On Monday, we played for you a message from Jordan Romero, the Big Bear Middle School eighth grader poised to be the youngest person ever to climb Mt. Everest, as he and dad Paul Romero and climbing partner Karen Lundgren left Big Bear Lake for Nepal on April 5 and have since been readying for this, the climb to the 29,029′ summit. In his call, 13-year-old Romero says, “It is time for what we’ve come for. We are about to start the climb. We may summit on the 21st of May, so we’re really looking forward to that, and we are really prepared. We’re strong, and we’ve been resting and eating and sleeping up down here at base camp, so we feel like we’re ready.”
In the meantime, Romero’s mom LeighAnne Drake, in Fawnskin, has been in contact with him, and tells KBHR, “They were planning to leave for the summit on Wednesday. Jordan’s been at Chinese base camp, waiting for the weather to clear, so during that time he’s been playing ping-pong in the Russian team’s tent, and he has been a guest at many other tents for dinners and movie watching. Once they got the report that the weather was going to clear, they made a one-day trip to Advanced Base Camp on Everest, at just over 21,000′. While waiting for the for the time to head up in recent days, they’ve been doing training hikes to the North Col, which is the next camp after Advanced Base Camp. During his climbing, Jordan’s been doing trash pickup, left behind by others along the trail—which just goes to show that he’s sincerely interested in the environment, even while he’s there climbing.”
While waiting for the perfect opportunity, weather-wise, the Team Jordan Romero trio has been storing oxygen tanks at Everest’s Camp 2 at 24,750′. “Once at that level,” Mom explains, “they will be using oxygen for the remainder of the climb. Once they leave from the final camp, Camp 3 at roughly 27,000′, it’s about a 15-hour day, round trip to the summit.” In a Facebook posting on Tuesday night, the team relays they were about to go, noting, “Roll your beads, hang the prayer flags, light a candle or whatever. This young man is glowing. It’s on.” In the most recent update from Team Jordan Romero, the packs are on and Jordan, Paul and Karen, along with two sherpas (as one sherpa got sick, and the yaks stay behind at a lower elevation), are en route to the summit and expect to reach the 29,029′ peak on May 22, which, on China time, arrives 15 hours earlier than back here in Big Bear. We’ll keep you posted on the team’s progress in this amazing adventure—but, in the meantime, Jordan says, “I feel in some way I have succeeded in just getting this far but, on the other hand, I am drawn to do something great. Know that it comes from my heart. I hope I make you all proud.” (For background on Jordan, and updates from Everest, click on the “Jordan Romero” tab at the bottom of this story.) Ad alta!