The Unforgiving60

S1E30- Alyssa Azar- With the World at Her Feet. The youngest Australian to climb Everest

November 11, 2019

Despite Alyssa first summiting Everest at 19 years old, this is much more than a climbing story. It is a story of setbacks and challenges, tenacity and toughness and staring down death; but most importantly why you don’t ever give up on your dreams.

‘Control what I can control and accept everything else’- Alyssa

Alyssa is the youngest Australian to Summit Mt Everest. She did this at 19 years old on the 21st May 2016. Not being content with that, two years later Alyssa also became the youngest woman to summit Mt Everest from the North Side (Tibet) at just 21 years old.

Her story began early. She walked the challenging Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea at the age of 8. By 10 years old, she had climbed ‘the Aussie 10’ (the 10 highest peaks in Australia). At 14 she climbed Mt Kilimanjaro.

And she has never looked back…. Or down!


Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

  • 03:00. How it all began
  • 05:03. Things in common- Alyssa, Ben and Tim
  • 06:04. Alyssa’s unconventional schooling
  • 07:11. No crying in boxing!
  • 11:30. Why Alyssa took a photo of her brother to the summit of Everest
  • 12:15. Alyssa on ex SAS soldier and author Keith Fennell.
  • 13:40. Ben on ‘Fenno’ and similarities with Alyssa
  • 14:50. Keith Fennell talks about Alyssa
  • 21:15 Final climb before Everest
  • 22:10 First setback- Everest 2014 at age 17
  • 25:13. Second setback- Everest 2015 at age 18. Near death experience
  • 30:08. Building resilience through these setbacks
  • 33:00. Third attempt on Everest!
  • 34:40. Starting for the Summit. Avalanche! Toughest day on Everest
  • 36:55. At Camp 4. South Col. The summit push
  • 38:20. It all came down to this day (Summit Day)
  • 42:27. South Summit to Hillary’s Step …. and onto the Summit
  • 44:15. Time stands still…. The world at her feet
  • 46:30. Sponsors, pressure and expectation
  • 47:45. Arriving home!
  • 51:20. Going back! (to climb Everest again)
  • 01:01:20. Thoughts on ‘peak bagging’ Everest
  • 01:02:30. A past comment on Alyssa as being ‘very distant and unapproachable’
  • 01:03:10. Other interests…
  • 01:06:40. Quick Questions/ Quick Answers
    • What are you scared of?
    • What’s your favourite book? (Sorry Keith Fennell!)
    • Who inspires you?
    • What’s the best climbing movie ever made?
    • How do you train?
    • What’s your guilty pleasure?
    • What do you watch on Netflix?
    • What’s still left that interests you?
  • 01:10:28. Final Comment from Alyssa


More about Alyssa Azar


Alyssa’s Book- The Girl Who Climbed Everest:


More about Keith Fennell, ex SAS Soldier and Author




As always from the original SAS band, ‘The Externals’

Find The Externals on Spotify:


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