismissed but later realised was Leigh’s Disease, a rare condition which affects the central nervous system. It causes loss of mental and movement abilities and can cause death from respiratory failure. Florence died on November 28 2008.
Olivia Maiden concedes that she is “not a natural at sport,” but she does like climbing mountains and she believes she’s somewhat determined. John Baugh, the headmaster of the Dragon School, which Olivia attends as a boarding pupil, remarked that he was not in the least surprised that Olivia will climb Kilimanjaro as she has displayed “a huge amount” of creativity and determination as she helped others and raised awareness of significant issues since arriving at the school five years ago. He added that everyone at the school is “immensely proud of her.” Olivia Maiden climbed Mount Snowdon in 2011 and Ben Nevis in 2014.
Other Notable Candidates
Other notable children who also entered the bid to become the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro include:
- Keats Boyd (aged 7 years), a Los Angeles resident scaled the summit in 2008.
- Zain Ackrim (aged 9 years) summited on the 8th of August, 2015. At the time, he was officially declared the youngest British person to climb Kilimanjaro.
And that’s a wrap on the Youngest Person To Climb Kilimanjaro article! I hope you are just inspired as I am to set my sights on a new and exhilarating goal like these young, bright kids have done in their lifetime.
There are many more children who have summited Kilimanjaro. If you would like your child’s summit to be recorded on this page, just leave a comment below with the details.
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