Australian Becomes Youngest Woman to Climb Cho Oyu

Sixteen-year-old Gabrielle Jane Kanizay of Australia has become the youngest woman to climb Cho Oyu (8,188m), the world’s sixth-highest peak.

The schoolgirl from Brighton, near Melbourne, summited on September 25 with four other members, including her mother Jane and five Sherpas on the International Mountain Guides Cho Oyu Expedition. The mother and daughter had previously completed a trek to Everest Base Camp last year.

Gabrielle Kanizay with her mother Jane. Photo:

IMG’s Phunuru Sherpa, who accompanied the group, scaled the mountain for a record 19th time.

The youngest male to scale Cho Oyu is American Matt Moniz, who was also 16 when he summited in 2014.

Similar ascents of Everest by teenagers in 2010 saw the China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA), the organization that regulates climbing in Tibet, introduce an age restriction of 18 years old for climbers on the world’s highest peak.

The restrictions followed the controversy that emerged following climbs by 13-year-old Jordan Romero and 16-year-old Temba Tseri Sherpa, who lost a number of fingers and toes to frostbite. The CMTA claimed that any recognition of the youngest created undue pressure.