Alyssa Azar determined to conquer Everest
TOOWOOMBA adventurer Alyssa Azar is set to become the youngest Australian ever to reach the summit of Mt Everest, inspiring other people to reach their goals.
The 18-year-old sets off on Friday for the Everest base camp to spend time acclimatising ahead of her climb in early May.
This time last year Ms Azar was completing final preparations for her Everest climb at a base camp in Nepal when an avalanche killed 16 Sherpa guides who were fixing ropes along the route.
This put a delay on her trek, but one year on she is more motivated than ever to complete the climb.
Ms Azar said there was a lot of respect for Everest after the tragedy last year.
"I think it definitely puts it into a very real context of what can happen on the mountain," Ms Azar said.
"I'm a bit more prepared mentally, but it's still a very similar mentality.
"There's usually that moment of touching down on the plane where you realise what you are about to do.
"That's when the nerves really hit you, but it's also excitement as well," she said.
Ms Azar was inspired to take up trekking after watching her father train for trips to the Kokoda Track when she was five.
She has recently become the face of employment training service Acquire Learning and said she was thrilled that she was so close to achieving her dream.
"Ever since I started climbing and trekking, it has been my dream to conquer Mt Everest and thanks to Acquire Learning I am close to realising that goal," Ms Azar said.
"I want to inspire other Australians to believe in themselves, to know that anything is possible in the same way Acquire Learning is helping more people reinvent themselves and take control of their dreams.
"It is a privilege to be part of the Acquire Heroes ambassadors program and to have the opportunity to help motivate other people into action," she said.
If Ms Azar is successful, she will break the current national record held by Rex Pemberton, who scaled Mt Everest in 2005 at the age of 21.