Thirteen-year-old Jordan Romero became the youngest person ever to climb Mount Everest on Saturday, beating the record previously set by Nepal's Temba Tsheri who scaled the world's tallest peak at 16.
AFP - A 13-year-old American boy on Saturday became the youngest person ever to climb the world's highest peak, Mount Everest, a statement on his website said.
Jordan Romero and his father and stepmother reached the summit early Saturday, fulfilling a dream the Californian boy had harboured ever since seeing a mural of the mountain at school aged just nine.
"The team just called in and confirmed that they are standing on top of Mount Everest -- the highest peak in the world. Their dreams have now come true," said the statement.
"Everyone sounded unbelievably happy. They also thanked everyone who supported them and encouraged them throughout their journey."
Scores of supporters posted congratulations on the website, www.jordanromero.com, but the expedition has also attracted criticism in the mountaineering world.
Some experts said Romero, who climbed with his father and stepmother and a small team of sherpas, was too young to understand the dangers of scaling a mountain that has claimed the lives of many adults.
Thousands of people have climbed Mount Everest since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to conquer the 8,848-metre (29,028-foot) mountain in 1953.
The previous record holder is believed to be Temba Tsheri of Nepal, who reached the peak at age 16.
The summit season on Everest begins in late April and May when a small window between spring and the summer monsoon offers the best conditions for making the ascent.
Officials in Nepal were unable to confirm Jordan's feat because the team summited from the Tibet side of Everest, which lies on the Nepal-China border.
"I do feel a bit nervous, but I'm way more excited," Jordan told AFP in Kathmandu before starting his journey to the Everest base camp.
"It's something I've always wanted to do before I die -- I just happen to be doing it at this age. I happen to be going for a world record. But I just want to climb it."
To prepare, Jordan had been training hard for the past year, climbing the mountains of his native California carrying a heavy backpack and sleeping in a specially created tent that simulates the effects of altitude.
Date created : 2010-05-22