7 year-old Tyler Armstrong may have just broken the (unofficial) record for the youngest person to ever summit Mt. Whitney, reports KTLA. The tiny climber made it to the highest peak in the contiguous United States in 7 hours and 50 minutes. Including the walk down, the hike took a total of 17 hours. Mt. Whitney is located in Sierra Nevada, California.
Armstrong and his father, Kevin Armstrong, started hiking together back in December after being inspired by the film "Walking The Great Divide," according to the OC Register. When Tyler first told Kevin he was interested in reaching the Mt. Whitney summit, which is 14,505 feet high and 22 miles round-trip, Kevin dismissed the thought. "We considered him a normal, lazy child who liked video games," Kevin said to the OC Register. But when Tyler started running and eating more fruits and vegetables, his parents realized he was serious.
In a video interview with KCAL9 (above), Kevin lists all the local mountains the two climbed in order to prepare Tyler for Mt. Whitney: Mt. San Jacinto, Mt. Baldy, Mt. Wilson, and Mt. Lowe. Next on Tyler's list is Mt. Kilimanjaro, according to CBS Los Angeles. At more than 19,000 feet, it is the tallest mountain in Africa.
In 1991, a 29 year-old hiker set an unofficial record by climbing Mt. Whitney in 2 hours and 8 minutes, according to the LA Times. This website claims that the youngest person to summit Mt. Whitney before Tyler was 9 years old -- not counting the infant who was brought along on his parents' hike in a backpack carrier.
*This news entry was edited to correct the name of a mountain.