A Teen Tries to Climb His Way Into the Record Books

A California kid is looking to peak early

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    In this Sept. 1, 2009 photo provided by the Romero family, Jordan Romero poses at the Carstensz Pyramid summit, Oceania's highest peak at 16,024 feet, making Jordan the youngest person to summit. The 13-year-old California boy plans to try to climb Mount Everest in a quest to reach the summits of the highest peaks on all seven continents. (AP Photo/courtesy of Romero family) NO SALES

    A 13-year-old boy from California is on his way to Mount Everest base camp with his next stop being the record book.

    Jordan Alexander Romero, who is just 13 years old, calls Big Bear Lake his hometown and he hopes to become the youngest person ever to climb the world's highest mountain, which tops out at more than 29,000 feet.

    "I just wanted to do something big, and this was something I wanted to do for myself. It was all about the experience and I just happen to be 13 at this time,'' Jordan told The Associated Press.

    The youngster's plan, coordinated with numerous sponsors, is to become the youngest person in the world to climb the highest summits on the world's seven continents by the end of this year.

    Romero has already shelved most of them, including 20,320-foot Mount McKinley in Alaska and 22,841 Aconcagua in Argentina, both when he was 11. He was 10 when he climbed 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

    "This will be a big leap, but we have been training for the altitude," said Jordan.

    Mount Everest at 29,029 feet above sea level is the only one of the world's "Seven Summits'' that reaches above 8,000 meters into the so-called Death Zone.

    Jordan said he would not take any unnecessary risks and would turn around if they encounter problems like bad weather. He said he has read about past disasters on the mountain that have claimed many lives and has learned lessons from them.

    "This may be the first of many attempts," said Romero. "It could take a couple of years, but I am determined to do it. If I don't reach the summit this time, I will try next time."

    Romero still has a couple years leeway to break the record. Temba Tsheri of Nepal, who reached the peak at age 16, holds the record for the youngest person ever to climb Everest.

    "I do feel ready," said Jordan. "I feel very prepared emotionally, and definitely physically."

    While Jordan is acclimatizing at the base, He plans to do his algebra homework, some book reports and write a journal about his experiences. Stay connected to Jordan's record-breaking climb through his Web site.