Saturday at 10 a.m. local time, Jordan Romero finally topped out on Everest, at 13 becoming the youngest climber to ever accomplish the feat and putting himself on the doorstep of being the youngest to conquer the Seven Summits (he still has Antarctica’s Vinson left). By all accounts, he’s resting and in good health and spirits.
He used a sat phone to call his mom in California to celebrate:
“He says, ‘Mom, I’m calling you from the top of the world,’ ” Leigh Anne Drake said from California, where she had been watching her son’s progress on a GPS tracker online.
“There were lots of tears, and ‘I love you! I love you!’ I just told him to get his butt back home.”
While Romero clearly answers the question of whether a 13-year-old can reach the summit of Everest, he can expect questions about whether a 13-year-old should to dog him for years to come. He’ll have plenty of chances to start addressing these questions in the queasy interviews, photos, and films to come, as promised by his family.
My advice is to enjoy his summit for himself while he’s still away from the media blitz in Nepal. When he comes back, he’s got a long career ahead of him as “that kid who summitted Everest at 13″—something I imagine would get pretty old by age 16.