Thursday, April 15, 2010

13-year-old about to attempt Mt. Everest

About a year and a half ago I posted an article about a then 12-year-old who was on his way to conquer Mt. Vinson, the highest point in the Antarctica. Although that expedition was abandoned, Jordan Romero now has his sights squarely on Mt. Everest, the second last hurdle for him in becoming the youngest person to reach the highest point on all seven continents.

The record is currently held by Johnny Collinson who reached the top of Mt. Vinson earlier this year, thus completing all Seven Summits at the age of 17.

As of right now Jordan is on his way to Base Camp at the foot of Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. If successful, he'll become the youngest person to conquer the world's highest mountain. The current record for the youngest climber of Everest is held by Nepali Temba Tsheri, who was 16 when he reached the peak in 2001.

If Jordan succeeds in the Himalayas this spring, he will then attempt the Vinson Massif later this winter, at which point he would smash Collinson's record by three years.

When I first came across Romero's story I was truly impressed and thought it was amazing that someone of his age could be so focussed on such a feat. However, I don't have any children. A friend of mine brought Romero's quest up in a recent blog posting that provides the perspective from a father.

My friend, Dana, points out this quote from Jordan in a recent Outside Magazine article: “I just focus on the goal I set when I was nine, which is to climb the Seven Summits.”

As Dana more or less points out: Where or how did Jordan come up with such an idea at the age of nine?

Is he being pushed into a dangerous situation by his dad, perhaps for his own ambitions?

Dana compares Jordan exploits to his own on a bike ride up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park as a young teenager. You can read the article by clicking here. In addition to offering a different perspective on this story, Dana provides an entertaining tale of his cycling exploits on the highest road in the United States.

So, what do you think? Is Jordan's goal and aspirations admirable and exciting, or is he being pushed by an irresponsible parent?

On a related but slightly less serious note, Gadling has this report on their website:

Pregnant mountaineer Kate Suleman is preparing to climb Mt. Everest, which at 29,035 feet in height, is the tallest mountain on the planet. If she is successful, her unborn fetus will set a new record for the youngest person to ever reach the summit of the mountain. Click here to read the full report.

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.

1 comment:

Hiking Lady said...

I think that it is impressive that such a young kid can have the mental determination to accomplish something as challenging as the 7 Summits (I am hoping that this isn't his parent's dream, but rather his own!).

However, I personally find that when people are trying to set records, the accomplishment loses some of its meaning in my mind. Climbing the 7 Summits is remarkable whether you're a teenager or 65, and safety should always be the number 1 priority.