Snowboard Rental | Exclusive Discount of Up to 55% Off at Intersport

Using the discount code Mpora18 at Intersport will get you up to 55% off the walk-in price for snowboard boots, bindings and boards

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Intersport’s rental ski range includes state of the art powder skis. Photo: Intersport

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Ed Leigh demonstrating just how tasty the new Nitro Quiver series boards are. Photo: Courtesy Intersport

We’ve joined forces with Intersport, one of the biggest names in snowboard rental across the Alps to offer Mpora readers an exclusive 5% discount.

Intersport already offer 20% to 50% all all online bookings, so with this discount code you could get your board, boots and bindings rental for up to 55% cheaper than you would if you just walked into an Intersport shop.

All you need to do is use the code Mpora18 at check-out section of the Intersport website. Or click on the flags below to follow links with the code inputted automatically.

“Intersport’s snowboard range this year includes Nitro’s innovative Q Series, designed by pro riders Austin Smith and Bryan Fox.”

Rental snowboards used to have a bad rep. More often than not they were an afterthought in shops run primarily for skiers, who stocked stiff, unresponsive planks with no edges left or deep gouges out of the base.

Thankfully all that has now changed, and in the buying vs. hiring debate the pendulum is beginning to swing the other way. Intersport in particular have been leading the charge. This year their snowboard range includes Nitro’s innovative Q Series, designed by pro riders Austin Smith and Bryan Fox.

In this entertaining video, Ski Sunday’s Ed Leigh shows you how much fun you can have on these strangely-shaped boards are great, and explains why they’re a million miles away from the knackered old sticks-with-stomp-pads that hire shops used to hand out.

Discount snowboard rental for France

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Discount snowboard rental for Austria

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Discount snowboard rental for Andorra

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Discount snowboard rental for Switzerland

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The post Snowboard Rental | Exclusive Discount of Up to 55% Off at Intersport appeared first on Mpora.

Editor’s Letter | The Family Issue – December-January 17/18

This month is all about adventures for the whole family

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A couple of days ago I met a friend’s 6-month-old son for the first time. Amid the chat about the sleepless nights and the screaming sessions (which quite frankly didn’t sound like a lot of fun) my interest was peaked when talk turned to his first Christmas (which definitely did).

I spend the festive season with my extended family most years, but it’s been a long time since there were any little people around our tree, and I realised how much I’d missed it. My friend’s son may be too young to appreciate it fully this time around, but for the next few years he’s going to be as excitable as, well, a kid at Christmas.

“Wendy Fisher was expressing breast milk for her first child between runs at the US Extreme Skiing Championships.”

While this time of the year might be made for talking about families, at first glance adventure sports might seem an odd way to do it. After all they usually involve an element of danger, which for many parents would put them a long way down the list of preferred activities. But there are just as many people who view adventure not just as child-friendly, but an essential part of raising healthy, well-adjusted kids, and rightly so.

Take Wendy Fisher for example, who Abi Butcher spoke to for this month’s Big Interview. An “utterly badass” free-skier, she was expressing breast milk for her first child between runs at the US Extreme Skiing Championships, and now regularly takes both her young sons out on the hill.

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Wendy Fisher, who enjoys a career as a professional freeride skier, as well as being a hands-on mother to her two boys. Photo: Dave Kozlowski

She’s more aware than most of the sport’s dangers too – horrifically, she watched her older brother die in a skiing accident when she herself was just a child. “Even though my brother died, this sport is awesome,” she explains, and she wants her kids to enjoy it as she has.

It’s not like kids need slow you down either. Fisher’s two boys now often beat her down the slopes, and in fact, children can be the catalyst for their parents taking on new challenges. This was certainly the case for Jordan Romero’s family who climbed together and then, at Jordan’s instigation, summited Everest when he was just 13 years old – making him the youngest person ever to do so.

The achievement (and the family’s subsequent ascent of the rest of the Seven Summits) didn’t just put Jordan’s name in the record books, it made him closer to his father and surrogate mother, who he misses climbing with to this day.

Of course, taking a teenager up the world’s highest mountain isn’t for everyone, but you can enjoy a similar sense of collective endeavour and achievement closer to home too. This month saw features editor Sam Haddad and a friend taking their kids trekking round the bothies of the South Downs, an experience she documents amusingly for our Great British Adventures series.

