Feature

Should a 13-year-old be allowed to climb Everest?

One boy's quest to become the youngest to scale the world's tallest mountain has climbing experts concerned — and parent blogs outraged

In Tibet, Californian teen Jordan Romero is making his way to a base camp at the foot of Mount Everest, hoping to become the youngest person to climb the world's tallest mountain. At 13, Romero has already scaled the tallest peaks on five continents, including Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro and Alaska's Mt. McKinley. Though he'll be attempting the climb with his father and father's girlfriend — both active outdoorsmen — critics say it's wrong to let a child attempt a climb that has killed many more experienced mountaineers. Is climbing Everest at the age of 13 "inspirational," or insane? (Watch a CNN interview with Jordan Romero)

Shame on Romero's parents: Jordan Romero's father, a paramedic specializing in high-altitude physiology, should know his child doesn't belong on Mount Everest, says David Hillebrandt, medical advisor to the British Mountaineering Council, as quoted in Britain's Guardian. Nobody knows how such altitude could damage a child. This is "verging on child abuse."
"Should a teenager be climbing Mount Everest?"

Despite the risks, Romero should be admired: While it's true that most kids Romero's age aren't prepared to deal with Everest's challenges, "this kid is an animal," says Mark Ouellette in Gather.com. He has already climbed several of the world's most dangerous peaks. These days, most couch-potato kids get their adrenaline rushes from online video games. "You have to applaud his drive and enthusiasm."
Seven Summits: California 13-year-old boy plans to climb Mount Everest"

Romero is part of a dangerous trend: Our culture has a "dangerous" obsession with watching younger and younger kids attempt daredevil stunts, says Kraig Becker at Gadling. This "dubious 'youngest' record" isn't beneficial for any of us, and could be "potentially disastrous" for a "young, developing teen."
"13-year-old eyes Everest, seven Summits"

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