A necklace blessed by Buddhists helped a British woman become the youngest female to scale Mount Everest from both sides, she claims.
Mollie Hughes, a 26-year-old from Torbay in Devon, reached the top of Everest from the north side of the Nepal mountain on May 16 – battling temperatures as low as -30C.
She also made it to the summit of Everest, earth’s highest mountain, from the south side in 2012.
Ms Hughes, who raised £50,000 to undertake this month’s climb, said a necklace blessed in a Puja ceremony prior to setting off provided her with strength during the last metres of her ascent.
The climber described how the Puja necklace gave her “something to hold on to”.
Undertaking the challenge with climbing partner Jon Gupta, Ms Hughes began her climb at 8.30pm on May 15, arriving at 4.45am the next day.
Describing the difficulty of the trek, she said: “The sun was just rising and it was just elating when it rose just as we reached the top.
“It was so hard, especially when you are just 10 metres away from the summit and you can see it.
“When we got there I just hugged our guide and hugged Jon. It was overwhelming.”
Ms Hughes put her last ounces of strength down to the talisman she had brought with her, blessed by Buddhists.
“I’m not religious but when you are up there and everything is so desperate, you need something to hold on to”, she said.
“You’ve just got to separate your life from that moment because you are there to do a job.”
Ms Hughes was required to climb 8,848m from camp three on the north side of the mountain to reach the summit.
The £50,000 raised helped her to cover the costs of travel, Sherpas and local guides for the area.