Believe in your Dreams

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.

Eleven year old (yes, that's right, 11 year old!) Jordan Romero has already climbed 5 of the famed Seven Summits, reaching the tops of:

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.

Climb on!

Jake Norton is a climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker from Colorado.

  1. Jeff
    JeffNovember 2,08

    This kid has a little swagger (i.e. confidence) as well. Probably a good quality to have given his goals.


  2. Jake Norton
    Jake NortonNovember 3,08

    Hi Jeff,

    Yeah, he does indeed…and, like you said, not a bad quality to have given his goals. So long as he doesn’t allow his drive for the top to obscure his vision of safety and the real journey in the mountains.


  3. Colin
    ColinNovember 8,08

    What a great achievement for someone so young. I would love just to see these great mountains, let alone climb them! I am sure he will succeed in getting his Seven Summits.

    Mount Everest The British Story

  4. gorida
    goridaFebruary 12,09

    Great site. I was writing a post some days ago about Jordan and his mission asking myself about taking kids to the extremes. He is really amazing, but: “Wait a minute, does he really make his own choices when he is climbing? Do kids nowadays grow up faster? Am I just exaggerating? Am I just facing the reality of accelerated culture and instant generation or just overly ambitious and crazy parents?”

  5. Jake Norton
    Jake NortonFebruary 12,09


    I think you make some good points and ask relevant questions. It is great to help kids find and pursue their passions and dreams in life, but that must not be confused with fulfilling our own dreams and ambitions through the activity of our children.

    I cannot speak for Jordan Romero, but I know that was not the case for me as a child. I began climbing at 12, and was encouraged by my parents and assisted in the effort – not forced or coerced in any way, nor pushed into the sport by them either. I would suspect that Jordan is in a similar situation.


    Jake Norton
    MountainWorld Productions

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