Update: Jordan Romero within sight of Everest; plus, reader responses to boy’s attempt to be youngest to ever summit Big E
Got some more news on Jordan Romero, the 13-year-old California kid who is attempting to become the youngest person to ever reach the summit of Mount Everest.
It looks like he is now in Tibet and is within sight of the mountain. Here’s a link with more: http://outside-blog.away.com/blog/2010/04/youngest-on-everest-within-sight.html
Here’s another story, and video, courtesy of BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8615400.stm
And finally, some reader responses.
Just to recap: Romero is aiming to become the youngest person to climb Mount Everest as well as the youngest to climb the “Seven Summit,” that is, the highest peaks on each of the world’s tallest mountains.
As originally profiled in Outside magazine, Romero has a climbing resume that is worlds above most. He was a grade-schooler when he bagged Kilimanjaro, and has since tackled bigger, tougher mountains like Aconcagua, Denali and Elbrus. His parents are climbing with him on an unguided climb up Everest’s north face with limited Sherpa supports.
His climbing resume suggests that he’s as ready as many who try the world’s tallest mountain, but his age concerns many.
And here are a couple reader responses:
This is reckless and irresponsible. The wishes of a child in this matter are irrelevant. The fatality rate I found for an Everest climb is 9.3%. More recent information put it at 4.4% for 2004. That is a higher fatality rate than if he served a year in combat in Iraq. What parent in their right mind would allow a child to attempt such a feat? As a parent of four, I strongly support a very broad view of parent’s rights; however when a parent allows or encourages such a dangerous activity the authorities should step in to protect a minor from irresponsible parents. When adults want to frivolously risk their lives that is one thing, but to allow or encourage a child to take such risk is criminal.
And for what, fifteen minutes of fame for being the youngest. I hope and pray that someone will have the sense to halt this foolishness. If not, I hope and pray he survives. Perhaps an 11 year old will try to break his record and then perhaps a 9 year old. Doesn’t anyone remember Jessica Dubroff’s attempt to set the record for the youngest person to fly across the country in 1996. She unfortunately died in the attempt. Can anyone say it was worth it?
I have done some very dangerous things in my life, the vast majority in service to my country. Life is full of risk, but to needlessly but a child in harms way is despicable. Would you let take a flight if you had a one percent chance of a fatal crash? Would you let your children?
According to media reports the current record was set in 2001 by a 16-year-old Nepalese boy who lost five fingers to frostbite during his climb.
Instead of just writing about it, I filed a complaint with the Child Protective Service in California.
Pretty strong stuff. Another from Nic:
That’s $*&#!n crazy. People die on Everest every season, including experienced climbers. Taking a child there should be illegal, and this kid should be put in foster care. Honestly, a 13 year old is ready to deal with stepping past the numerous corpses that litter the summit routes?
Good question. There’s a lot of facets when it comes to facing death.
I’ll be following his ascent periodically here to see how this goes and post updates here. In the mean time, I wish him and his team the best of luck and hope they come home safely.