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Youngest Everest climber takes on Mount Washington


July 03, 2012
LITTLETON — Climbing Mount Everest sounds like an ambitious goal for one lifetime. Getting to the highest peak on each of the seven continents seems impossible to almost anyone. Yet, Jordan Romero, just 15 years old, has conquered all seven. He is the youngest person to ever climb Mount Everest, the world's highest peak.

Romero was in Northern New England last week to begin the next phase of his life: Climbing the highest peak in each of the 50 states. "I'm super excited to be in New England," Jordan said. After topping Mt. Katahdin in Maine and Mt. Mansfield, Vt., Mt. Washington was next on Jordan's list.

He stopped in Littleton last Wednesday. He was in town with two major supporters: his dad Paul and stepmom Karen. Both Paul and Karen are experienced climbers and athletes. As Karen stated with a smile, Jordan "was born into the right family."

Jordan hopes that his story of endurance can inspire other young people. The 50-state climbing adventure has been dubbed the "Find Your Everest" tour. Along the way, Jordan enjoys speaking with as many young people as possible.

Jordan wants people of his generation to focus on what is meaningful to them. A dream can take some time to achieve, he noted. Using a climbing analogy, Jordan said, "Each step is always closer to the summit."

He has a major concern about the problem with obesity in the country. People do not have to climb Mount Everest to stay fit, he believes, but he does wish to stress the importance of eating right and being active. He hopes to move kids away from the junk food "that this obesity epidemic has been caused by," Jordan said.

As a teenager, Jordan can relate to youth. He believes that he can help other teens see what is possible. Jordan likes the idea of "kids taking charge" of their dreams in order to achieve more in life.

Paul and Karen also enjoy inspiring youth. "Our goal is to help them discover their passion," Karen said.

Intense physical activity has been vital to Jordan's preparation for climbing high peaks. Strength and an excellent cardiovascular system are necessary for such an intense activity. This fits into the family lifestyle quite well. As Karen noted, "The whole family is on mountain bikes all summer."

Winter activity is not a problem, because of Jordan's passion for skiing. The family lives in Big Bear Lake, Cal. This provides excellent potential for skiing, as well as climbing opportunities in other parts of the year.

Karen said that Jordan's level of activity is so high that he does not consider his efforts training. Rather, staying in great shape for climbing is simply part of the teen's lifestyle.

The interest in climbing came about after Jordan was "inspired by a piece of art." He saw a mural of the highest summit on each continent. This led to conversations with his dad that developed Jordan's interest in climbing. Jordan was at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, when he was ten years old.

Karen said that the 50-state tour will likely take about two years. The climbers hit rainy weather in both Maine and Vermont. They were hoping that improved conditions later in the week would help them in their climb up Mount Washington.

Paul said that Jordan has climbed in all types of weather. Pointing to his son, Paul said, "This guy is tough as nails."

There will be frequent updates to Jordan's website as he continues the "Find Your Everest" tour. He can also be found on Facebook. The sites are www.jordanromero.com and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Find-Your-Everest/324335447580136

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