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US teen sets climbing record

2011-12-26 09:34
Mount Everest (File)

Washington - A 15-year-old American has become the youngest person to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, completing the feat by summiting Antarctica's Mount Vinson over the weekend.

Jordan Romero, who last year at age 13 became the youngest person to climb the world's tallest peak Mt. Everest, was descending to base camp Sunday after reaching the summit of Vinson Massif with a team that included his father and stepmother, according to his team's website.

"We're at the roof of Antarctica," a member of Team Jordan said in a webcast from near the 16 067-foot (4 897m) peak on a frigid but "legendary day."

Romero beat the record previously held by Britain's George Atkinson, who in May completed the seven ascents at age 16.

The junior mountaineer from Big Bear Lake, California has been hooked on climbing from an early age. When he was just 10, he become the youngest person to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak at 19 341 feet (5 895m).

Before his 11th birthday, he had another world record under his belt, summiting Europe's Mt. Elbrus, in Russia's Caucasus mountains in July 2007.

Five months later, it was the 22 841-foot (6 962m) Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, followed by Alaska's Mt. McKinley at 20 320 feet (6 194m).

In September 2009 at age 13, he climbed Indonesia's Carstensz Pyramid, at 16 023 feet (6 194m) the tallest island peak in the world, breaking another record.

Eight months later in May 2010, he climbed Everest, and ever since he and his team had been preparing for his Antarctic expedition.

"Looking forward to tomorrow, and we'll make you guys proud and promise we'll come back home safe and sound," Romero said in a webcast Saturday, hours before he began the final ascent to Mt. Vinson's summit.

The team had intended to reach the top on Christmas Day, but ideal weather and good progress allowed them to summit a day ahead of schedule.


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