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Kiwi brothers Jake & Theo, who feature in mountain bike videos together. Photo: @jaketheobike

As she found out, there’s something about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone – whether that’s camping with kids in an English winter or climbing the world’s highest peaks – that brings people together. And while you don’t have to be related to each other to appreciate this (Hugh Francis Anderson had an incredible time at the inaugural IGO Morocco this month with a friend), but it definitely helps. After all, if you’re going to be huddling in a tent in subzero temperatures, or pushing yourself to the extremes of physical exhaustion, it helps to know your companions inside out before you start.

Of course, everyone has family members they’d rather not spend any more time with than is strictly necessary. The stereotypical drunken uncle or borderline racist grandmother are festive-season staples for example. But for all they can infuriate you, it’s worth remembering that the best companions for any adventure you might choose to embark on are often the ones closest to you. So it’s perhaps no wonder that my friend can’t wait until his boy’s old enough to get a snowboard for Christmas.

Here’s hoping this month’s stories inspire you to get outside with your family this festive season.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from all of us at Mpora.
– Tristan, Editor-in-chief

To read Mpora’s December / January Family issue, head here.

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The post Editor’s Letter | The Family Issue – December-January 17/18 appeared first on Mpora.

Camping with Kids in Winter | A South Downs Bothy Adventure

Two mothers, five kids, and a lot of mist. What could possibly go wrong?

Words by Sam Haddad | Photos by Sam Haddad & Jonquil Pinto 

We’re walking through a world that is almost entirely white, save the bark-brown skeleton of an oak tree looming large to our right. At this point I’m not sure the pack of kids I’m with, which includes two of my own, have even noticed. They’re too busy telling ghost tales that are “definitely true, 100 per cent, for real, this actually happened…” Though maybe the fact we’re marching through the thickest, most soupy of fogs is precisely why they’re telling such spooky stories in the first place.

We drop into a patch of trees where the mist clears but the shadows darken. The path narrows to single-file and the story pace quickens. Before long the group is borderline hysterical, in a kind of kids from Stranger Things way, albeit without the BMXs or ever-present Demagorgan threat.

“It’s easy to take your children camping in summer and emerge all-smiles. But this winter, we wanted to experience the outdoors in an opposite season. To dive into the weather headlong…”

Still, I’m not complaining, and nor is the other mother I’m with. Eerie stories are a rite of passage and we’re just happy with how far they’ve walked in the dank without fussing. Especially as the five of them have ages ranging from four to eight and no one slept excellently in our stone manger-style bothy last night.

It’s easy to take your children camping in summer and emerge all-smiles. But this winter, we wanted to experience the outdoors in an opposite season. To dive into the weather headlong, and notice it in a way you rarely do when you spend the darkest months hiding indoors or bolting from one building to the next.

Credit: Sam Haddad

This is what an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty looks like in fog. Credit: Sam Haddad

I say we meaning my friend and I, I’m sure our kids would have rather gone to Legoland or Eurodisney given the choice, like many of their school friends were doing this holiday. If you can handle the crowds and the costs that kind of fun of course has its place but there’s something about being in nature and taking on a bit of a challenge that I hope might leave a more lasting impression on them, even if they’re too busy having fun with their friends to realise it.

Gumber Bothy is a National Trust Bunkhouse just off the South Downs way in West Sussex. It’s in the shadow of a hill sheep farm but you can’t drive there directly, you can only reach it via a two-mile hike through a deep forest. When we’d arrived the day before, in spite of the drizzle, the children had found the idea of needing to walk through the woods to reach their bed for the night a surprisingly enticing prospect.

“In spite of the drizzle, the children had found the idea of needing to walk through the woods to reach their bed for the night a surprisingly enticing prospect.”

And there was something quite sweet about watching them head off ahead waterproofed-up to the max, with their backpacks stuffed with soft toys and sleeping bags for the night. It was the tail end of autumn so some of the trees were still aflame with brightly-coloured leaves and we even found the odd super-sweet blackberry to power on the smallest ones.

