Photograph by Jake Norton. See more Everest pictures.
This weekend, American teen Jordan Romero, 13, climbed to the rooftop of the world where he reportedly called his mom. What a good kid. Though specific details regarding the climb are yet unknown, we know the team, which included Romero's dad, completed the climb without notable injuries. Romero's blog says "More to come after we load the yaks…." So we'll wait for more details and get back to you. In the mean time, we've asked our friends in the climbing world to weigh in with their perspectives on this question: Is there such a thing as "too young" on Everest? Or in high-risk adventure pursuits in general?
Let's look at sailing. Earlier this month Australian Jessica Watson, 16, completed her successful solo, non-stop, unsupported circumnavigation of the globe (though there was an issue with the length of the voyage). And though Watson is technically be the youngest person to pull off this feat, the title of "youngest" in sailing has become moot: The World Sailing Speed Record Council and other record-keeping organizations stopped recognizing "youngest" pursuits recently because they've become so controversial. Over the past year, we have seen a dizzying number of teens attempt to bump each other out of the record for youngest solo, non-stop, unsupported circumnavigation. The youngest, Laura Dekker, 13, was prevented from attempting a solo circumnavigation earlier this year by Dutch authorities.
We have to admit we are a little bit relieved by this decision. Even though their feats are remarkable, the prospect of even younger and younger kids taking to the open ocean, alone, made us very nervous. Not to say that youth is wasted on the young, but there's definitely something to be said for the perspective and maturity that comes with age when taking on a high-risk adventure.
Is there such a thing as "too young" in adventure? If there's no record to break or set, will teenagers and kids be deterred? What do you think?