Proving himself an athlete last September, Jordan Romero was the youngest person to complete the Run the Bear Marathon--and this, upon having just returned from a record-breaking 16,000' summit to Indonesia's tallest peak and, two days before the marathon, competing in a BBMS cross-country meet in 97 degree heat! Upon reachng the finish line after a 26.2 mile run, 13-year-old J-man was embraced by proud parents, mom LeighAnne Drake and dad Paul Romero.

Now that Big Bear Middle School eighth grader Jordan Romero has achieved his years-long dream, reaching the summit of Mt. Everest–the highest peak in the world, and in doing so, setting a world record by being the youngest person ever to reach the peak at age 13–he and dad Paul Romero and climbing partner Karen Lundgren begin their long journey back to Big Bear. Earlier today (May 25), the three had arrived at Chinese Base Camp. They reported that they were safe and sound, having made the descent to the lower elevation, and have before them a 20-hour Jeep ride to Kathmandu, where a five-star hotel complete with creature comforts not available to them in the last month awaits. Upon reaching the 29,035′ summit of Mt. Everest, Jordan had his first interview via Skype on the “CBS Early Show” on Monday morning. In his interview, he did say of the climb, “It was definitely harder than I thought it would be. I knew it would be a hard mountain–it’s Everest.” But, he tells the “Early Show”‘s co-anchor Harry Smith of reaching the summit, his seventh of the world’s tallest peaks, “It was a feeling like no other. We had the best team coming up and just the whole trip, me and my other teammates, rehearsed this whole summit push in our heads. It was totally worth it. It was the time of our lives and it was just such a happy feeling.” Just before leaving Big Bear Lake on April 5, Jordan had told KBHR that it wasn’t about the world record (previously held by a 15-year-old Sherpa girl, and seconded by 17-year-old Johnny Strange of Malibu, who summited Everest a year ago). In Jordan’s words from here at home before the amazing feat, “It’s probably just seeing the mountain [that] is the biggest experience, and reaching the summit. But, for me, it’s just being there on the mountain and seeing Everest right in front of me. For me, that’s what it’s really all about.” (For background on Jordan Romero, click on his link below for other stories; for details on his participation in the Run the Bear Marathon, you can also click on the “Conquer the Bear” link.)
Update as of May 26: The trio has made their final descent on Everest, and have since safely arrived in Kathmandu, where they have enjoyed their first showers in 43 days!