Carrying their little lives in backpacks. Credit: Sam Haddad

Backpacks stuffed with sleeping bags and soft toys. Credit: Sam Haddad

Fortunately, we reached Gumber Bothy before morale and energy levels dipped too low. You can camp in the grounds but we’re not hardcore enough for that at this time of year so we opted for the hostel and were pleased to find we had one of the 12-bunk rooms to ourselves. It wasn’t heated though and with temperatures set to hover around four degrees the night ahead looked potentially interesting.

“We didn’t end up lost, lost, as such but…”

We’d also promised them a campfire but it had been damp and rainy for days so the prospect of finding dry wood was slim. But it felt good to let them roam free in the woods below the bothy, with the older ones in charge, in a way you could never do in the built environment back home. When they eventually returned arms full of soaking-wet sticks we persuaded them to wait until the next morning for a fire in the hope the wood might have dried out by then.

The bothy had a good basic kitchen so we loaded up on pasta for dinner. By now it was dark but too cloudy for stargazing, which was a shame as the South Downs is now an International Dark Sky Reserve, thanks its great night-time viewing opportunities. My friend then pulled out some sparklers which more than made up for it as far as the kids were concerned.

Forestxxx. Credit: Sam Haddad

It felt good to let them roam in the forest unsupervised in a way you could never do back home. Credit: Sam Haddad

To get ready for bed we put on all of our clothes like a comedy character from a storybook. We then played a few rounds of Uno and listened to some folk story podcasts I’d forgotten I had on my phone, while trying to stop the now-hyper youngest two from jumping from bed to bed. Eventually they calmed down and went to sleep, and a good few hours later my eldest son and I fell asleep too. Though both my kids woke up me a few hours later and to be taken to the toilet, which was outside and in the rain. Leaving my warm sleeping bag for that was a trip low-point for sure.

Diving headlong into winter weather. Credit: Sam Haddad

Diving headlong into winter weather. Credit: Sam Haddad

In spite of the fitful night and mist that was now enveloping this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with an even greater vigour than the day before, everyone woke up with high spirits and after a hot cocoa porridge breakfast and aborted fire-starting attempt, we headed directly into the void for a walk.

We didn’t end up “lost, lost” as such but it’s also fair to say we had no phone reception or exact idea of where we were for most of the hike, though we were also quite confident of the vague parallelogram shape we were tracing out, based on a laminated map we’d found in the bothy. There were no sights to speak of only fog, sheep and the bare bones of trees, but that didn’t matter, as there was something pure about experiencing the South Downs way and winter weather in whatever form it took.

Gumber Bothy and the author's two sons. Credit: Sam Haddad

Gumber Bothy in all its flint-stone glory and the author’s two sons. Credit: Sam Haddad

After a couple of hours of gentle walking, and many snacks, the ghost stories switched to silly songs mostly involving the kind of bum/wee-type humour kids of this age can’t get enough of. We swung past the bothy to pick up our backpacks just as the day’s next hardy guests were arriving, and hiked the final stretch out, wet, muddy and the kind of tired with rosy-cheeks that you only get from time spent in the cold outdoors.

At this time of year all instinct tells us to hole up inside and hunker down for winter. Netflix and screens, cocoons and hygge vibes, but if you do get out into the wilderness for a while you’ll always feel better for it. I know I did, as did my friend, and I’m pretty sure all our kids did too. They certainly talked about the bothy adventure for a long time afterwards, which means they probably didn’t hate it, so that’s a win in my books.

To read the rest of December’s ‘Family’ Issue head here

To read more Great British Adventures head here

Sparklers in lieu of a campfire. Credit: Sam Haddad

Sparklers in lieu of a campfire. Credit: Sam Haddad

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The post Camping with Kids in Winter | A South Downs Bothy Adventure appeared first on Mpora.

Youngest Person To Climb Everest | We Speak To Jordan Romero About Summiting The World’s Highest Mountain When He Was Just 13

When Jordan Romero was nine, he saw a mural. By 15, he’d conquered all of the Seven Summits.

jordan-romero-youngest-climber-of-everest

You remember being 13. Your first ‘cool’ band t-shirt, your mum buying you industrial quantities of Clearasil on a weekly basis, your lunchtime kickabouts behind the sports hall; you remember it all. Those sleepovers that were all about being the best at Playstation, the tentative steps towards being adequate at bass guitar, your first embarrassing attempt at flirtatious interaction with the opposite sex; it’s all so vivid isn’t it? Now picture that adolescent version of yourself standing on the summit of Everest. Can’t do it, can you? The thought of your pubescent-self atop the world’s highest mountain is just too absurd.

