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US boy Jordan Romero, 13, in Mount Everest bid

12 April 10 15:24 GMT

A 13-year-old American boy is set to attempt to climb Mount Everest, in an effort to be the youngest person to scale the world's highest peak.

Jordan Romero has set off from Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, to the base camp on the Chinese side of the mountain.

He will begin his ascent there, along with his father and stepmother.

Jordan climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania aged 10 and wants to be the youngest person to climb the highest mountains on eight continents.

His father and stepmother have been with him on all his mountain climbs.

The current record for the youngest climber of Everest is held by Nepali Temba Tsheri, who was 16 when he reached the peak in 2001.

Jordan Romero has already climbed the highest peaks in six continents. After Everest, his next target will be Vinson Massif in Antarctica.

"It's something I've always wanted to do before I die - I just happen to be doing it at this age. I happen to be going for a world record. But I just want to climb it," Jordan told the AFP news agency ahead of his Everest attempt.

The latest post on his website says: "It's time to mobilise" and that the five-day drive to the Chinese base camp was about to begin.

There have been concerns about allowing somebody of Jordan's age to make the ascent but he has said he will not take any unnecessary risks and will turn around if any problems arise.

Before he begins climbing, he will spend some weeks acclimatising at base camp.

Asked if, given the risks, a 13-year-old could make an informed decision to climb Everest, his mother, Leigh Ann Drake, told the BBC World Service that her son would be with his father the whole time.

She also said that Jordan was "not an adrenalin junkie".

"He's very quiet and focused and determined and he is not there to suffer loss. Everybody is very clear on this. Jordan's safety, from the top of his head to the tip of his toes, is everybody's number one priority."

According to his mother, Jordan is: "taking his algebra book and some writing assignments" on his ascent.

"He's going to have some down-time in those tents," she said, "so why not take some books along?"

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