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School kid conquers Mt Everest

india Updated: Jun 02, 2010 17:39 IST

IANS
Highlight Story

A 13-year-old American schoolboy, whose bid to climb had landed him in the eye of a controversy, Saturday proved his critics wrong by becoming the youngest person to summit the world‘s highest peak.

Californian Jordan Romero strode up to the summit Saturday taking the northern route via Tibet to achieve the feat first performed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa May 23, 1953.

"Team Jordan summits Mt Everest," Jordan’s blog said. "Their dreams have now come true. Everyone sounded unbelievably happy. They also thanked everyone who supported them and encouraged them throughout their journey."

Inspired by a documentary aired by Discovery channel, Jordan began climbing at an early age and ascended Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, when he was just 10.

Since then, it has been his dream to climb all the seven highest peaks in the seven continents.

He was trained for the Everest summit by his father Paul Romero and his girlfriend Karen Lundgren, who also accompanied him. However, it was not known immediately if they too had summited.

The record for the youngest climber was held by Ming Kipa Sherpa, who summited when she was 15 in 2003, the golden jubilee of the first Everest ascent.

The invasion of the world’s most majestic mountain by teenagers has given rise to heated debates about whether there should be an age bar on attempting the peak.

Nepal does not allow climbers below 16 and so, minors tend to make the attempt via Tibet where there are no age restrictions.

This season, records are being made galore on the Himalayas.

Twelfth grader Arjun Vajpai of New Delhi, who also summited the same day as Jordan but from Nepal, has become the youngest Indian to achieve the feat.

The first record of the season was set by South Korean climber Oh Eun-sun, who became the first woman to have summited all the 14 highest peaks in the world.

Legendary mountaineer Apa Sherpa, the man who has climbed the peak the highest number of times - 19 - is aiming to reach the summit for the 20th time.