Is the quest to become the youngest becoming dangerous?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

By now most people are already aware of the successful summit of Mt. Everest by 13-year-old Jordan Romero last month.

As you would expect, Jordan's age has become the subject of quite a bit of controversy: Is the quest to become the youngest - in a host of outdoor endeavors - becoming just too dangerous?

One doesn't need to look too far in recent headlines for an example of how younger people are flirting with disaster. Take 16-year-old Abby Sunderland who was rescued this morning by the crew of a French fishing ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Sunderland was trying to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo. Her brother, Zac, held the record for a little more than a month last year before it was broken by Mike Perham. Perham's record lasted until last month before 16-year-old Australian Jessica Watson completed her own around-the-world voyage.

Now, according to a report on Alan Arnette's climbing blog, the search is on for someone to break Jordan's Everest record.

According to the article, Sherpa Pemba Dorje is already searching for a young climber who can break Jordan's record, stating that he thinks that all Everest records should be held by Nepali climbers.

This is Dorje's rationale:

“Nepal is a small country and we do not get much good publicity. I want to take an 11- or 12-year-old to the summit because I think all the Everest records should be held by Nepalese people.”

One can only conclude that the quest to become the youngest will end up in disaster one day. The controversy surrounding Jordan's age right now will be nothing when compared to the media storm that will ensue after that first death.

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

1 comment

Danny Bernstein said...

Yes, the quest to become the youngest is ridiculous. These are children!
You cannot give a child an aspirin without their parents' permission but you can send them off on a solo expedition.