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13yo to climb Everest?!

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13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby cwm191 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:48 pm

http://outside.away.com/outside/culture/201004/jordan-romero-teenager-extreme-adventure-everest-1.html

"Into Teen Air"

I was reading the new issue of Outside, and this article in particular caught my attention. Does anyone else think this is going to end badly? I sure hope not, but this seems like a perfect recipe for disaster. Thoughts?
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby JeffR » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:17 pm

Why do you think it will end badly? I didn't read the whole article, but it looks like he's had a good bit of experience on high peaks. I would imagine he has the same probability of success/failure/death/etc. as anyone else.
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby cwm191 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:31 pm

The parents only Himalayan experience was a failed attempt at Nuptse, and they're going unguided to Everest? Add in the fact that this probably his best shot at setting the age record so the pressure will be to summit when turning back may be the wiser choice. Seems inordinately dangerous to me...
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby cheeseburglar » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:11 pm

If a failure on Nuptse doesn't make you experienced, I don't know what does.
Maybe two failures on Nuptse?
I only read the first page of the article. I think the kid should put on a few more pounds before heading to Everest. Maybe he has a high metabolism.
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby Scott P » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:52 am

I would imagine he has the same probability of success/failure/death/etc. as anyone else.


Although I don't think that I would let my own 13 year old climb Everest, I would have to agree. I know that there are a lot of 13 year olds out there that could outclimb me.

The parents only Himalayan experience was a failed attempt at Nuptse, and they're going unguided to Everest?


They made it within 1000 feet of Nuptse. Do you know what Nuptse is?

Image

If they really did get within 1000 feet of Nuptse on an independent expedition than they have more far more experience than the majority of the climbers on Everest.
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby cwm191 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:48 pm

All good points. I guess I'm just a little concerned about a 13 year old making life and death decisions without an experienced guide. I mean, how young is too young? As it says in the article, "Age records have a built-in deadline. You either grab the ring by a certain age or you don't. That's precisely the wrong attitude to take into the Death Zone." I guess that sums up my concerns.
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby kaiman » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:20 pm

Wow, cool story! I hope he (and his team) make it to the summit and return safe...
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby Scott P » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:00 pm

I guess I'm just a little concerned about a 13 year old making life and death decisions without an experienced guide.


The 13 year old isn't climbing solo. If his father and other partner are experienced climbers (and if they made it high on Nupste, more than likely they are very experienced), then why do they need another guide to make decisions? I assume the father and other partner would be the ones making most of the decisions.

Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't take my 13 year old up Everest-too risky and I'd worry about possible effects on the brain, but on the other hand I don't think he would be in any more danger than the rest of the climbers up there assuming that he was in really good shape and capable.
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby rolo tomassi » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:20 pm

The issue is not IF he can do it. I haven't climbed Everest or anything in the Himalayan range, and truthfully i don't know s**t about climbing 8000 meter peaks, but my understanding is that if every thing goes right that the trade routes on Everest are not technically (i.e.from a technical standpoint)that hard, but more of an endurance issue.

There is no way a 13 year old has the experience and maturity to understand the situation that he is putting himself in. when I was 13 I was invincible and while others would die in the mountains I knew that i would not.It was a fun game where I emulated my alpine heroes. The truth is I got lucky a bunch.

At age 13 the concept of death is an abstract notion, not a reality. I would climb Everest, but I am 35 and know that there is a very real chance of dying there. I like to think that I have the beginnings of the maturity and understanding to see that there are consequences for poor decision making, especially in the alpine zone.

Should everything go right; weather, snow conditions, route finding, physiologic issues, logistics, etc then I think that the kid has a very real chance of "success". However it is not how good you are when things go right that matters, it is how good you are when things go wrong that counts. How well can a 13 year old cope with the adversities that could present themselves. can a 13 year old function as an independent member of a team or does he become a liability at some point? Could the 13 year old leave his father on the mountain if he had to? could the father leave the 13 year old on the mountain if he had to? I think when looked at from a risk assessment that they have very little margin for error.


Endurance in the mountains is not purely physical. A large part of the alpine game is the mental component. How well do you know yourself and where your boundaries are? The mountains are very good at providing opportunities for hubris to emerge. if your view of your abilities and the reality of your abilities vastly differ then reality wins. period. It takes years of doing anything to truly know where your boundaries are. Repeated failures and success show you what you can and can't do, just how far you can push it, how big the reserve tank is, how far you can go when you think you cannot go any further, what storms you can push through and when to retreat. There is no way that a 13 year old can posses this kind of knowledge. in climbing there are always calculated risks, objective dangers...the question is when are the stakes to high to play?

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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby CSchoick » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:23 am

Thought the article was fascinating and brought up a lot of good points the previous posts did regarding mental capacity beyond physical endurance. I will say that if anything does go wrong a lot of fingers will be pointed at their lack of a guide and or experience. I am hoping all goes well for them, and we don't have to read about what ifs and criticisms later.

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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby mountainmicah83 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:22 am

World's worse parents award or to reward the parents? Only a success will tell. I hope and pray that all goes well for this youngster with far more experience than myself in the mountaineering realm, but how horrible will his parents feel if something tragic were to happen. All in all, it's their decision and not mine, but I couldn't risk putting something like that on my conscience.

Best of luck Jordan!
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Re: 13yo to climb Everest?!

Postby MtHurd » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:26 am

It's another lame attempt for someone to gain fame. It's also called BAD PARENTING. If he dies, the parents should be held liable. If he doesn't die, they'll get some good earnings off of a book deal and possibly a movie. Money and fame are worth risking their own 13 year old kid. Sad indeed.

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