Eleven-Year-Old Summits Aconcagua

On December 30, at 3:30 p.m. local time, Jordan Romero of California became the youngest person to stand atop Aconcagua, a 22,841-foot peak in Argentina that’s the highest in all the Americas.

Jordan, along with his father Paul and stepmother Karen, both accomplished adventure racers on Team SOLE, endured a 9-hour push to the summit, at times trudging through three-foot-deep snow in temps as low as minus-30 Fahrenheit.

Remember, this kid is 11. (He was BORN in 1996!) But Jordan already has significant peaks under his, well, harness, including the likes of the 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and Mt. Elbrus in Russia.

He hopes to become the youngest person to climb the highest peaks on the seven continents. Indeed, he plans to finish the Seven Summits quest by climbing Mt. Everest before his sixteenth birthday. This is his web site: www.jordanromero.com

Before leaving for Argentina, Jordan spent a month sleeping in a simulated high altitude tent at home to help him acclimatize on the mountain. He also made daily climbs in the local mountains around Big Bear in southern California with his friends and family. Jordan’s parents had to gain a court exemption for his Aconcagua climb because the Argentinean government bans hikers under age 14 inside Aconcagua Provincial Park.

“The view from the summit was spectacular and it made all those months of training worth it,” Jordan said. “I’m going to have a good story back at school when my teacher asks everyone what they did for winter break.”

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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