Big Bear teenager aims to be youngest on Everest peak

Jordan Romero, 13, is set to become youngest person to scale Mt. Everest, in Nepal.
Jordan Romero, 13, is set to become youngest person to scale Mt. Everest, in Nepal. facebook.com

KATMANDU, Nepal — At age 13, Jordan Romero is headed to Mount Everest in an attempt to become the youngest person to scale the world's highest mountain - and complete his goal of climbing the highest peaks on all seven continents.

The teenager from Big Bear, California, was busy Saturday with his father Paul and stepmother Karen packing mountaineering gear and planning details of their expedition with three Sherpa guides who will accompany them.

The team leaves Katmandu, Nepal's capital, for China on Sunday and then will travel to the base camp on the Chinese side of the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) mountain.

Jordan has already climbed the highest peaks on six other continents and hopes to reach Everest's summit in May.

"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," Jordan told The Associated Press.

The record for the youngest climb of Everest is held by Temba Tsheri of Nepal, who reached the peak at age 16.

Jordan, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa when he was 10 years old, says he was inspired by a painting in his school hallway of the seven continents' highest summits.

Everest, however, will be his first over 8,000 meters (26,240 feet).

"This will be a big leap, but we have been training for the altitude," he said.

His father and stepmother have also accompanied him on his previous climbs.

Jordan said he would not take any unnecessary risks and would turn around if they encounter problems like bad weather. He said he has read about past disasters on the mountain that have claimed many lives and has learned lessons from them.

"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," he said. "I feel very prepared emotionally, and definitely physically."

While he is acclimatizing at the base camp before the May push to the summit, Jordan plans to do his algebra homework, some book reports and write a journal about his experiences.

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On the Net:

Expedition Web site

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