Jordan Romero, now 21, was different. At the unbelievably young age of 13 years, 10 months and 10 days, he made it to Everest’s peak and, in doing so, dramatically rewrote the mountaineering record books. The feat of becoming the youngest person ever to climb the legendary mountain, the previous record holder had been a comparatively ancient 15, led to an explosion of media coverage; thrusting Jordan, and his climbing family, under the brightest of spotlights.

“My parents didn’t drag me up the mountain. If anything, it was the other way round.”

“Getting to the summit of Everest was such a surreal moment, man. I really couldn’t believe it. I was so mind-blown at the fact I was standing on top of it. It was just something that… I guess I had never been so present in the moment,” Jordan tells us via Skype.

Achieving something so impressive at such a young age would, you might think, have led to a unanimously positive reaction from observers. However, in perhaps the most extreme example of that famous old saying ‘you can’t please everyone’, there were critics who spoke out against Jordan and the adults in his life for taking a 13-year old up a mountain that, at the time of his ascent, had already claimed the lives of 217 climbers. Since 2010, this number has increased to 290.

jordan-romero-youngest-person-to-climb-everes

Screenshot of Jordan Romero’s appearance on an American talk show in 2010 (via CBS | YouTube).

“There was a lot of criticism going on about it. There were a lot of misguided assumptions that we were climbing for the wrong reasons, that we were this super rich family doing this. But, you know, we had to do a lot of crowdsourcing, and fundraising, and financing in order to make it happen. When we said we were from a small town in California, we were being honest. We were just people who wanted to travel, see the world, and experience life,” Jordan says, before adding, “My parents didn’t drag me up the mountain. If anything, it was the other way round.”

It’s worth stressing at this point that Jordan isn’t just the youngest person in history to climb Everest. He’s also the youngest person in history to conquer all of the Seven Summits (the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents). Alongside his dad (Paul Romero) and his dad’s then-partner Karen Lundgren, Jordan began ticking them off in July 2006, aged 10, when he made it to the top of Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. He completed the collection five years later when, aged 15 years, 5 months, and 12 days, he made it to the top of Antarctica’s Vinson Massif.

“In terms of moody teenage strops, I won’t deny that I had some really frustrating moments in my head…”

I picture myself climbing big mountains at that age and can easily imagine myself shouting at my parents and storming off to my tent at the slightest provocation. Surely, considering Jordan’s age at the time and the stresses he was under, there must have been some classic ‘Kevin and Perry’ type rages along the way?

“In terms of moody teenage strops, I won’t deny that I had some really frustrating moments in my head, but I never wanted to burden anyone else with my emotions. I did my best to focus on the big picture and how lucky I was to travel to these incredible locations,” Jordan says, revealing a maturity level that I, even as a full-grown adult, have yet to reach.

jordan-romero-youngest-person-to-climb-everest

Picture taken in Moab. Photo: John Dalpiaz.

I was curious to know what, if it wasn’t his parents’ influence, planted the seed of inspiration in Jordan’s mind and led him to tackling the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents before he was old enough to legally buy alcohol or drive a car.

“I don’t know if there was one single moment but this whole thing started when I was nine. I came across a mural of the Seven Summits at my school, and I was just so fascinated by it. There was a chart, and each mountain was labelled with the elevation, the continent this mountain was on, and the name of it. It just totally captured my attention and I guess you could say that was when I was dove into mountaineering head first,” reflects Jordan.

You could be forgiven for thinking, without meeting him and considering all that he’s achieved, that Jordan would be a bit full of himself. I can report though that this is definitely not the case. It’s clear, virtually right from the off, that he’s humble enough to acknowledge how important the support of his family has been.

