Calif. Boy, 13, Tackles Everest

Climbers split on wisdom of Jordan Romero's quest
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2010 5:54 AM CDT
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.   (AP Photo/courtesy of Romero family)
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(Newser) – Nothing but a treacherous climb up Mount Everest's northeast face now stands between a California teen and his dream of being the youngest person to ever scale the highest peaks on seven continents, but some say that at 13, Jordan Romero is just too young. The boy's body can probably handle the altitude, doctors say, but psychologists and some members of the climbing community fear he may not be old enough to deal with the stress of having to make potentially life-or-death decisions.

"My gut reaction was that 13 seems young to have the emotional maturity to decide to be there himself,” Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind person ever to reach Everest's summit, tells the New York Times. But "when I went up the mountain, I had people like one of my heroes, Ed Viesturs, saying I was going to slow my team down and kill them and myself, so I won’t be a dream crusher.” Romero—who is climbing with his father and three Sherpa guides—is currently at a base camp 6,000 feet short of the summit waiting out high winds, the AP reports. Ahead lies a tricky climb up a steep, exposed ridge.

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