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13-year old Jordan Romero's dream is to be the youngest person to climb the Seven Summits - the highest peak in each of the seven continents. As of this week, he is one step closer to fulfilling his dream by attempting the tallest and most treacherous peak of all - the 29,029 ft. tall, Mt. Everest. If he succeeds, he will become the youngest person to scale the 'Top of the World'!
The youngster from Big Bear, California was inspired to tackle the seven summits after he saw a mural of the world's highest peaks at his school. He researched the subject for two weeks, prior to announcing his desire to his father. Fortunately for him, his father, a paramedic by day, is also an avid climber as is his step-mom. The trio embarked on their first summit climb in 2006 when Jordan was just 9 years old, and successfully tackled the 19,340 ft. ascent of Africa's highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro.
After that, there was no stopping them. The trio soon conquered Europe's Mt. Elbrus and South America's Aconcagua, as well as, North America's Mt. McKinley (Denali). And, since there is a debate about whether the highest mountain in Oceania is Mt. Kosciusko in Australia or Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, the team did both. If all goes well on Mt. Everest, Jordan and his parents are planning to tackle the last summit - Antarctica's Vinson Massif, as early as this December!
To plan for this climb, Jordan has been training extensively, in order to be fit as possible. One of the exercises he does to build endurance, is run with a backpack attached to a tire that drags on the ground as he moves. Also, for the last six months he has been spending his nights sleeping inside a tent that mimics the oxygen sparse environment prevalent in high altitudes.
Jordan and his team, who have decided to tacke Mt. Everest from the Northeast ridge, are currently at the base camp in Tibet, where they will spend the next few weeks acclimatizing, before embarking on their ascent in mid-May, when the climbing conditions on Mt. Everest are considered optimal.
In case you are wondering how Jordan is keeping himself occupied while he waits, here's a clue- while he may be a world class climber, he is still a middle school student and hence subject to the same rigors of school as all of you. He is therefore, carrying with him 'loads' of algebra homework and a few book reports and, since he did get to take a semester off, he will return the favor by keeping a daily journal of his adventures!
If successful, Jordan will take over the record set by Nepal's Temba Tsheri who conquered the peak in 2001, at the tender age of 16. We wish the teenager the best in his quest and hope that he comes back victorious - If not, as Jordan puts it, he can always try again! To read more about Jordan's journey, check out his website: www.jordanromero.com.
To read about other young people who have also accomplished this amazing feat, check out Australian mother daughter team conquer seven summits and Top of the world at just 18.