Every May, I love to follow the news stories of dedicated climbers who try to summit Mt. Everest. This year, a 17-year-old teen named Johnny Strange, from Malibu, California (of all places on earth!), is on his way up the mountain.

Strange and his father are in Nepal and soon will begin their quest to tackle the world’s tallest peak, whose skyward reach is a breathtaking (literally) 29,035 feet.

If Johnny succeeds he’ll become the youngest Westerner to attain the summit (a Nepalese Sherpa once did so at 15).

(Photo: Mt. Everest’s Khumbu icefall has claimed many lives over the years. Credit: Johnny Strange)

According to a story in the LA Times, Johnny is a thrill seeker who loves a daunting challenge. He has already climbed five of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each continent) and aspires to become the youngest climber to bag all seven.

Everest represents his last major hurdle (that would leave Australia’s 7,310-foot Mt. Kosciuskzo as the final steppingstone). Of the danger associated with a tempestuous mountain that has killed about 200 climbers, he said: “I could focus on all the bad things that could happen, but I like the fact that there’s risk. If there wasn’t risk, it wouldn’t be fun.”

His father, Brian, a prominent consumer affairs attorney, feels the same way, and if he makes the top of Everest it will be no small feat for a 53-year-old.

Being a teenager, Strange happily reported that his iPod Shuffle works at high altitude and, being from Malibu, that he is craving sushi.

You can follow periodic updates from Johnny’s expedition on his blog here. This is one story I want to follow. It’s awesome to think a 17-year-old is following his dreams.

Source: LA Times

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