13-year old mountaineer Jordan Romero set off for Kathmandu yesterday, where he hopes to not only become the youngest climber to ever summit Mt. Everest but the Seven Summits as well.
We first mentioned Jordan more than a year ago. At the time, he had already well into his quest to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, having completed Kilimanjaro (Africa), Elbrus (Europe), Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), and Kosciuszko (Australia). He has since added Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea, considered the highest peak in Oceania to his resume. That leaves just Everest and Mt. Vinson in Antarctica. left to conquer. If successful on Everest, he’ll go for Vinson in the fall.
Jordan and his team, which includes his father, will be climbing from the North Side of Everest, located in Tibet. The South Side falls under the jurisdiction of Nepal, who enforce an age requirement of 16 years or older on all climbers, but the Chinese have no such restrictions on their side of the mountain, which is why Jordan and company have elected to take on the mountain from the North. Curiously, the team is also making the climb with out the support of guides.
A few days back, we had a little fun here at Gadling with a host of April Fool’s Day travel posts. My contribution to those posts was written in the spirit of good fun of course, but was also meant as a bit of social commentary. While I completely respect what Jordan has accomplished as a climber already, I’m not a huge fan of the recent trend to have younger and younger kids attempting dangerous things in order to claim some dubious “youngest” record. Climbing Everest will be unlike any of the other mountains that he has summitted, and spending time above 26,000 feet, dubbed the “Death Zone” in popular culture, is dangerous for a full grown man or woman. It could be potentially disastrous for a young, still developing teen. Hopefully everything will go well, and he’ll come home safe and sound. Reaching the summit is optional, coming back home is not.