I was 8 years old when I began dreaming about climbing Mount Everest. I had support from my family to pursue my climbing career, and was sufficiently stubborn to never let go of my dream. Seventeen years later, after years of building my skills on mountains around the world, and after 7 years working as a professional mountain guide, I finally made it to Everest in 1999...but didn't reach the top until my third expedition, in 2002.
About 6 months ago - thanks to The Adventure Blog - I became aware of a kid with a similarly audacious vision to mine, but one who is making his dream happen in a far shorter timeframe.
- Kosciuszko in Australia
- Elbrus in Russia
- Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
- Aconcagua in Argentina
- and, just this summer, Mount McKinley (Denali) in Alaska
Mighty impressive, to say the least. And, Jordan's goal is to finish the Seven Summits by age 16. He's off to Mt. Vinson in Antarctica next year. (Note: He may well choose to climb 3 more summits, not just 2, as Carstensz Pyramid, a 16,000 foot limestone escarpment rising from the jungles of Irian Jaya, is widely considered to be the true 7th summit.)
My hat's off to Jordan on his accomplishments so far, and I'm confident that, given his attitude and desire, he'll be successful in realizing his dream.
What impresses me the most about this young man is his already wizened perspective: What it takes to be a good mountain climber is making the right choices.
Well said, Jordan. May you continue to make good choices in your climbing and in your life, and may you continue to inspire all of us to believe that there is no dream not worth dreaming, and the only thing keeping us from pursuing our dreams is...ourselves.
- Jake Norton is a climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker from Colorado.