Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Is 13 Too Young To Climb Everest?

Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I have always wanted to climb Everest - even if I could just get to Base Camp on Everest I would be a happy bunny.  I still hold onto that dream, but seriously after having 2 kids, I am just worried that I might die on that almighty mountain - to date over 200 people have died, with 120 corpses still remaining.  I still want the challenge of climbing one of the biggies, but know it will be one with a more impressive mortality record.

Jordan Romero is only 13 and already plans to scale Everest with his parents. They have had no experience climbing the tallest mountain in the world, and do not even plan to use a specialist team to guide them, simply hiring sherpas to help them on their way.  The mountaineering community is disputing whether this is just a publicity stunt and if Jordan (and his parents) really understand the risks that lie ahead of them.

click here to read the full article.

Most people have heard of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, the mountaineer who was part of the 1996 expedition that took 8 lives. Definitely a book worth reading, but particularly as it highlights the extreme dangers of the climb. Another book which I would recommend  is Where The Mountain Casts Its Shadow by Maria Coffey, who herself is a mountaineering widow, she talks about the lives of the people left behind when tragedy like this strikes.


  1. It thinks it's pretty weird. I'm not sure that a 13 year old really can't make that kind of decision. I know that we risk our lives just leaving home and hopping in a car... but Everest? Really?
    I climbed Kilimanjaro which is the highest peak in Africa but not nearly the height of Everest. The peak of Kili is at roughly the same altitude as Everest base camp. And, given those stats, I still don't know that it would be wise for a 13 year old to even attempt that mountain!

  2. I think the majority of people are in agreement with you Jill. Good for you climbing Kilimanjaro, was it fun? I am thinking of doing Aconcagua next year, starting my endurance training in ernest and obviously saving some cash. How was your climb? I have heard that its a doable peak, not too arduous (ie no mountaineering reqd)

  3. Hi Amanda,
    Good for you! I hear that Aconcagua is amazing. When I climbed Kili, I met two Australian guys who had done Aconcagua and loved it. I always planned to do it... but haven't quite got around to it yet!
    The Kilimanjaro climb is certainly very doable. There is no "technical" climbing involved. I highly recommend doing one of the less popular routes... the main route is sadly very over-used. The climb is very challenging and really it all comes down to how you handle the altitude...which is something you really can't predict or train for. It was an incredible experience and we (my dad, brother and I) all made it to the summit.
    All this being said, I do have some conflicting feelings about this kind of climbing and the lack or respect that we can sometimes have for these beautiful mountains - they get so over used and abused. I can't really disagree with climbing, because then I'd be a hypocrite, but I do wish they weren't such "amusement parks"... it seems that's what is happening to many of them... including Everest.
    I am very curious to hear how Aconcagua is!

  4. Retarded ! No way he should be climbing and no way they should be doing it so illprepared


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