Young adventurer inspires youth to aim high

Youngsters, and most likely adults too, are set to be inspired as 17-year-old Jordan Romero, the youngest person to climb Mount Everest at age 13, launches his memoir, “No Summit Out of Sight,” at Books & Books next week. 

When most kids are playing video games, Romero became the youngest person to summit the world’s highest mountain on May 22, 2010. Romero then went on to become the youngest person to summit the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents at age 15 – a mountaineering challenge that few achieve.  

Along with the book launch on May 15 at 7 p.m., Romero will also give a number of presentations at local schools. 

Weekender pinned the intrepid adventurer down for a quick chat. 

What first inspired you to get into climbing? 

“Well, the story goes that while I was in my primary school I would always stare and study a giant mural of the Seven Summits of the world. It was art that inspired it all. I was inspired to study the reality of these mountains, then shared a plan with my father to climb. He accepted my challenge, and the rest is history.” 

How did you train for such an epic adventure? 

“It’s all really a part of my lifestyle as learned from my father and stepmother. They are full-time adventure athletes, and I just grew up around very incredible athletes. Basically, dad never said no to any of my reasonable requests.” 

What did it feel like when you reached the summit of Everest?  

“There will never be anything to match that. The countless hours of training, hard work, sacrifices, all just to stand on top of a mountain. Just to stand and look. It’s rather interesting to look back at it.” 

Can you tell me about the climbs you completed after Everest? 

“Since Everest, I’ve been to Antarctica and climbed some mountains in the Ellswroth Range, including the highest mountain on Antarctica, Vinson Masif. 

Also, I’ve been climbing in the U.S., including a summit and ski down of Mount Hood of Oregon, a very interesting and risky adventure.” 

Which climb has been the most challenging and why? 

“For many reasons, the climb of Denali when I was 11 years old was the most difficult. Very technical, and we had no support or guides. My father guided and led us up. Storms, and some complications, but a tremendous learning experience.” 

Is this your first visit to Cayman?  

“It’s my first visit to this part of the world. I’m pretty excited about it. I spend all my time in the mountains, [so] an opportunity to spread my message in this part of the world is very exciting.” 

Can you tell me a bit about the presentations you will be giving at the local schools and the message you hope to portray? 

“I’ll be sharing images and tales of my quest from around the world. Of most importance is my need to share and drive home the message for kids to dream big, and to ‘find their Everest.’ 

What’s next on your “to do” list? 

“My goal is to finish the Adventure Grand Slam – it’s the quest to conquer the Seven Summits of the world, then to trek to both South and North Pole. All that combined is called the Adventure Grand Slam. Of course, I’m off to university now, to Utah, and of course my aid work I’m doing in Africa, Malawi specifically. It’s good exciting times!” 

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