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13-year-old boy wants to be youngest to conquer Everest

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Jordan Romero set out from Katmandu yesterday and will travel to the base camp on the Chinese side of the 29,035-ft peak. He hopes to reach the summit by May.

The world’s tallest mountain is the final leg in Jordan’s attempt on the Seven Summits, a daunting mountaineering challenge which takes in the highest peaks in seven continents.

He will be accompanied on the ascent by his father and step-mother, and two Sherpa guides.

The youngest person to climb Everest until now was Temba Tsheri, 16, from Nepal, in 2001.

Jordan and his parents, both experienced mountaineers, climbed the first – Africa’s Kilimanjaro – in July 2006, when he was only 10.

They scaled Kosciuszko in Australia the following year, then Elbrus in Russia three months later and Aconcagua in Argentina five months after that.

In June 2008 – six months after the Andes climb – they completed Mount McKinley in Alaska and, within three months, they had also scaled Cartensz Pyramid in Indonesia.

Jordan said he was originally inspired by a painting in his school’s hallway showing all seven peaks.

“I just wanted to do something big, and this was something I wanted to do for myself. It was all about the experience and I just happen to be 13 at this time,” he said of the Everest attempt.

His father, Paul, insisted the idea was all down to his son. “We’re just packing the bags, chasing him around the world,” he said.

The Himalayan mountain is the first Jordan will tackle that is over 8,000m (26,248ft) and he acknowledged that it constituted a “big leap” which had involved altitude training.

Temba Tsheri lost five fingers from frostbite on his first attempt to scale Everest. Jordan said they would not take any unnecessary risks and would turn around if they encounter problems such as bad weather.

“This may be the first of many attempts,” he said. “It could take a couple of years, but I am determined to do it. If I don’t reach the summit this time, I will try next time.”

“I do feel ready. I feel very prepared emotionally, and definitely physically.”

Those preparations are not entirely true to standard Everest practice. While acclimatising at base camp, Jordan plans to do his algebra homework.

SOURCE: Boy, 13, aims to be youngest to conquer Everest

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  1. While I admire the boy’s tenacity, I certainly must question the wisdom of supporting one so young in a quest to tackle the world’s tallest summit. Mountaineering above 8000 meters quickly turns into a solo event in which every member of an excursion must rely entirely on their own skills and judgment. The fact that this boy is climbing with his parents changes that dynamic somewhat. I’m not convinced that he has the maturity to respond to any crisis that may arise on their climb, nor am I convinced that his parents have sufficient objectivity to guide this climb. I truly hope that we do not ultimately read of the youngest victim claimed by Everest.

    R. J. Correia

    04/11/2010 at 4:58 pm

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