The Third Strike, a bit slow on the uptake, has just learned that less than a year ago, in May of 2010, a 13-year-old boy named Jordan Romero climbed to the top of Mount Everest.
That's right, a kid who can't name the state capitals was sitting at the top of the world.
This is all sorts of crazy-- in no small part because of his age. Perhaps his parents "encouraged" him to make this climb, the last of the Seven Summits, the highest point on each continent.
"Jordan, you've failed your fractions quiz. Go climb the Andes."Seriously, this kid was 13 years old??? OK, only 2 months from being 14, excuse me. I mean... I get that watching Hannah Montana re-runs might not have been doing it for you, but hot damn! Yep... he put Dora the Explorer to shame.
"Ah, Come on Mom, do I have to?"
To be quite honest, the more I read about climbing Everest, the more this starts striking me as child abuse, no matter how driven a precocious little scamp might be.
For some less-than-pleasant reading, check out a mountain climbing teams' ethical dilemma to leave David Sharp behind to his death. The controversy largely fell on Mark Inglis, who continued his climb (with two prosthetic limbs) without providing assistance for Sharp. Such situations are not unprecedented. In fact, of the roughly 2,700 people who have seen the summit, the mountain has claimed a solid 8% of that number: 216 lives lost to the quest for the summit.
The conditions on the mountain get so dangerous that there is an entire area called the "Death Zone", and bodies often get left where they fall, making them visible even from the MAIN PATH of the mountain.
I'm really not sure this is the kind of thing responsible parents should be injecting into their children. I don't believe for a second that this son-of-a-mountain-climber just happened to have been "inspired by a mural at school". I mean... c'mon.... like Tiger Woods decided to start golf after watching Caddyshack?
So yes, where was I. Ah, yes... Pre-teens making the rest of us look bad.