“So, I climbed with my Dad and his long-term girlfriend. They never actually ended up getting married, but we did every single one of them together and I’m so grateful for that every day. To this day, my Dad, Karen, and my biological Mum are still killing it in life. They’re huge inspirations to me,” Jordan says.

jordan-romero-youngest-person-to-climb-everest

Shot of Jordan and his Dad up on Vinson. Photo: Karen Lundgren.

“After doing the Seven Summits, we had plans to do the adventure grand slam. Trek to the South Pole and the North Pole to see if I could be the youngest person to do that but Karen and my Dad were splitting up, and yeah that was tough to take. Karen was just such an essential backbone to our expeditions and without her nothing was really able to evolve or be followed through on. She was all about the logistics, and the finances, and you know the stuff to actually make it happen. Looking back, I really should have kept that momentum going,” Jordan tells me, when I ask him about what came after.

With his Dad now living in Hawaii, where he runs his own business, and Jordan studying Environmental Studies and Economics in Utah, it can seem from the outside looking in that this young record-holder has put the big mountain climbs very much on the backburner. Now a passionate skier, and with university studies to think of, is Jordan itching to get the band back together and summit again with the man who’s been with him since the very beginning? And, if so, would his Dad be up for it?

“Absolutely. He definitely would. I really do miss climbing with him. He was super knowledgeable about stuff. You know, he was really so good at critical decision making. My Dad was a vital component of the team. Being there. Planning stuff. Strategising what to do and when to summit the mountain. Right now, my university schedule is a little more on the priority list but hell man if we had some plane tickets to go to Nepal tomorrow for an expedition, I know I’d do it in a heartbeat and I’m sure he would too,” Jordan says.

“Find your Everest in life. Find that passion that gets you out of bed every day…”

Because of Jordan’s area of academic interest, coupled with the fact he’s American, our conversation inevitably drifts towards environmental concerns and the actions of climate change-denying President Donald J. Trump.

“Climate change is something I’ve seen first hand by going all round the world. And going to Mount Kilimanjaro and going to Indonesia, where we’re climbing next to the world’s largest gold and copper mine which is just the worst polluting source. In that area, it’s just absolutely devastating a lot of the local communities and indigenous people so there’s a lot of environmental injustices that I’ve seen first hand.

“With Trump in office, I could only imagine how scary it must be from an outside perspective. Maybe you’ve heard this but it was the U.S, Syria, and Nicaragua that were the three countries that weren’t on the Paris Climate Agreement when it was announced that we were pulling out of it. Then, Syria and Nicaragua became a part of it so now we’re the only country in the world that aren’t on board with it.

“For me, Trump is just too much of liability. Honestly, I wouldn’t care if we had a Republican President right now. But the fact that we’ve got someone who’s so incompetent and with such a large ego, and who can outright call bullshit and #FakeNews to whatever he wants. That’s an example he’s setting to a lot of people and, look, if we’re going down that route then we’re all fucked,” says Jordan, offering up his own brutally honest take on the current state of politics across the pond.

mount-everest-highest-mountain-in-the-world

Jordan Romero climbed Mount Everest when he was just 13 years old. Photo via Getty Images.

Ending things on such a bleak note when Jordan’s story is such an uplifting one feels wrong somehow. Weeks later, when putting this piece together, one particularly optimistic response Jordan gives, about midway through our chat, stands out above the rest: “Find your Everest in life,” he tells me, “Find that passion that gets you out of bed every day because if you have the right tools, and the right mindset, you can do anything you want to do.”

Delivered with Jordan’s sunny Californian accent, it feels like a line straight out of a motivational quotes coffee table book; one that wouldn’t look out of place inside a generic landscape image on your mum’s Facebook feed. Said by anyone else it would feel like too much of a cliche. In the case of Jordan, however, a man who accomplished so much so young and who is insanely modest about it all to boot, I can’t help but warm to its underlying message that age is just a number and that no adventure is impossible – especially if you’ve got a big imagination and a willing family unit to back you up.

To read the rest of Mpora’s December ‘Family’ Issue head here

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The post Youngest Person To Climb Everest | We Speak To Jordan Romero About Summiting The World’s Highest Mountain When He Was Just 13 appeared first on Mpora.

