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with Stefan Nestler

Victory for common sense

Tyler Armstrong (at the foot of Aconcagua in 2013)

Tyler Armstrong (at the foot of Aconcagua in 2013)

For once, I must compliment the Chinese. The country’s authorities refused Tyler Armstrong the permit for climbing Mount Everest. As reported, the now 12-year-old American wanted to climb the highest mountain in the world from the Tibetan north side this spring. Tyler and his parents had hoped to get a “special permit” – as already in 2012 for the ascent of Kilimanjaro (5895 m, highest mountain in Africa) and in 2013 for Aconcagua (6962 m, highest peak in South America). But this time the Chinese stood firm. From my point of view, it’s a victory for common sense. Everest is no place for children, no matter how fit they are.

Two 13-year-old in the record lists

Jordan Romero (in 2010)

Jordan Romero (in 2010)

In 2010, the 13-year-old US boy Jordan Romero had reached the summit of Everest becoming the youngest climber ever on the highest of all mountains to date. In response to the global criticism of the teenager’s ascent, the China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) had announced in the summer of 2010 that in future Everest permits would be granted only to climbers older than 18 years. However, four years later, they had let the Indian Malavath Poorna on the mountain. She was only a month older than Romero and became at the age of 13 years and eleven months the youngest girl ever who stood on the roof of the world.

Armstrong: “Really bumped out”

The refusal of an Everest permit came a few weeks ago, Tyler said: “I was really bummed out because I did so much training and I felt I was really prepared.” In August 2015, Armstrong had scaled the 5642-meter-high Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain, his third of the “Seven Summits”. Despite the decision of the Chinese authorities, Tyler has not given up his plan to become the youngest Everest summiter. He says that he is going to climb more high mountains, for example in in Peru, “to help the Chinese think like ‘This kid is ready. We should let him on the mountain.’” In May 2017, Armstrong – with then 13 years and four months – would still be the youngest Everest summiter ever. If he will reach the highest point and descend safely. And if the Chinese or Nepalese will give in on the subject of Everest age limit. Hopefully not!


13. April 2016 | 16:56