Waseda student becomes youngest to complete Explorers Grand Slam

Kyodo, Staff Report

Marin Minamiya, a 20-year-old university student, has completed a challenge known as the Explorers Grand Slam, becoming the youngest person to ascend the “Seven Summits” — the highest peaks on each continent — and conquer the two poles.

“I felt how beautiful the Earth is,” she told a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. “I appreciate my family and sponsors who have supported me.”

Minamiya started with the 6,961-meter Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, in January 2015, when she was a third-year high school student. On April 13, she conquered the North Pole, meaning she completed the Grand Slam in slightly over two years.

“I didn’t start the journey to break the record (of the youngest age), so I feel honored that I did,” she said.

Minamiya will continue taking on adventures as completes her studies at Waseda University. The next challenge will be an around-the-world trip by sea, she said.