Meet the little mountaineer who started scaling peaks at the age of 3 and became the youngest Brit to climb Greece's highest mountain.
Frankie McMillan, 7, has been regularly climbing mountains in the Lake District, UK, with his mom, Basia McMillan, 39, after she got him into the sport as a toddler.
Frankie summited Scafell Pike at just 4 years old and all the 214 Wainwrights in Lake District National Park.
His latest trek saw him reach the 9,573-foot summit of Mount Olympus on Sept. 2, 2023, with his mother—and he became the youngest Brit to ever do so.
The mom and son duo spent two days trekking up the mountain with a local guide, before descending on Sept. 3.
Ms. McMillan spent months exchanging emails and phone calls with the hike organizers and had to convince them Frankie would be able to reach the top.
"I'm very proud of myself, it was the highest I have ever been before," Frankie, from Gosforth, Cumbria, said.
"My favorite thing about climbing is spending time with my family, getting outdoors, looking at the views, and finding treasure, but most of all I like the rock-climbing parts."
Frankie's friends at school respect him and think he's amazing, he said. They watched him on TV and congratulated him on his accomplishment.
"They don't like climbing mountains as much as me because their legs get tired, but I love it," he said.
"I would like to go to the top of Mount Everest, but I'm too small, so maybe I can go up Rainbow Mountain in Peru or Toubkal in Morocco or Everest Base Camp if my mum lets me."
Ms. McMillan, a professional mountain guide, said she was "a little bit worried" about whether or not he would make it.
"But he just made me proud—there wasn't a second where he complained or wanted to rest," she said, adding that "if anything, he was better than me."
"He was just drinking in the experience—at times even the guide had to tell him to slow down.
"He did very, very well.
"It is so special."
Ever since he was small, his mom always told him that one day he would move mountains.
"I knew he'd be able to do it, of course I was worried, and you never know for sure," she said. "But when we got to the top, I was so proud.
"It was a very joyful experience to see him touching the top after all the planning and worries."
Her day job sees her taking people to the peaks of the Lake District, and she says Frankie has always had an interest in joining her.
"Frankie would always see me walking up and down, and he always wanted to come with me, so when he was three, I took him up," she said.
"And he did it himself, I thought he would just turn back, but he made it all the way to the top, and since then he's been asking for more and more.
"He wanted to go and play football after we climbed Scafell Pike."
The final ascent of Mount Olympus is very "technical," but Ms. McMillan says that's what Frankie was most excited about.
"We tried to find something as high as possible but within the limit," she said. "2,500 meters [8,202 feet] is considered a good starter altitude for a hike."
At this age, this was the highest they could go, but Frankie really relishes the technical parts of rock climbing.
"On the last kilometer it's very technical on Olympus and he was very excited about that part, as it's pretty much a vertical ascent using your ropes," the mom said.
Now that Olympus has been ticked off, Frankie has his eyes set on Mount Toubkal in Morocco—with an ultimate dream of one day conquering Everest.
"He was asking when the next school break is for his next adventure," Ms. McMillan said. "And he's made a list of where he wants to go: Morocco, Nepal, Peru, and Ecuador.
"So, it'll either be Morocco in November or waiting until April and trying Mount Everest base camp."
The latter jaunt is no picnic, consisting of a 15-day walk.
"I think he's proved that he'll be able to do it, but I really think that technically he will be able to do it, and that'll be the closest to his dream—so we'll see," the mom said.