Youngest Person To Climb Everest | Jordan Romero on Summiting The World’s Highest Mountain at 13

When Jordan Romero was nine, he saw a mural. By 15, he’d conquered all of the Seven Summits.

jordan-romero-youngest-climber-of-everest

You remember being 13. Your first ‘cool’ band t-shirt, your mum buying you industrial quantities of Clearasil on a weekly basis, your lunchtime kickabouts behind the sports hall; you remember it all. Those sleepovers that were all about being the best at Playstation, the tentative steps towards being adequate at bass guitar, your first embarrassing attempt at flirtatious interaction with the opposite sex; it’s all so vivid isn’t it? Now picture that adolescent version of yourself standing on the summit of Everest. Can’t do it, can you? The thought of your pubescent-self atop the world’s highest mountain is just too absurd.

Jordan Romero, now 21, was different. At the unbelievably young age of 13 years, 10 months and 10 days, he made it to Everest’s peak and, in doing so, dramatically rewrote the mountaineering record books. The feat of becoming the youngest person ever to climb the legendary mountain, the previous record holder had been a comparatively ancient 15, led to an explosion of media coverage; thrusting Jordan, and his climbing family, under the brightest of spotlights.

“My parents didn’t drag me up the mountain. If anything, it was the other way round.”

“Getting to the summit of Everest was such a surreal moment, man. I really couldn’t believe it. I was so mind-blown at the fact I was standing on top of it. It was just something that… I guess I had never been so present in the moment,” Jordan tells us via Skype.

Achieving something so impressive at such a young age would, you might think, have led to a unanimously positive reaction from observers. However, in perhaps the most extreme example of that famous old saying ‘you can’t please everyone’, there were critics who spoke out against Jordan and the adults in his life for taking a 13-year old up a mountain that, at the time of his ascent, had already claimed the lives of 217 climbers. Since 2010, this number has increased to 290.

jordan-romero-youngest-person-to-climb-everes

Screenshot of Jordan Romero’s appearance on an American talk show in 2010 (via CBS | YouTube).

“There was a lot of criticism going on about it. There were a lot of misguided assumptions that we were climbing for the wrong reasons, that we were this super rich family doing this. But, you know, we had to do a lot of crowdsourcing, and fundraising, and financing in order to make it happen. When we said we were from a small town in California, we were being honest. We were just people who wanted to travel, see the world, and experience life,” Jordan says, before adding, “My parents didn’t drag me up the mountain. If anything, it was the other way round.”

It’s worth stressing at this point that Jordan isn’t just the youngest person in history to climb Everest. He’s also the youngest person in history to conquer all of the Seven Summits (the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents). Alongside his dad (Paul Romero) and his dad’s then-partner Karen Lundgren, Jordan began ticking them off in July 2006, aged 10, when he made it to the top of Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. He completed the collection five years later when, aged 15 years, 5 months, and 12 days, he made it to the top of Antarctica’s Vinson Massif.

“In terms of moody teenage strops, I won’t deny that I had some really frustrating moments in my head…”

I picture myself climbing big mountains at that age and can easily imagine myself shouting at my parents and storming off to my tent at the slightest provocation. Surely, considering Jordan’s age at the time and the stresses he was under, there must have been some classic ‘Kevin and Perry’ type rages along the way?

“In terms of moody teenage strops, I won’t deny that I had some really frustrating moments in my head, but I never wanted to burden anyone else with my emotions. I did my best to focus on the big picture and how lucky I was to travel to these incredible locations,” Jordan says, revealing a maturity level that I, even as a full-grown adult, have yet to reach.

jordan-romero-youngest-person-to-climb-everest

Picture taken in Moab. Photo: John Dalpiaz.

I was curious to know what, if it wasn’t his parents’ influence, planted the seed of inspiration in Jordan’s mind and led him to tackling the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents before he was old enough to legally buy alcohol or drive a car.

“I don’t know if there was one single moment but this whole thing started when I was nine. I came across a mural of the Seven Summits at my school, and I was just so fascinated by it. There was a chart, and each mountain was labelled with the elevation, the continent this mountain was on, and the name of it. It just totally captured my attention and I guess you could say that was when I was dove into mountaineering head first,” reflects Jordan.

