Jordan Romero’s 5 Things You Must Remember When Climbing Everest

Image Credit: Jordan Romero
In 2010, Jordan Romero was only 13 years old when he became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. Since then, he’s climbed all seven summits and set out on a mission called “Find Your Everest,” to inspire other young people to get outdoors, get healthy and set goals. We got the tireless mountaineer to share his top five tips for climbing Everest:

5 Leave Your Ego at Home, Where It Belongs

“Some bring it to the mountain,” Romero said. “They stick out like a sore thumb. If there is not humble regard for the mother goddess of earth— Chomolungma—misfortune will strike. It’s just how it is. The mountain demands immense respect if you are even within sight of her. Decisions, discussion and strategy should all be without ego. Do earn the respect of teams and leaders around you, but recognize how important it is to leave your ego at home. If you do, good fortune, good weather and the summit just may come your way.”

4 Have a Backup Plan—or Two

“Plan a lot,” Romero advised. “Have so much discussion about possibilities and the ‘what-ifs’ that you’ve exhausted every possible option. Write them down. Repeat them. Basically swear in blood that you will stick to these plans. Using timelines and backstops, you will make decision-making easy and straightforward when you’re running on fumes and barely able to add two plus two.”

3 Test Every Single Piece of Gear Twice

“Pretty much if anything fails on the approach to 29,000 feet, you’ll likely die or at least lose an appendage,” Romero warned, who added, “That is not a stretch. Gloves fail? Can’t use your hands. Boots fail? Can’t climb. Goggles freeze or fog? You’ll go blind. Fuel of choice and water freezes? You run out of fuel. You’ll stop and die. You have nothing extra with you, so every single thing has got to be the best money can buy, or at least that you can get your hands on. Test it twice and bank your life on it.”

2 Arrange Only the Very Best Team You Can Gather—Nothing More

According to Romero, “The team approach isn’t a very common one in mountaineering. You may see many large groups, but few will be teams. Still, you need to surround yourself with others who are willing to put themselves on the line for you. This will multiply your odds of success: Team first, last and always.”

1 Arrive Damn Fit

“This is a challenge that has the direst of consequences at nearly every step,” Romero said. “Everest is the highest place on Earth, so you’re operating on minimal available oxygen. That makes everything damn tough: putting on a boot, stuffing your sleeping bag, setting a tent—these chores become such tremendous work that you won’t believe it. You’ll lose your breath and take minutes to recover. It’s demoralizing. Arriving to the expedition in the best shape of your life has to take top priority: strong body, strong mind and a great cardiovascular system. If you’re not sure you’re getting fit enough, get coaching and help.”
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