Jordan Romero, who finished his quest to climb the Seven Summits over the holiday weekend by successfully topping out on Mt. Vinson. Jordan, along with his father Paul and step-mom Karen, completed their climb on Christmas Eve, and were back in Base Camp in time for dinner.
For Jordan, Vinson marked the conclusion of a quest that he started when he was just 10 years old. Inspired by a mural he saw at his school, the young man decided he wanted to climb the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents. He would take on Kilimanjaro in Africa first, but would follow that up with successful climbs on the other continents as well, including Everest last year. He was just 13 years old when he stood atop the tallest mountain on the planet.
Antarctica was the last continent for the teenager to visit, and the 4892 meter (16,050 ft) Vinson presented a considerable challenge. What the mountain lacks in height, it makes up for with challenging weather conditions. High winds and extremely cold weather are the norm on Vinson, not to mention plenty of snow. Throw in the fact that the air pressure at the Poles is lower, and the air is actually thinner there than it would be taller mountains closer to the equator.
According to Jordan's Facebook page, the team is now preparing to leave Antarctica and head home. They're expecting an airlift back to Hercules Inlet today, and then back to Punta Arenas, Chile in the next few days. From there, the long journey back to the U.S.
The question is, what's next for the talented and focused climber? Will Jordan take a break from mountaineering for awhile, or will he set his sights on bigger challenges. Perhaps the 8000 meter peaks? He already has one under his belt. I guess we'll have to wait to see. After all, the young man still has to graduate high school.