Mt. Everest conquered by 13-year-old California boy
A 13-year-old California boy, Jordan Romero,is the youngest climber to summit Mount Everest! It all began with a mural he saw at in his school at age 9 and the desire to dream BIG.
This eighth grader from Big Bear, California came up with the idea to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents and this past Saturday, he reached the top of the world’s highest mountain. Jordan succeeded in climbing a 29,035 foot peak with a team that included his father, his father’s girlfriend and three Sherpa guides.
He says , “I’m doing this to inspire other kids, hopefully across the world, to get outdoors and to set goals in life. I’m doing this to set goals in life. I’m doing this to set an example for them.” He says he hopes his achievement would encourage all young people worldwide to set their own BIG dreams and pursue them.
Before Jordan, the youngest climber to scale Everest had been Temba Tsheri of Nepal who was 16 when he made the climb.
The climb has a few rough spots, Jordan says. The water bottles froze at one point and the team went without liquids for 10 hours. The most difficult point came when he developed stomach cramps on the final ascent. He was unsure if he was going to make it saying it, “is the worst pain I had ever felt in my stomach.” However, the pain was soon forgotten as they approached the submit and Jordan says all he could feel was happiness at that point. The young climber recalls, at the top of the summit, touching the prayer flags before standing with his arms outstretched, yelling in exultation.
The climber carried some good luck charms on his climb on Mount Everest, including a rabbit’s foot, a Tibetan prayer necklace, a cross from his grandfather, and a pair of kangaroo testicles given by a good friend.
Completing this climb means that Jordan is just one peak shy of his overall goal of climbing all of the highest peaks in each continent. His final climb for this goal is Vinson Massif in Antarctica, 16,076 foot peak, which he hopes to tackle by the end of this year.
Jordan has no lack of support. Paul Romero, his father is a helicopter paramedic who is trained in high-altitude rescue. Romero and his girlfriend, Karen Lundgren, have trained Jordan for top-level mountaineering. They climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa when Jordan was only 10 years old. Jordan says, “They are the most supportive parents ever. I do feel lucky for that. I don’t know if other parents would encourage their kids to go big. But that’s what I’m doing this far – to encourage kids who don’t have that, to go big and set goals in life.”
Questions were raised about how young is too young to scale a mountain known for its harsh conditions and for claiming the lives of dozens of climbers. Romero says that his goal has always been to help his son attain his dreams. He emphasizes that it is important to remember that this was in fact Jordan’s goal and not something that Romero dragged his son to do.
Jordan’s achievement is drawing an incredible amount of support and attention from the public. Romero says, “We can’t believe the e-mails and messages and response we’re getting already on the mountain. That’s really what drives Jordan and that’s what drives us.”
Following his last submit in Antarctica, Jordan’s next goal, he plans to climb the highest peaks in all 50 U.S. states.
Check out Jordan’s Photos from his adventure at Flickr!