You could be forgiven for thinking, without meeting him and considering all that he’s achieved, that Jordan would be a bit full of himself. I can report though that this is definitely not the case. It’s clear, virtually right from the off, that he’s humble enough to acknowledge how important the support of his family has been.

“So, I climbed with my Dad and his long-term girlfriend. They never actually ended up getting married, but we did every single one of them together and I’m so grateful for that every day. To this day, my Dad, Karen, and my biological Mum are still killing it in life. They’re huge inspirations to me,” Jordan says.

jordan-romero-youngest-person-to-climb-everest

Shot of Jordan and his Dad up on Vinson. Photo: Karen Lundgren.

“After doing the Seven Summits, we had plans to do the adventure grand slam. Trek to the South Pole and the North Pole to see if I could be the youngest person to do that but Karen and my Dad were splitting up, and yeah that was tough to take. Karen was just such an essential backbone to our expeditions and without her nothing was really able to evolve or be followed through on. She was all about the logistics, and the finances, and you know the stuff to actually make it happen. Looking back, I really should have kept that momentum going,” Jordan tells me, when I ask him about what came after.

With his Dad now living in Hawaii, where he runs his own business, and Jordan studying Environmental Studies and Economics in Utah, it can seem from the outside looking in that this young record-holder has put the big mountain climbs very much on the backburner. Now a passionate skier, and with university studies to think of, is Jordan itching to get the band back together and summit again with the man who’s been with him since the very beginning? And, if so, would his Dad be up for it?

“Absolutely. He definitely would. I really do miss climbing with him. He was super knowledgeable about stuff. You know, he was really so good at critical decision making. My Dad was a vital component of the team. Being there. Planning stuff. Strategising what to do and when to summit the mountain. Right now, my university schedule is a little more on the priority list but hell man if we had some plane tickets to go to Nepal tomorrow for an expedition, I know I’d do it in a heartbeat and I’m sure he would too,” Jordan says.

“Find your Everest in life. Find that passion that gets you out of bed every day…”

Because of Jordan’s area of academic interest, coupled with the fact he’s American, our conversation inevitably drifts towards environmental concerns and the actions of climate change-denying President Donald J. Trump.

“Climate change is something I’ve seen first hand by going all round the world. And going to Mount Kilimanjaro and going to Indonesia, where we’re climbing next to the world’s largest gold and copper mine which is just the worst polluting source. In that area, it’s just absolutely devastating a lot of the local communities and indigenous people so there’s a lot of environmental injustices that I’ve seen first hand.

“With Trump in office, I could only imagine how scary it must be from an outside perspective. Maybe you’ve heard this but it was the U.S, Syria, and Nicaragua that were the three countries that weren’t on the Paris Climate Agreement when it was announced that we were pulling out of it. Then, Syria and Nicaragua became a part of it so now we’re the only country in the world that aren’t on board with it.

“For me, Trump is just too much of liability. Honestly, I wouldn’t care if we had a Republican President right now. But the fact that we’ve got someone who’s so incompetent and with such a large ego, and who can outright call bullshit and #FakeNews to whatever he wants. That’s an example he’s setting to a lot of people and, look, if we’re going down that route then we’re all fucked,” says Jordan, offering up his own brutally honest take on the current state of politics across the pond.

mount-everest-highest-mountain-in-the-world

Jordan Romero climbed Mount Everest when he was just 13 years old. Photo via Getty Images.

Ending things on such a bleak note when Jordan’s story is such an uplifting one feels wrong somehow. Weeks later, when putting this piece together, one particularly optimistic response Jordan gives, about midway through our chat, stands out above the rest: “Find your Everest in life,” he tells me, “Find that passion that gets you out of bed every day because if you have the right tools, and the right mindset, you can do anything you want to do.”

Delivered with Jordan’s sunny Californian accent, it feels like a line straight out of a motivational quotes coffee table book; one that wouldn’t look out of place inside a generic landscape image on your mum’s Facebook feed. Said by anyone else it would feel like too much of a cliche. In the case of Jordan, however, a man who accomplished so much so young and who is insanely modest about it all to boot, I can’t help but warm to its underlying message that age is just a number and that no adventure is impossible – especially if you’ve got a big imagination and a willing family unit to back you up.

To read the rest of Mpora’s December ‘Family’ Issue head here

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