A nine-year-old California boy has become the youngest person ever to summit Argentina's 22,841-ft. Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America.
Accompanied by his father Kevin and a Tibetan sherpa, Tyler Armstrong reached the top on Christmas Eve. As The Guardianreports, the extraordinary feat required special permission due to the extreme nature of the climb and Tyler's age:
Only 30% of the 7,000 people who obtain permits to climb Aconcagua each year make the summit, said Nicolas Garcia, who handled [Armstrong's] logistics from down below. No one under 14 is usually allowed, so the family had to persuade an Argentinian judge that Tyler could safely accomplish the feat.
"Any kid can really do this – all they have to do is try. And set their mind to the goal," said Tyler, who worked out twice a day for a year and a half to prepare for the climb. He also held fundraisers, not only to defray the cost, but to raise money for CureDuchenne, which funds muscular dystrophy research.
"I think Tyler's record speaks for itself and because I think he's doing it for a good cause, he's doing it to help other people, I think the judge recognised that," said his father, an emergency medical technician.
Tyler Armstrong has already climbed 19,341-ft. Mount Kilimanjaro and hopes to eventually climb all "seven summits," a.k.a. the highest peak on each continent.
Read more: The Guardian