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13-Year-Old Climber Bound for Everest

Jordan Romero leaves for Kathmandu in hopes of becoming the youngest person atop the Seven Summits

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Jordan Romero, the 13-year-old kid we’ve been following in the pages and pixels of BACKPACKER, is one step closer to achieving his goal of becoming the youngest person atop the Seven Summits. Yesterday, he boarded a plane bound for Hong Kong and then Kathmandu, where he will stage his climb for Everest—the last peak on his Seven Summits list.

He posted a photo on his blog taken from his dad’s Blackberry (he’s by the window):

“On the plane!”

So far, Romero looks comfortable. That will change, of course, once he starts tackling the North Route of Everest. (He has to tackle the world’s tallest mountain from the Tibetan side because Nepal requires climbers to be at least 16 years of age).

Before he left, he borrowed a down suit from Johnny Strange, a Malibu 17-year-old who holds the current record for youngest person atop the Seven Summits (he’s tied with Johnny Collinson, a 17-year-old who did it in one year). Kind of odd that he’d lend his down suit to the kid who might beat his record, no? Jordan, if I was you I’d check and make sure he didn’t replace the down fill with spider eggs or something.

Read more about Jordan Romero’s quest in “Higher Learning,” from BACKPACKER’s Sept. 2009 issue.

—Ted Alvarez