A 13-year-old boy from Big Bear became the youngest climber to reach the top of Mt. Everest on Saturday, breaking the former record as part of his quest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents.
A spokesman for Jordan Romero said the boy’s team called him by satellite phone from the summit of the world’s highest mountain, 29,035 feet above sea level.
“Their dreams have now come true. Everyone sounded unbelievably happy,” a new statement on Jordan’s blog said Saturday morning.
The teenager with long curly hair — who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa when he was 9 — says he was inspired by a painting in his school hallway of the seven continents’ highest summits.
“Every step I take is finally toward the biggest goal of my life, to stand on top of the world,” Jordan said on his blog earlier.
The former record for the youngest climber to scale Everest had been held by Temba Tsheri of Nepal. He reached the peak at age 16.
“I’m just very proud of him,” Jordan’s mother, Leigh Ann Drake, said as she watched his progress on a live GPS tracker online.
When asked what she would say to him once he reached the summit, she started crying. “I can’t really say that. It’s just emotional.”
Jordan was climbing Everest with his father, Paul, his father’s girlfriend, Karen Lundgren, and three Sherpa guides. He left for the peak from the base camp on the Chinese side.
Everest was Romero’s first challenge above 26,240 feet.
Unlike neighboring Nepal, the other approach to Everest, China has no age limit for climbers. Jordan registered with Chinese officials in April, said Zhang Mingxing, secretary general of China Tibet Mountaineering Assn.
No interview with Jordan would be possible until he returned to advance base camp, which could take a couple of days, said Rob Bailey, the U.S.-based spokesman for the climbing team.
Climbers stay overnight at three or four camps before the summit, depending on their route and pace.
The team planned something special at the summit but was keeping it a surprise.