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17-year-old Conquers Seven Summits

Utahn Johnny Collinson becomes the youngest person atop all Seven Summits

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Think about what were you doing at 17. Maybe chasing boys/girls, thinking about college, evading the law? Not Johnny Collinson: The Snowbird native just summitted Antarctica’s 16,067-ft. Mt. Vinson yesterday, making him the youngest person to stand atop the Seven Summits. 

This shouldn’t be surprising—after all, Johnny first summitted Rainier when he was a wee lad of 4. (When I was 4, I think I considered summitting the sandbox an accomplishment.) Even crazier, he completed his quest in under a year. (Again, when I was 17, I think getting my homework done in a year was a pretty Herculean achievement.)

Johnny’s so fresh off of his summit success that he hasn’t updated his web page, but word comes from his guide service, Mountain Madness:

“Climbing to the top of the 7 Summits seems like it would be the greatest physical feat I could accomplish. Like anyone my age, it’s easy to become lost in the world of electronic distractions. I want to live life instead of watching it on TV.”

Thanks to your accomplishment, you’ll probably get to watch yourself on TV soon enough (“paging Matt Lauer…”). And you’ve set a tough bar for aspiring youngest Seven Summiteer Jordan Romero to reach. Congrats, Johnny, and good luck, Jordan.

—Ted Alvarez