A THREE-year-old boy from South Lakeland made history by becoming the youngest person to reach the summit of an 11,000ft-high mountain that sits on the Swiss-Italian border.

Jackson Houlding, from Staveley, journeyed up Piz Badile safely secured to his mum's back.

Not to be outdone, seven-year-old sister Freya became the youngest person ever to climb the mountain unaided, an ascent which saw her traverse a 3,000ft-long knife-edge ridge.

The siblings were led up the peak by parents Leo, a professional climber and adventurer, and Jessica, a GP and also an avid climber.

Mr Houlding, who celebrated his fortieth birthday on the summit of Piz Badile, said: “As you climb these peaks you go through different environments - you start in meadows with cow bells ringing, up through pine forests, then above the tree-line into the Alpine realm of snow and rock.

“Then at the top you’re on a big pointy mountain and you can see for miles and miles. It has that big mountain feel, so we were in no rush.

“It’s a walk in the park for me, that’s why I went up with the kids - if needs be I could have carried them up on my own, one at a time.”

The journey up the mountain took four days. Mr Houlding described it as ‘one of the finest climbs of its standard in the world’.

“There’s always danger in the mountains - there’s hazards of fall, hazards of weather, hazards of rock-fall,” he said.

“The benefits of being on a ridge is that the threat of rock-fall is much lower. If you’re on the face it’s worse.

“These days mountain weather forecasts are so accurate you can mitigate that risk too.

“For falling, it’s the person who goes first at risk - so I led the whole climb. I’m a professional climber, the most experienced person goes first.

“In mountain activities there is more risk than in other activities, but we chose this climb because there is a lot less objective hazard - you can control the risks I just mentioned.”