7-year-old OC Boy Climbs Mt. Whitney in One Day

Eastern Africa

YORBA LINDA, Calif. (KTLA) -- A 7-year-old boy from Yorba Linda has tackled climbing Mt. Whitney, and is now setting his sights on even higher peaks.

"I want to climb every mountain there is, if that's possible," Tyler Armstrong told KTLA.

Armstrong made it to the top of Mt. Whitney in 7 hours and 50 minutes. At 14,505 feet, Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the continental United States.

Tyler walked the whole thing, including the way back down, in 17 hours.

The boy and his father, Kevin Armstrong, set out from a base camp at about 8,500 feet at 2:05 a.m., and made it back at 6:42 p.m.

In the log at the top of the mountain, Tyler recorded his time, and noted that he was the youngest person to climb the mountain, under his own power, in a single day.

Tyler's Father, Kevin Armstrong, says that, while there is no official record, people in the area said they could not recall anyone younger accomplishing the feat in 24 hours.

And Tyler completed the hike with only a couple minor setbacks -- he tripped on a rock and cut his knee, and also experienced some altitude sickness at the summit.

"The hardest part were the switchbacks.... because you had to back and forth... back and forth 97 times," Tyler said.

Kevin Armstrong says his son became interested in the trek after learning he had hiked Mt. Whitney with his dad when he was 11.

"He moved up that mountain - he pushed me," Kevin Armstrong said.

"He passed every group going up - it only took him 7 hours and 50 minutes to summit."

"It was probably one of the proudest moments of my life," Tyler said. "I could see everything from the top of the world."

Now, Tyler is setting his sights on even higher mountains, namely, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

That peak is 19,340 feet, making it the tallest mountain in Africa.

The minimum age to climb Kilimanjaro is 10, so Tyler will have to hold off for a few years.

Eventually, he also hopes to scale Mt. Everest, the world's highest mountain at 29,029 ft.

In the meantime, he plans to tackle other climbs in California.

"I think the sky is the limit," his father said, "And I'd love see where he can go."

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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