While most girls her age are more concerned about which boys will be asking them out this weekend, Crina Popescu has loftier goals in mind. The 16-year old Romanina girl is currently in Antarctica, where she is climbing Mt. Vinson, the tallest mountain on that continent. If successful, she hopes to go to Everest in the spring and take a shot at becoming the youngest woman to complete the Seven Summits.
Standing 16,050 feet in height, what Vinson lacks in altitude it makes up for in challenge, due in no small part thanks to the extreme weather. Temperatures on the mountain can plummett well below zero, with -30 degrees Faherenheit not being unheard of. Throw in high winds and heavy snow fall and you start to see the difficulty climbers face. Additionally, due to the very low barometric pressure as you get closer to the South Pole, the altitude actually seems much higher than it actually is. Fortunately, the weather is fantastic on Vinson at the moment, which means a number of climbing teams, including Crina’s, are preparing to make summit bids.
The teenager has plenty of mountaineering experience under her belt, despite her young age. She has already climbed in the Alps, the Himalaya, Iran, and beyond. Vinson also marks the sixth mountain in her Seven Summits bid, which is an attempt to climb the tallest mountain on all seven continents. With Vinson out of the way, Everest will remain the only obstacle left in her quest.
If the weather holds, look for the Romanian teen to take her countries flag to the summit this weekend.
[Photo credit: Crina Popescu]