BY MAURA AMMENHEUSER
Jordan Romero, a very young mountain climber, challenges kids and parents to abstain from eating junk food while he's making his next climb, of Mt. Vinson, in Antarctica. Romero's also asking teachers to avoid giving their students sugary snacks as rewards.
In 2010, Romero became the youngest climber to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain, Mt. Everest, which rises 29,029 feet. Now 15, Romero's preparing for a trip to Mt. Vinson, with his father, Paul Romero, and stepmother Karen Lundgren. If the teen completes the ascent, he'll become the youngest person to successfuly climb the "seven summits," the highest peaks on each of the continents.
Geography pop quiz: Besides Mt. Everest, in Asia, the seven summits include Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt. Elbrus in Europe, Mt. McKinley (or Denali) in North America, Mt. Aconcagua in South America, Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia or Carstensz Pyramid in Oceania, and Mt. Vinson in Antarctica.
Romero credits his success in part to a healthy diet and hopes to inspire other youth to eat nutritious foods. His challenge -- no junk food, including soda, and no sugar rewards -- is meant to start on Dec. 13, the day the family expects to leave for Mt. Vinson, and avoid them until his scheduled return on Dec. 31.
Jordan Romero will appear at a "send-off party" and news conference Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 39707 Big Bear Blvd. in Big Bear Lake, to talk about his goal of ascending the "seven summits." For details, see Romero's website.