US: Gay student begins Mount Everest challenge in support of Trevor Project

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

An American student is well on his way to becoming the first openly gay mountaineer to conquer the highest peak on each continent.

Cason Crane, 20, has raised more than $100,000 (£ 65,655) for the Trevor Project.

The US charity aims to prevention suicides among LGBT teens.

He was spurred into action following the suicide of Tyler Clementi, who jumped from a bridge in September 2010 after his roommate and others targeted the university student through cyber-bullying.

“I didn’t know Tyler at all,” Crane said. “But I felt like I knew him.”

Crane has already conquered five of the seven highest peaks on every continent.

South China Morning Post reports on Sunday, he began his quest to the top of the tallest of them all, Mount Everest.

After he hits his final target – Mount McKinnley in Alaska – he’ll be the fifth youngest climber to achieve the feat.

The oldest of five children, Crane showed early signs of mountaineering skills.

At just 15-years-old, he went with his mother, a mountaineer and ultramarathon athlete, up Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.