I know a whole bunch of 9-year-olds and they are usually running around playing soccer, engrossed in video games or perhaps glued to one of the Percy Jackson books. But none of them have done anything close to what 9-year-old Tyler Armstrong of Yorba Linda has done.
This young man, actually, a child, climbed Argentina’s Aconcagua mountain, which is the tallest peak in the Western and Southern hemispheres at 22,841 feet. Accompanied by his father Kevin and a Tibetan sherpa named Lhawang Dhondup, the trio made it to the summit on Christmas Eve. And this ain’t no walk in the park. This is a cold and dangerous feat, the mountain has claimed about 100 lives of those who have dared to take on the challenge. And for Tyler it wasn’t just the climb itself that was a challenge, it was also getting permission to do it in the first place. By law, only those who are 14 or older can attempt the climb, but Tyler and his family met with an Argentine judge and obtained special permission with the condition that the trio take the “Polish Glacier” which is an easier way to get to the top.
In doing this climb, Tyler set the world record for being the youngest to ever climb the mountain. He beat the record of Matthew Moniz of Boulder, Colo., who was just 10 when he did the climb back in 2008. And Tyler is no stranger to big mountains, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania when he was 8.
“Any kid can really do this. All they have to do is try. And set their mind to the goal,” said Tyler. That is easier said then done. To prepare for a climb like that there needs to be not just an intense passion but also fierce determination. Tyler immersed himself in his goal, working out twice a day for a year and a half to get ready for the climb.
Tyler had another goal, a goal to raise money for CureDuchenne, and organization which funds muscular dystrophy research. A noble goal for sure.
I have a seven-year-old at home and I know that there is no way she could do something like that a year or two from now. Just going on a long walk in the park or a short hike in the woods will tire her out, more mentally than anything else. I would love it if she had the determination to push herself into doing something challenging like that, but she would rather play with her dolls or draw. She’s just not that kid. But for those kids who do find their passion in doing things like climbing the world’s tallest mountains, it’s so nice to hear that they have parents that support them in taking them on, like Tyler.
Does your child have any lofty goals like this?
Photo Source: Tyler Armstrong/ Facebook