At 6,962m above sea level, Aconcagua is one of the highest mountains in South America. Since the first recorded climb in 1897, there hasn’t been a girl under 15 who has reached the top. This was until February 2019 when Milena Luna became the youngest woman to take on the challenge and succeed.
Milena, a Middle Years Programme (MYP) student from Britanico School, in Equador, decided to base her personal project on a trip to Aconcagua. She set out to promote mountaineering to her classmates by publishing pictures of mountains and the different sporting activies that involve mountains such as: trekking, climbing in rock or ice and speed climbing. But she also wanted to challenge herself.
Milena completed Aconcagua in seven days with a group of fellow climbers, and also visited different mountains around South America.
Commenting on her achievement, she says: “I feel very strong and proud of myself because at first it sounded impossible, but in the moment I reached the summit, nothing sounded impossible anymore.”
She adds: “I think that mountaineering is the most complete sport. I like it because it lets me be free and also it gives me the opportunity to meet new people and to be in contact with nature.”
Milena improved her climbing skills and learned many new things during her project. “I became more responsible and patient because sometimes I had to travel alone, and I had to organize myself to do things the best way I could,” she says.
Personal Project Tutor Martin Fernandez, says: “Milena is an excellent example of what an IB student should be. She divides her time between her academic training and her favorite sport, developing attributes of the IB learner profile that define her as a person.
“She is a risk-taker because she has extraordinary goals and is a balanced person who knows how to act in any situation, caring and a thinker. At school, she has found all the support of her friends and teachers who today applaud her achievement”
Next, Milena wants to climb the 7 peaks, and become the youngest woman to achieve it.
This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter @IBorganization #IBcommunitystories. Share your great stories and experiences: email firstname.lastname@example.org