While the South Pole skiers struggle with their own demons, namely the bad weather and endless days on the ice, the climbers are now appearing in Antarctica in larger numbers, as they set off to climb Mt. Vinson and other nearby peaks.
One of those climbers is of course Jordan Romero, the 15 year old mountaineer who is on the brink of becoming the youngest person to complete the Seven Summits. Yesterday, Jordan and his team (read: his dad and stepmom) left the U.S. for Punta Arenas Chile, where they’ll have a brief stop over to collect their gear and complete final preparations before the expedition officially begins. So far, Jordan’s website hasn’t been updated with on his status, but keep an eye out on the Team Jordan Romero twitter feed for news on his whereabouts. Once he arrives in Base Camp, there will be regular updates, with texts, images, and voice reports as well.
Mt. Vinson marks the end of a long quest for Jordan. The young man climbed his first of the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro, back in 2006 when he was just ten years old. He followed that up with a slew of successful climbs up Aconcagua, Elbrus, Denali and others. Of course, it was his climb up Everest last year that caught the attention of media around the globe, as he scaled the highest mountain on the planet at the ripe old age of 13.
With Everest out of the way, Vinson was the last obstacle for the young man. Standing 4892 meters (16,050 ft) in height, the peak won’t necessarily intimidate with its altitude. The high winds, bitterly cold temperatures, and heavy snow will still create quite a challenge however, so this won’t be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. Still, Jordan has faced stiffer challenges since he began climbing, and I’ve learned not to bet against this kid. He is strong, talented, and very determined. It should be fun to follow along on the last of his Seven Summits.
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