Kid Climber Scales World's Highest Mountains

At 17,000 feet above sea level, where the wind is a biting 20 below zero, an unlikely mountain climber nears his goal of ascending the world's tallest peaks.

Jordan Romero, 3,000 feet away from tackling Alaska's Mount McKinley, has already conquered four mountains -- and he's 11 years old.

"I've climbed Mount Aconcagua in South America, in Argentina, which is 22,834 feet. I've climbed Mount Elbrus in Europe -- it's located in Russia -- at 18,510 feet. That was quite a tough one," he said. "Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, that's 7,310 feet. That was quite a tough one just because of the weather, otherwise it would have been an easy, walk hike, just a long walk. And Mount Kilimanjaro of Africa in Tanzania, 19,340 feet."

Jordan was 9 years old when he had the idea to climb to the top of the world's highest mountains -- one per continent including Mount Everest -- before his 16th birthday.

McKinley -- No. 5 on his list -- was turning out to be the hardest so far.

Located in Alaska, the mountain, also known as Denali, is 20,320 feet above sea level.

"It might not be the highest [one] that I've done, but it has to be the one that's most technical -- the one where you're most likely to slip and fall and have an accident, " Jordan said. "It's also known as the coldest and one of the hardest mountains on Earth."

Jordan said he knows the perils of mountain climbing and has learned to watch where he's going.

"You have no idea what's going to happen. But you gotta just always watch your step, just watch it and just have a good grip on there and take another," he said.

An Unusual Goal

His father, Paul Romero, said his son's goal seemed to come out of nowhere.

"One day I picked up Jordan from school, he hopped in the car and we weren't 100 yards down the street before he looked at me and he said 'Dad, I want to climb the seven summits,'" Romero said.

Jordan said that his dad's jaw dropped, but that he believed Jordan could do it.

"He did believe I could do it," he said.

Romero said the decision to let his son embark on his dream was a tough decision, but well worth it.

"There's this intangible rewards that come from what we do, from climbing mountains and from being out there," Romero said. "We are sharing moments that are so out of this world and that I know that few parents will ever share with their kid, and some people might say, 'well, why not wait till he's 16 or 18?' Well, I could. ? Jordan wants to go now."

Romero is also an adventurer, a paramedic who loves to run and kayak -- and climb mountains. When his son went up Mount McKinley, Romero was there with him, as his guide and his dad.

"We've always taught him to just think big and we'll try to make it happen. And when he had the idea of climbing the seven summits, I wasn't like 'OK, let's buy tickets for every corner of the world. We're going tomorrow!'" Romero said. "I knew he needed to begin to even understand what mountaineering was -- that there's this long, hard, dirty, un-fun hours and days and weeks of carrying packs and long, extensive, brutal travel, and all this type of stuff just before you can even think of climbing a mountain."

Jordan's mother lives nearby and while she thoroughly supports his goal, she herself does not mountain climb.

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