A Teenager on the Top of the World

Practice the words

A Teenager on the Top of the World
Jordan Romero called his mother by satellite phone from the summit of the world’s highest mountain, 8849 meters above sea level. “Mom, I’m calling you from the top of the world,” Leigh Anne Drake quoted her son as saying.

In May 2010, the 13-year-old boy from California became the youngest person to climb Mount. Everest. Jordan Romero broke the previous record set by Nepal’s 16-year-old Ming Kipa in 2003. Jordan had already climbed the highest peaks on six continents. His first record climb came when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania when he was just nine. After conquering mount Everest, his next challenge was to climb the Vinson Massif in Antarctica. This would make him the youngest person to climb the tallest mountains on all seven continents.

“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 said before his Everest attempt.

Jordan wrote about his climbing on his blog: “It’s my dream…I know it’s a big goal, and lucky for me my family is helping me every step of the way.” Jordan decided he wanted to climb the world’s tallest peaks when he was in fourth grade. He told his mother and father and they started a training program for Jordan to achieve his dream.

Jordan’s mother, Leigh Anne Drake, remembered the first time they took Jordan on a serious hike. She said it was a fourteen kilometer trek near their home in Big Bear, California. Drake says her son cried most of the way, but when he got home, he wanted to go on training. “I decided we were going to follow Jordan’s lead,” Leigh Anne said. “If he wants to try it, we’re going to be there for him”. 

Jordan said he climbed Everest for a special reason. He wanted to set an example to other young people to get outdoors and reduce obesity* in America’s teenagers.

Jordan climbed Everest with his father, his father’s girlfriend and three Sherpa guides. He left for the peak from the base camp on the Chinese side of the mountain. Unlike neighboring Nepal, the other approach to Everest, China has no age limit for climbers.

During the climb, a wall of ice collapsed and killed another climber from a team next to them. They were injured but kept on going. When they reached the peak, they all hugged each other and said, ‘I love you, I can’t believe we’re finally here’ and started crying.


Some mountaineers said that the Romero family shouldn’t allow Jordan to take on such dangerous challenges. But his father said the climbing from the Chinese side was safer and that his son was already a very trained and experienced climber. His mother told the BBC he did some school work during the trip. He took his math book and some writing assignments with him.

* obesity: השמנת יתר ** age restriction: הגבלת גיל



1. Name three records Jordan Romero broke or will break: _______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

2. a) Circle:  

Jordan decided to climb mountains when he was around the age of 10. Yes / No

b) Copy the words from the text that helped you answer: _______________________________________________________

3 .What is the first thing his family did to help Jordan achieve his dream? _______________________________________________________

4 .Circle TWO correct answers. 

a) After his first hike, Jordan said it was too hard and he didn’t want to hike again.
b) In the beginning, Jordan’s parents didn’t want to take him to hike with them.
c) In the beginning, it was hard for Jordan to hike but he wanted to do it again.
d) Jordan started to hike with his parents.

5 .Complete:

Jordan climbed Mount Everest because____________________ ____________________________________________________________



Should kids be allowed to take on dangerous challenges?