While the rest of us were busy shopping for Christmas gifts, 15-year old Jordan Romero was doing what he loves best - Climbing a mountain. And not just any mountain, but Antarctica's Mt. Vinson Massif -The last peak the California teen had to reach, before realizing his dream of scaling the iconic seven summits!
Jordan, his dad and stepmother, who have accompanied him on all his climbs, began the treacherous ascent on December 21st. Plagued by strong winds and sub-zero temperatures, the team plodded up for two and a half days, finally reaching the 16,050ft. peak at 1.pm local time on Christmas Eve.
Once there, the youngster performed his usual ritual of calling his mother to let her know that he had conquered yet another peak - This one was of course extra special, given that it was the Jordan's seventh and final summit, one that earned him a well-deserved spot in the Guinness Book of Records for being the Youngest to climb 7 summits. The best part was, that Jordan and his team were able to safely descend the mountain and ski back to base camp, just in time for Christmas dinner.
Jordan's dream of climbing the highest peak in every continent, i.e. the seven summits, began at the age of ten, after he saw a mural featuring them at his elementary school. Fortunately, his father and stepmother both avid climbers, encouraged him to fulfill his quest.
Without wasting much time that same year, the trio embarked on conquering their first mountain - Africa's tallest, the 19,341ft. Mt. Kilimanjaro. Next came Australia's Mt. Kosciuszko, then Europe's Mt. Elbrus, followed by South America's Mt. Aconcagua, North America's Mt. Denali and Oceania's Mt. Castensz Pyramid.
In 2010, the now 13-year old Jordan decided he was ready to conquer the highest of all peaks - the 29,035 Mt. Everest. This decision aroused a world-wide debate about the dangers of allowing someone this young, to tackle the deadly mountain. However, the teen did not let that deter him in pursuing his dream. Not only did he return in one piece, he also, earned himself a spot in the record books.
With this mission fulfilled, we wonder what the charismatic teenager is going to aspire for next - Going to the moon perhaps?
Resources: Jordanromero.com, worldrecordsacademy.org, bbc.co.uk