15-yr.-Old Conquers 'Seven Summits'

“It’s in the books. The kid and team summit with all fingers and toes. Descent still to come. Then we celebrate.” Those were the brief words this past weekend transmitted from Antarctica to a Facebook account and then out to the world foretelling the success of a 15-year-old kid, Jordan Romero, as he reached the 16,050-foot summit of Vinson Massif, the highest peak on the continent, at noon on December 24th. The Christmastime summit was twice as sweet for Jordan, who has climbed around the world for the past six years with his father, including a successful ascent of Mount Everest at age 13, and who now holds the title of the youngest person ever to reach the top of the fabled “Seven Summits.”

jordan romero summit antarctica.jpg

Jordan Romero atop Vinson Massif, Antarctica

The highest mountains on each of the seven continents, the “Seven Summits,” include Everest, Vinson Massif, Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Carstensz Pyramid (Australia/Oceania), Mount Elbrus (Europe), Denali (North America), and Aconcagua (South America).

Vinson Massif.jpg

Mountain on the bottom of the globe. Vinson Massif on map and satellite photo

For the Antarctica climb on Christmas Eve, the BBC reported that in an audio message recorded on the summit Jordan’s father, Paul Romero, said there was a 15-knot wind and that the temperature felt like minus-25 F. “Legendary day. Team’s absolutely strong as it can be,” he added. “The mountain gods let us climb on top of Mount Vinson. The team climbed absolutely flawlessly, perfect teamwork.”

Jordan climbed Vinson with his father and step-mom, Karen Lundgren. “We have been along on this incredible ride for the last six years,” said Paul Romero. “We have always had some giant challenge right in front of us, one peak after the other. And now, we have completed this amazing quest as a family and a team. There is no way I could be more proud of my son than I am today.”


At age 11 Jordan summited Denali

We have covered and kept up with Jordan over the years, who was born in 1996. Our coverage included reporting on his ascents of Aconcagua and Denali, which he respectively summited in 2007 and 2008. Jordan also coauthored a book, “The Boy Who Conquered Everest,” which we reviewed in 2010. The book reveals that for three years Jordan slept in a special altitude simulator bed in his home in Big Bear Lake, Calif. It conditioned his body to the reduced oxygen levels he faced at high altitudes. Mean time, he’d wake up, go to school, and hang out with friends like other normal kids.

Jordan Romero book.jpg

Jordan Romero coauthored “The Boy Who Conquered Everest”

Congrats to Jordan! Vinson Massif is a tough climb, and the Seven Summits feather is undeniably impressive for his age. The feat, no matter his age, is a big deal. Add the strength, patience, perseverance, and six years of commitment — essentially half his life so far, not including “baby” years — and you have one stout and admirable teenager and a growing young outdoorsman to continue to watch.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.

antarctic jet.jpg

Airplane to Antarctica

jordan romero summit vinson antarctica.jpg

Summit shot! Jordan and crew on top

Posted by David - 12/29/2011 08:02 AM

From an armchair mountaineer: Congratulations to these folks on staying safe and succeeding. Though it makes me wonder what the climbing community thinks of this. Seems like just another group buying its way to the top of big mountains, “conquering” them, without any sense of the people, history and ethics of the sport. To be fair however, for all I know they could be a highly qualified and experienced family, which values tradition, good-style climbing and leaving the mountains cleaner than they found them…

Posted by Alex Romero - 12/30/2011 12:44 PM

I am the proudest father and grand-father in the world and all my Grand kids are also great.
I am Grand Pa Romero.

Posted by Jack - 12/30/2011 01:18 PM

Being a neighbor of the Jordan Romero Team I would like to set your mind at ease. The last third of your comment sums up the team. The inherent reason they attempted this feat was to satisfy a challenge that had to be tried.

Posted by Alex Romero - 12/30/2011 09:09 PM

David has not a clue. If you only knew about Team Jordan you would climb in a hole in embarrassment for what you “wonder” without the facts. Just Google Jordan’s name and see what I mean. It will knock you out of your armchair.

I am GrandPa Romero.

Posted by Leonardo Esch - 12/31/2011 06:19 AM

“At age 11 Jordan summited Denali” – this is not Denali, that photo was taken in Aconcagua, South America.
Happy 2012!!!

Posted by Himalayan regular - 12/31/2011 11:41 AM

Congratulations to the team. It is indeed a splendid effort. One however, cannot help wonder how many more will keep pushing their limits for fame and glory; rather than climb mountains just for the sake of climbing, for it’s pure joy – the way that this way of life we call mountaineering was established.

Posted by frantix - 01/26/2012 03:24 PM

Sorry, but how physically easy is it today to “conquer” a mountain if an 11-yr old can do it? With enough money (ok I admit – and knowledge and experience), obviously, it’s easy enough. No hating, but it’s kinda shocking to me.

Posted by martin - 02/13/2012 06:37 AM

Great accomplishment, indeed. Congrats. But using mentioned pressurized room for acclimatization is what I call cheating. Much bigger than using oxygen on 8000m peaks. If you cannot summit some peak in your current condition, you cannot be compared to people like Messner.
Do it next time without this help, no matter if you are 20, 30 or 60, and you will have my respect.

Add Comment

  1. Add link by using "LinkText":http://google.com