Mollie Hughes who works in Edinburgh at the top of Mount Everest

Edinburgh-based climber Mollie Hughes has reached the summer of Mount Everest, the youngest Briton, the youngest European woman and the first English-born woman to successfully scale the peak from both the north and south sides of the world’s highest mountain.

The 26 year-old braved temperatures as low as minus 40C and she reached the summit with climbing partner Jon Gupta of Mountain Expeditions.

With a £1 donation for every metre climbed, Hughes, who is supported by Tiso where she works, hopes to raise more than £8,000 funds for Cancer Research UK.

Mollie said: “I am elated, exhausted and know I still have the hardest part to do, the long and difficult descent to base camp.

“Jon (Gupta) and I have already spent more than four weeks acclimatising on the mountain. Thanks to a weather window, we left Camp 3 and we’ve finally reached the top.

“The climbing has been really, really hard but our mental and physical strength got us up here. I can confirm that the north side is definitely more difficult than the south side!

Mollie summited Mount Everest from its south side at the age of 21 and is 28 years younger than Lynne Hannah (Northern Ireland) who in 2016 and at the age of 54 became the first British woman to achieve ascents from both the north and south. In 1975, She plans to return home in June.

Junko Tabei (Japan) became the first female climber to summit the mountain that in 1953 was first officially climbed by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.

Molie, who is originally from Devon, started climbing at secondary school and at the age of 17 summited Mount Kenya (Africa’s second highest peak). She was first inspired to climb Mount Everest when as part of her sports psychology degree at UWE Bristol she interviewed seven Everest summiteers and learned of their different psychological experiences on the mountain.